Every odd year, we vote on 1/3 of the 17 Magisterial District Judge seats in the County plus any vacancies that are to be filled. For all Magisterial District Judge territories, see here.
The Magisterial District Judges are part of the unified judicial system of the Pennsylvania court system. Each MDJ is elected to a 6-year term of office and holds hearings on the following:
- Summary cases (both traffic and non-traffic related matters)
- Civil and Landlord/Tenant cases not exceeding $12,000
- Criminal cases
- Preliminary Hearings on misdemeanor and felony cases
MDJ Districts / Municipalities / Dem candidates 2021 (for Dem Zones, see here)
15-1-01 West Chester 3, 6, 7, East Bradford, West Bradford (Dem zones 7, 9)
Marc J. Lieberman, Esq. is an attorney in private practice with over 20 years of experience, handling nearly every type of case dealt with by the District Courts. He is a graduate of Henderson High School, West Chester University and Widener Law School and began his career at the Chester County Public Defender’s office. He is also a former small business owner and founder. He has been the judge of elections for 6 years at his polling place; additionally Marc has volunteered with Access to Justice, Wills for Heroes and at Paradise Farm. As an MDJ, Marc would work to develop addiction recognition training and a program to help identify high-risk individuals and get them into treatment sooner. Marc believes that every problem can be overcome with determination and creative thinking. For the past 17 years, he has lived in East Bradford with his wife and two children.
15-1-02 East Goshen, Easttown, Malvern, Tredyffrin E1, E2, M1, M5, M6, W3, W4, Willistown (Dem zones 12, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Now more than ever, it is critical that judges at all levels of the judicial system have the qualifications, training and experience to properly evaluate the merits of cases and impartially apply the law. No one should leave a courtroom feeling like they didn’t get a fair shake because the judge was partial to one side or lacked the experience necessary to fully appreciate the legal or practical implications of his or her decision. As an attorney with broad experience in criminal law (as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney) and civil law (representing clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to an infant born into the foster system), I will be able to accurately evaluate all legal issues that will come before me as District Judge. Electing the most qualified judges is good public policy and best serves the community, the taxpayers, and the judicial system.
15-1-03 Coatesville 2, 4, South Coatesville (Dem zones 4, 20)
Gregory V. Hines (incumbent)
15-1-04 West Chester 1, 2, 4, 5 (Dem zone 9)
Marian T. Vito (incumbent)
Marian Vito is the current Magisterial District Judge for most of West Chester Borough. Her jurisdiction includes 17,000 West Chester University students, as well as the majority of permanent Borough residents. Her court carries the largest caseload in the county related to quality-of-life offenses. She addresses many of these offenses through a program set up with the Borough that ensures offenders give back to the community in a meaningful way. Because many who come before her have never been in court before and often do not have an attorney, Marian makes it a priority to ensure that everyone feels comfortable, is respected, and understands the process. Marian is a former Chester County Assistant District Attorney specializing in complex special victim cases. Prior to her work with the county, she served as a legal advocate for foster children with special needs and with the Philadelphia Defenders Association, aiding defendants with severe mental illness. Marian graduated from Villanova University School of Law and is noted for her history of volunteerism and family focus. She and her husband, Jim Vito, have raised two sons in the Borough.
15-2-07 Upper Uwchlan, Uwchlan, West Pikeland (Dem zones 10)
Paige Simmons has handled hundreds of civil cases, including commercial and residential landlord-tenant disputes and small claims disputes. She is Corporate Counsel for a national real estate company and before that founded a firm that provided counsel to local businesses, community associations and property owners. She has handled a wide range of cases such as a veteran get his home back after being scammed, working with an Airbnb owner to remove a guest who refused to vacate, and disputes between homeowners over sewer line issues. She holds an undergraduate degree in business and a law degree from Case Western Reserve and is working on her Master’s in Public Administration at Johns Hopkins. She serves on the boards of the Chester County Women’s Commission (a subcommittee of the County Commissioners’ office), The Barn at Springbrook Farm (serving special needs children), Friends Association (providing emergency shelter and services for families facing homelessness). She and her husband have two adult children and live in West Pikeland.
15-4-01 East Whiteland 3, 4, 5, 6, Tredyffrin M2, M3, M4, M7, W1, W2, W5, E3, E4, E5 (Dem zones 12, 13)
Lauren Holt has dedicated her entire legal career to public interest work. She spent over a decade at the Chester County Public Defender’s Office as a trial attorney, representing indigent defendants during all stages of the criminal process. She litigated complex misdemeanor and felony cases, including drug trafficking and first degree murder. Lauren gained valuable experience working with diverse clients, district attorneys, probation officers, members of law enforcement and Judges at every level the criminal justice system. Prior to joining the Public Defender’s Office, she worked as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Penny L. Blackwell of the York County Court of Common Pleas. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and The Penn State Dickinson School of Law. She currently lives with her husband and their two children in Paoli and previously served as a member of the Tredyffrin Township Libraries Board.
15-4-02 Caln, Downingtown, East Brandywine, East Caln (Dem zones 5, 10)
Ann M. Feldman
Ann has had the privilege and honor of being elected to Downingtown Borough Council for three consecutive terms (2009-present). She has consistently been a vocal advocate for residents and for transparency and lawfulness in local government. Ann cultivated a passion for the law during her nine-year lawsuit to prevent the illegal sale of a public park to developers. That case culminated in a landmark 2017 Pa Supreme Court victory and set a precedent for protecting public park land throughout the state. As an MDJ, Ann will apply the law with impartiality and without bias while ensuring fairness, compassion, and appropriate support for the individual, such as when there are underlying mental health, behavioral, or substance abuse issues. Appropriate steps at this early stage can make a positive difference in a person’s future choices, which then benefits society as a whole.
15-4-04 Avondale, Franklin, London Britain, London Grove, New Garden, West Grove, West Marlborough (Dem zones 3, 8)
Bobby Brown’s family has lived in the West Grove area for over 100 years. For the last 40 years, he has worked for Hewlett Packard (Avondale), Synthes (West Chester), Johnson & Johnson (West Chester), and other manufacturers. He is currently a Manufacturing Supervisor with Bloom Energy, a renewable energy company in Newark DE. Talented team members have enhanced his coaching, mentoring, and leadership skills. As a Pennsylvania State Constable for over 14 years, he saw that many times, people experiencing difficult times need someone to provide guidance and show compassion. He is seeking the position of Magisterial District Justice to champion change and expand diversity. If one person on the bench can influence others to further their education, get involved with their community, and be a part of the solution, this change could help bring a new beginning for many. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We need leaders not in love with money, but in love with justice.”