Map of judges' reconfigured districts put on Westmoreland website
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 7:35 a.m.
Boundaries of five district justice offices will be reconfigured starting on Sunday under a redistricting plan approved earlier this year.
As part of that revision, Westmoreland County is offering an interactive mapping program on its website to help the public find appropriate offices.
Officials said the magistrate map is just the start of a more comprehensive plan to upload interactive maps to show election precincts, county demographics, even railroad lines. Those maps are expected to be published online early next year.
The magistrate map is available on the county's website.
Users can type in an address to receive a link showing what district judge has jurisdiction in that area.
The map will soon include directions to the offices, said Anthony J. Pologruto Jr., coordinator of the county Geographic Informations Systems.
“Maps are a great way to convey information. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a map is worth 10,000 words,” Pologruto said.
The public eventually will be able to access the maps on mobile devices, Pologruto said.
The redistricting was approved earlier this year and means that as many as 2,000 court cases will be shifted to different areas in the county.
The revised boundaries will move areas of Adamsburg and Hempfield Township into the area served by District Judge Joe DeMarchis in Jeannette.
District Judge James Falcon in Youngwood will take over cases from Southwest Greensburg that now are heard in Greensburg by District Judge James Albert.
Cases in Hunker, New Stanton and a small portion of Hempfield will be shifted to the Scottdale office of District Judge Charles Moore.
“There will be a brief transition period. Some of those boundaries have existed for 20 years, maybe longer,” said Don Heagy, special courts administrator.
The redistricting plan includes the closure of one district judge's office, starting in 2018.
The Unity office held by District Judge Michael Mahady will be closed once he retires at the end of 2017, leaving the county with 16 lower courts, according to officials.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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