Court reorganization yields cash for Philadelphia

    The Clerk of Quarter Sessions office has been folded into Philadelphia’s court system and in just a few weeks that has resulted in $3 million for the city.

    The reorganization of the court system has resulted in the City of Philadelphia getting some much-needed cash earlier than expected.

    The Clerk of Quarter Sessions office has been folded into Philadelphia’s court system and in just a few weeks that has resulted in $3 million for the city. Mayor Michael Nutter says the money was expected.

    “It’s not found money on the sidewalk,” says Nutter. “We had actually included these dollars in the city budget some time ago. But the key issue here is, under the leadership of President Judge [Pamela] Dembe and Prothonotary [Joseph] Evers, the city is getting these dollars earlier than we otherwise would have.”

    President Judge Dembe says worries about a fight with former Quarter Sessions employees never materialized.

    “Most importantly,” says Dembe, “the staff of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions, once they got over their initial fears about what was going to be in their future, have rolled up their sleeves and been incredibly helpful. And, for that reason, they haven’t been fighting us. They have been working hard and sharing their knowledge.”

    Dembe says the court system is working to streamline the entire operation, which will mean there will be better accounting for bail and fines owed to the city. She says money will move into the city treasury more quickly than under the old system, where millions were unaccounted for.

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