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​Night Court

Night Court in various forms has existed since the formation of the minor judicial system. In 1977, areas of responsibility were divided into three territories consisting of city, suburban and Upper Dauphin zones. Night Court was established in its present form in 1979, when night sessions were centralized at City Hall and staff assistance was provided. The caseload increased steadily, to the point in 1984 where Magisterial District Judges assigned to night duty were granted formal leave during business hours in order to concentrate fully on evening proceedings. In 1987, the Supreme Court emphasized that the Constitutional protections which apply to persons arrested for serious offenses apply equally to persons detained for minor summary warrants. Night duty at its core involves arraignment of arrestees before a neutral judicial authority and the opportunity for bail. Other duties include the issuance of warrants, protection from abuse orders, and search warrants. Revenue collections exceed one quarter million dollars annually.

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