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Philadelphia, October 12, 2010 – Today, Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed legislation to change The Philadelphia Code and formally abolish the powers, functions and duties of the Office of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions. These duties and powers by agreement with the First Judicial District (FJD) have been transferred to the FJD. The Clerk of Quarter Sessions Office was responsible for the creation and management of the records in criminal cases including bail collection for the Philadelphia court system.  

“Today, we are marking a victory for the taxpayers of Philadelphia. Our citizens expect efficient, transparent, and low cost municipal services. This change will ensure that our Court system is responsive to the needs of our citizens” said Mayor Nutter. “Additionally, I would like to especially thank the First Judicial District for implementing the seamless and professional transition of services and duties since this spring.”

In April, Pennsylvania State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille transferred the functions and duties of the Office of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions to the FJD. Following that, Judge Dembe issued an administrative order placing those functions under the Prothonotary’s Office, headed by Joseph Evers, which currently performs similar functions for the Court for civil cases. Under this change, the Prothonotary’s Office now handles criminal records in the Common Pleas, Municipal and Family courts.

Since April, FJD has implemented a new, multi-layer management structure and operational review of the functions to ensure proper allocations of staff for courtroom coverage and transferred Clerk of Quarter Sessions employees and operations are receiving the resources need without additional costs to FJD. FY10 revenue collections showed a 27 percent increase over FY09 forfeited bail collections.


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