The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 21, 2013

When Richland and Cresson district courts will consolidate

EBENSBURG — Effective late next week, all criminal and civil cases brought before two Cambria County magisterial district judges will be transferred to their replacements as the county courts gear up for fewer local judicial seats.

Cases historically handled by the Richland Township office of Max Pavlovich and Cresson Township office of Charity Nileski will be handled by the offices of John Barron and Galen Decort.

“All new filings will go to the new courts,” Cambria County Court Administrator William Valko said Monday.

Barron’s recently relocated office from Upper Yoder Township to Stonycreek Township will assume a portion of the area now covered by Pavlovich.

Decort’s office in Portage will be closed and everything moved to Nileski’s office on Portage Road.

While the official change for both offices is set for the end of the year, early steps are being initiated so that everything will be in place by that time, Valko said.

In light of declining population in many Pennsylvania counties, and in an effort to reduce state court related costs, the state’s Supreme Court ordered two years ago that two of Cambria County’s district judge seats be eliminated by the end of 2013.

Last year, President Judge Timothy Creany and Valko gathered public input from across the county on the best scenario for cutting the number of magisterial districts by 20 percent, a plan approved by the state’s highest court early this year.

The plan eliminates the seat held by Pavlovich, who turns 70 this year. Nileski, who is approaching 70, opted not to seek re-election.

State law prohibits magisterial district judges from remaining on the bench after age 70.

Creany’s plan splits the areas served by Pavlovich between Barron and Sidman District Judge Rick Varner while Nileski’s area is being split primarily between Decort and Hastings District Judge Michael Zungali.

The leases on Pavlovich’s office in University Park Plaza on Scalp Avenue and Decort’s office on Route 164 in Portage will not be renewed at the end of the year, Valko said.

The county leases space for Nileski’s office from Cresson Township, an agreement that will continue with Decort holding court at that site.

Alterations at the Cresson Township building, located just off Admiral Peary Highway, are currently underway, with the township providing an outside contractor and utilizing some help from the county, Valko said.

Staff at Pavlovich and Nileski’s offices will work through November and part of December on the steps needed to close out the cases.

“There’s a lot of cleanup work to do, a lot of behind-the-scenes work,” Valko said.

Nileski’s resignation is effective Dec. 13 and Pavlovich retires Dec. 20.

Valko said despite the elimination of two offices, none of the staff will be furloughed.

Amid retirements and voluntary resignations each office will have four clerks, the ideal number based on caseload.

Clerks from Pavlovich’s office will transfer to Varner and Barron’s office while those in Nileski’s will continue with Decort.

Physical changes at the Cresson Township office are being made to increase security, Valko said.

A barrier is being installed to prevent unhindered public access to the courtroom. Also in the works is a partition dividing a large room into two smaller meeting rooms, and a large bathroom is being split to provide a holding cell.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/kathymellotttd.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • District Deaths July 31, 2014

    July 30, 2014

  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 30, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Officer, civilian motorist injured in crash

    A Johnstown police officer who was responding to an emergency and one other driver were taken to the hospital after they were injured in a three-vehicle accident around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday on Railroad Street at the intersection with Clinton Street and Church Avenue.
    The Johnstown Fire Department said that the three occupants of the third vehicle were not injured.
     

    July 29, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads