Clinton County Courts
Since 1952, Clinton County has comprised the entire twenty-fifth judicial district of Pennsylvania. Prior to 1952, it shared its judicial districts with two or more other counties. In 1839, when Clinton County was formed, it was part of the fourth judicial district along with five other counties. Over the next fifteen years, a number of reorganizations of Pennsylvania judicial districts took place reflecting the changes in county lines and the creation of new counties that were taking place in the mid-nineteenth century in Pennsylvania. The following reflects the different judicial districts in which Clinton County has existed since 1839 together with other counties that were a part of that district.
The first session of court held in Clinton County was presided over by Judge Thomas Burnside on December 16, 1839. It was held in Lock Haven at Barker's Tavern, a two story frame building on Water Street above the canal. At that time Judge Burnside was assisted by two associates, John Fleming and George Crawford. Three years later in 1842, the first courthouse for Clinton County was build in Lock Haven on the site of the present Robb School on East Church Street. This building soon proved to be inadequate in size, and a new courthouse was erected at a cost of $93,000. That building is still in use today. President Judge Charles A. Mayer presided at the dedication of this new court house on February 8, 1869.
The County's first two president judges, Thomas Burnside and George W. Woodward, were later elevated to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court with Judge Woodward attaining the status of Chief Justice.
From 1839 to 1841 the President Judge was Thomas Burnside from Bellefonte.
Historical Notes Compiled by the Honorable Carson V. Brown
J. Michael Williamson (President Judge)
Born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania on August 16, 1942; the son of John G. and Elizabeth Lubrecht Williamson both lifetime residents of Clinton County.
Education: The Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania - 1960; Yale University (B.A. 1964); University of Virginia Law School (L.L. 1967).
Professional Career: Senior Partner in the firm of Williamson, Coploff, Hanna & Ryan, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. District Attorney of Clinton County 1973 to 1979. Solicitor for Clinton County Solid Waste Authority, Susque-View Home and numerous boroughs, townships and municipal authorities.
Elected Judge, Clinton County Court of Common Pleas, January 1994.
Judge Williamson's Staff:
Secretary: Carol Miller (570) 893-4014 (570) 893-4145 Fax
Court Reporter: Mona Shoemaker (570) 893-4015
Craig P. Miller (Judge)
Born in Renovo, Pennsylvania on August 8, 1958; admitted to the Bar 1983, Pennsylvania and U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Education: Lock Haven University (B.A. 1980); Dickinson School of Law (J.D. 1983).
Professional Career: Law Clerk to the Honorable Carson V. Brown, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Clinton County 1983 to 1985; Assistant District Attorney, Clinton County 1985; Public Defender, Clinton County 1985 to 2008; and member of the Clinton County Bar Association (President - 2004 to 2005) and Pennsylvania Bar Association; and past member of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association
Elected Judge, Clinton County Court of Common Pleas, January 2008.
Judge Miller's Staff:
Secretary: Lisa R. Tasselli (570) 893-4013, (570) 893-4145 (fax)
Court Reporter: Jason Williamson (570) 893-4128
Richard N. Saxton, Jr. (Senior Judge)
Born in Renovo, Pennsylvania on December 2, 1937; admitted to the Bar 1966, Pennsylvania and U. S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Education: Lock Haven University (B.S. 1962); Dickinson School of Law (J.D. 1966).
Professional Career: Public Defender, Clinton County 1968 to 1972; Assistant Public Defender, Clinton County 1977, 1988 to 1991. District Attorney, Clinton County 1972 to 1973; and Assistant District Attorney 1985 to 1988. Member of Clinton County Bar Association (President from 1977 to 1979) and Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Elected Judge, Clinton County Court of Common Pleas, January, 1992.
Judge Saxton's Staff:
Secretary: Dawn R. Saxton
Carson V. Brown (Senior Judge)
Born in Manns Choice, Bedford County, Pennsylvania on May 29, 1938; the son of Victor L. and Sara K. Merringer Brown.
Education: Lock Haven University (B.S. 1963); Dickinson School of Law (J.D. 1966); National College of State Judiciary (University of Nevada) 1973.
Professional Organizations: Clinton County, Pennsylvania, American Bar Association; Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges; National Conference of State Judges; Pennsylvania Council of Juvenile Court Judges, American Judicature Society.
Professional Career: Elected Judge, Court of Common Pleas, January 1974, retained for second term 1984; Retired January 1994.
Judge Brown's Staff:
Court Administrator and Assistant Staff:
Court Administrator: Miles D. Kessinger III
Clinton County Courts
230 East Water Street
Lock Haven, PA 17745
(570) 893-4145 Fax
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