Located at 916 West Cypress Street in Kennett Square, Magisterial District Court 15-3-04 serves the residents of the Borough of Kennett Square, and Birmingham, East Marlborough, Kennett, Newlin, Pennsbury and Pocopson Townships.   It hears civil, criminal, traffic, and juvenile matters. 


Preliminary hearings in criminal matters are heard once a week and serve as the first stop in the criminal process for Chester County.  Here, the Commonwealth, vis-à-vis the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, presents prima facie evidence that a crime may have been committed by the defendant.  At this level, the district judge has the authority to rule on summary offenses such as harassment, disorderly conduct, and other lesser offenses.  If the District Attorney’s Office has met its burden of proof, the case then moves to the Court of Common Pleas in West Chester, where a trial will be held in the matter. 

Al frequently represents clients at Preliminary Hearings and understands not only how the district court functions, but has also seen how it functions efficiently and inefficiently.  Al’s relationships with the attorneys who appear at the district courts, as well as the law enforcement personnel, ensure that he knows what can be done to make District Court 15-3-04 operate as effectively and efficiently as possible, including how to make sure cases are disposed of promptly and without undue delay, and that law enforcement are able to minimize their court time in cases where their testimony is unnecessary.  This means that law enforcement officers will be able to spend their time protecting the community and not waiting in a courtroom. 


Civil matters are heard in cases with an amount in dispute of less than $12,000.  This is typically a contract dispute or a property damages claim, many times originating between contractors and their clients, or people who have left bills go unpaid.  Credit card collections that involve less than the jurisdictional limit also start here.  Landlord-tenant disputes are also civil matters and typically come before the district judge.  A good working knowledge of the Landlord-Tenant Act and basic contract law is critical to a district judge’s efficacy. 

Al has been appearing in such civil matters since he first began representing clients in the Kennett Square Area.  Al has prosecuted and defended contract actions, as well as landlord-tenant cases, and is familiar with the procedure and statutory laws involved.  In fact, his very first courtroom appearance was before Judge Maisano in District Court 15-3-04 in a landlord-tenant matter.  Al recognized that while Judge Maisano did not always agree with a party or attorney’s argument, he was always fair and respectful of all who entered his courtroom.  Tough decisions must be made, but if done with the appropriate thoughtfulness and temperament, all who leave should believe that at least they were heard.  Al is committed to fair treatment of all who enter a courtroom as adheres to the precept that the law applies to all equally and without bias.


Juvenile matters are also a significant part of the District Court’s purview.  Truancy issues are handled by the District Judge and having a connection with youth and being able to relate to them and letting them know they are heard is critical to ensuring that the problems they are having will not repeat, and that the proper support mechanisms are in place to guarantee success.  Al’s lifetime commitment to the development of youth in the community is evidence of the success he will enjoy as District Judge.  His time as a coach and a Scout leader have taught him that rules need to be enforced, but it doesn’t mean you get to abdicate the responsibility of ensuring that the child enjoys future success.  Our community will not develop if we don’t allow our youth to be given the opportunity to be successful after having made mistakes. 


Of course, all traffic violations come through the District Court.  Anyone caught speeding, rolling through stop signs, or generally wreaking havoc on the roads has to appear before the District Judge and defend their case should they choose to do so.  Traffic rules have to be enforced for the safety of our community, but they shouldn’t define someone’s existence.  Regardless, the best way to stay out of traffic court is to obey the rules of the road.  It’s a lot cheaper in the long run!

Feel free to contact Al Iacocca at ami@elect-iacocca.com with any questions, comments, concerns.  He will respond at his earliest opportunity. 

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