Pennsylvania’s Unified Judicial System is one of North America’s oldest, growing from a collection of part-time, local courts before 1700 to today’s statewide, automated court system.
The Courts in South Central Pennsylvania are responsible for the administration of justice in the region. The Court system is comprised of the Superior Court, which handles all criminal and civil matters, and the Court of Common Pleas, which hears all appeals from lower courts.
The Superior Court is the court of general jurisdiction in Pennsylvania. It hears all felony criminal cases and all civil cases involving more than $500. The court also has original jurisdiction over cases involving juveniles and cases involving mental health commitment proceedings. The Superior Court has 14 judges who are elected to 10-year terms.
The Court of Common Pleas is the court of appeals in Pennsylvania. It hears all appeals from lower courts, including the Superior Court. The Court of Common Pleas has 21 judges who are elected to 10-year terms. The
South Central Pennsylvania region is served by two district attorneys: the District Attorney of Adams County and the District Attorney of Cumberland County. Both district attorneys are elected to four-year terms.