Category Archives: Pennsylvania

Court System Changes: Realignment

      No Comments on Court System Changes: Realignment

Last October’s post about court system changes discussed structural changes, such as combining different tiers of state trial courts into a single tier, transferring jurisdiction over some types of cases from one type of court to another, or placing multiple courts under a single administration. These changes are driven by a need for efficiency, both to decrease costs during times of tight budgets and to insure fairness in access to justice.

In July 2010, we discussed how municipal courts in New Jersey, driven primarily by budget concerns, are using shared services and consolidation agreements to combine several local courts … Read More

City of Seattle Crime Statistics – Up or Down?

According to an article published in The Seattle Times, on Thursday, August 15, 2013, titled “Downtown getting safer? Not according to the numbers,” by Lynn Thompson and Justin Mayo, Seattle Times staff reporters, an analysis of the City of Seattle’s online Monthly Crime Statistics map was conducted by The Seattle Times. The crime rates in downtown Seattle have recently been the subject of discussion by the Mayor, downtown business owners and others. The City of Seattle’s crime statistics map displays major crime data by month, year and police beat. Depending on how the data is sorted, the results can vary. … Read More

How’s the traffic in your area?

      No Comments on How’s the traffic in your area?

Does it seem that your commute to work has gotten longer? Did you hear about an accident on the radio and wish that you could check the traffic before leaving your home or the office? Using our “Traffic Cameras and Reports Resources” website, you can check your specific state and county for traffic camera websites for your area.

The Alabama Department of Transportation “traffic information and cameras” page includes traffic cameras, major construction projects, road conditions, rest areas, and congestion information. Using Alaska’s “Road Weather Information System” website, you can place your curser over … Read More

Pennsylvania Department of State Announces Disciplinary Actions

In a press release issued yesterday, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele stated that the Department of State has taken disciplinary actions against 99 licensed or commissioned professionals and organizations during the month of February.

The complete list of sanctions imposed by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs is available online and can be accessed here. Each entry includes the name of the respondent, license number, last known business address registered with the board, sanction imposed, a brief description of the basis for the disciplinary or corrective measure, the effective date, and whether the action has … Read More

Non-Lawyer Judges: Justices and Magistrates

      No Comments on Non-Lawyer Judges: Justices and Magistrates

“Justice of the Peace” is an imposing title. Almost like Justice of the Supreme Court? Not quite; A Justice of the Peace presides over a court of limited territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction, and is addressed as “Judge” more often than “Justice”. Justices of the Peace were originally English quasi-judicial officers who volunteered to preserve the “king’s peace” in their local county or borough. Important qualifications for the position were land ownership and connections with the monarchy (and later, with the Lord Chancellor and Parliament).

American colonists brought the Justice of the Peace system with them, and it persisted throughout the … Read More

Fighting a Ticket Online

      No Comments on Fighting a Ticket Online

Just two months ago, we noted a recent innovation in some courts: contesting traffic tickets by mail. This is another way courts make it easier for the public to do business. For hundreds of years, every interaction with the court system required the physical presence in the courtroom of all parties involved. In just the past few years we have noted the rise of electronic filing for attorneys and then for the rest of ustelephonic appearances; video depositions; online traffic, red light camera, and parking ticket payment; and other ways of interacting with the … Read More

Orders of Protection

      No Comments on Orders of Protection

Are you being threatened with domestic violence, harassed, or stalked? Do you know someone who is? Every state has some form of legal order that requires someone to stay away from you or your home, stop contacting you, and stop sending you gifts. These orders may be called Order of Protection, Protective Order, Restraining Order, No-Contact Order, or a similar name. The order is not automatic; the person seeking the order must appear before a judge and present evidence of threats or abuse. If the judge issues the order, a person who violates the order may be arrested.

The procedure … Read More

Development in Floodplains?

      No Comments on Development in Floodplains?

In an article entitled “Halt to Development in Flood Plains Sought” in The Seattle Times, dated March 28, 2012, by Phuong Le, The Associated Press, the National Wildlife Federation asked a Seattle federal judge to issue an injunction to stop the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from issuing flood-insurance for certain flood-prone areas in Washington’s Puget Sound area. An injunction would temporarily block new development in various habitat areas around the Puget Sound area.

The Federation alleges that FEMA’s flood-insurance program encourages construction in floodplains where endangered species are being harmed. However, according to FEMA, the Federation hasn’t shown that … Read More

School Performance Reports

      1 Comment on School Performance Reports

Recently the news has been full of stories about the academic performance of the education system. The quality of a school’s performance plays an important part in the quality of a student’s education. Fortunately, one of the many public records provided by states are school performance records available through their Department of Education websites.

If you are curious about the performance of the schools in your area or if you have children that will be entering elementary or secondary school sometime soon, you will probably find the information that you need for your specific state. Using our “Free Public Read More

Licensed Contractors – Find One or Become One

      1 Comment on Licensed Contractors – Find One or Become One

Are you looking for a registered general contractor?  Do you want to verify that a contractor is licensed with the State?  Do you want to get your own contractors’ license?  Or, do you have your contractors’ license but need to renew it?

There are a number of States that offer a variety of contractor related services such as online license searches, online license applications and online renewals.  Some States even offer online searches of contractor disciplinary actions. 

On Alabama’s General Contractors’ “License Roster Search,” you can access detailed information about each licensed contractor using the license number … Read More