The Honorable Sonya M. McKnight

The Magisterial District Judge System in Pennsylvania was created under the 1968 Constitution. It is a system of minor court judges designed to hear cases involving traffic violations, minor criminal matters, disputes between landlords and tenants, and civil cases such as contract matters or injuries with damages claimed up to $12,000. The system also carries initial jurisdiction over all criminal cases, rendering decisions on the issuance of warrants, and finding sufficient justification to send misdemeanor and felony cases to the Courts of Common Pleas for further action.
The Twelfth Judicial District is complemented with fifteen Magisterial District Judges, each covering a portion of the County of Dauphin. The Magisterial District Judge System has a $7.3 million budget, 90 employees, processes 100,000 cases each year, and realizes revenue of approximately $2 million annually.