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District Judge Reports to Delaware Twp Board

District Judge Reports to Delaware Twp Board
by Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch - Thursday, March 21, 2019

DINGMANS FERRY -- Cases of domestic violence and truancy have remained steady in recent years in 
Delaware, Lehman and Porter townships, Pike County Magisterial Court Judge Paul Menditto said in a presentation to 
Delaware Township Board of Supervisors during their workshop last week.
In fact, cases for Menditto's District Court 60-3-04 have actually declined a bit for Delaware Township, which 
means lower fund disbursements from collections.
Menditto pointed out in a four-page pamphlet on the "state of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Magisterial 
District Court 60-3-04" that the yield to the township from fund disbursements from collections declined from 
$3,164.59 in 2017 to $2,263.75 in 2018.

"It shows that Delaware Township has less crime," Menditto said. He later said, "I notice the State Police, since I've started (as judge in 2015) are spending more time in southern Pike County."
The report also indicated that Lehman Township's fund disbursements increased by about $100 from $7,638.45 in 2017 to $7,731.06 last year. Porter's slipped slightly over the past two years, from $327.40 to $292.53.
Fund disbursements from Menditto's court to Pike County have risen about 25 percent from $40,762.77 in 2017 to $50,362.69 last year. Disbursements to the commonwealth slipped slightly from $137,744.19 in 2017 to 
$137,475.30 last year.
Menditto's district also covers part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Menditto went on to explain the different duties executed by his court, located at 213 Silver Lake Road in 
Dingmans Ferry.
"We're more than a traffic court," said Menditto, who said his rulings includes local ordinance violations, issuing of subpoenas and protections from abuse orders and for victims from sexual violence or intimidation and handling cases of truancy.
"I'm very proud of that," said Menditto, who said truancy is regarded as a crime in Pennsylvania.
A special program he adapted from Monroe County District Court Judge Michael Muth has helped stabilize cases of truancy. The districts by both judges cover some households whose children attend the East Stroudsburg Area School District and the program calls for the judge to meet with parents of the children and school administrators where children are in danger of being truant.
Menditto said truancy has dropped from 74 citations in his first year on the bench in 2015 to 34 in 2016, 35 in 
2017 and 32 last year.
"Parents and children are not getting citations and (therefore) getting into the system and they (students in danger of truancy) are back in school," Menditto said.
Menditto's duties also include jurisdiction on cases up to $12,000 including tort and contract actions, ordinance 
violations and civil fines, and hearing landlord/tenant actions up to $12,000 that determine possession of property. He also swears in officials with Oaths of Office and presides over weddings.
"I've done many marriages," Menditto said emphatically. "The Boy Scouts (in an Eagle Scout project) built a 
pagoda behind the (court) building so we can do it outdoors when the weather is nice."
Mendito said, when asked, that he has not had any cases of sex trafficking brought to his court, which has 
become a concern in neighboring Monroe County. "There are cases of child pornography and molestation but (the numbers of) those cases seems to be steady." 
Technology in documenting court action is current, he said. "Pennsylvania leads the nation in the way we use 
technology to make the courts accessible and efficient," the report reads. "Our innovative programs provide 
opportunities for dramatic differences in people's lives and are often proving to be cost-savers as well."
Also at the meeting, the board unanimous approved contracts to low bidder Wayco for the Doolan Road project for $212,848.84 and the stretch of Park Road from the entrance of Wild Acres to Milford Road/State Route 2001 for $353,732.54. Both projects will be reimbursed by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grants.
The board authorized township engineer Boucher & James to prepare an analysis of replacing or repairing the 
municipal building roof, which board Chairman John Henderson said has been leaking. Township Administrator 
Krista Premore said an engineering analysis in 2013 indicated the roof has a 10-year lifespan. Band-air repairs 
done a couple of years ago were expected to cover five years.
Also approved was an upgrade and three-year contract renewal with PenTelaData for Internet services.
During the workshop session before the regular meeting, Predmore said she and township Emergency 
Management Coordinator George Beodeker were expected to meet with officials of the American Red Cross 
Poconos chapter on Wednesday this week to discuss the agreement for the municipal building as a Red Cross 
shelter. Predmore said the township pulled the building from the Red Cross list because there are no showers and the question of whether there would be enough volunteers to run the building as a full shelter. Instead, Predmore said they're recommending to the Red Cross it be used as a warming center.
Also at the regular meeting, Dennis Lee was appointed to the township Recreation Committee. The board also 
approved advertising for part-time lifeguards and season gate-keepers for Akenac Park for the summer season as well as a season park manager for a 35-hour work week. Also approved was use of municipal ballfields by the Matthew Ohlemann Memorial Softball League on Sundays from May 5 to Sept. 29.
Resident Nancy Janiec talked during the public comment period about her efforts to help the Delaware Township 
Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
"I met with the ambulance corps, made numerous suggestions and offered numerous services but I've gotten no 
response," said Janiec, a former ambulance corps volunteer. "Now is the time to move forward to pursue 
(ambulance) coverage for our residents."
"We're moving as fast as we can (on this)," Henderson said. "There are a lot of people involved."

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