Pennsylvania is still a state where a layperson can be elected to the office of District Judge. On Tuesday November 3rd, in Upper Darby, there is one race for District Judge which pits one layperson against a lawyer who has been a judge for the past 12 years. The fight to be the District Judge of Magisterial District Court 32-2-51 is just that. The election is between Judge Christopher Mattox, (R) who has served the district for the past 12 years or Robert Davidson (D), local businessman and husband of Pennsylvania State Representative Margo Davidson, 164th. On Tuesday, the battle heated up with the Davidson’s actually going on the attack.
In a Facebook posting on the Upper Darby Sentinel page, the question was posted if a District Judge should have a legal background or be an attorney? “There were numerous comments most ranging on the side of having a legal background and in favor of an actual attorney. One writer, Matthew Sokolic, wrote that “As a law student, I am of the opinion that a judge must be experienced and knowledgeable in the practice of law. Such qualifications grant the public their best opportunity to find justice through the legal system.” As the conversation progressed, State Representative Margo Davidson weighed in on the subject and she wasn’t going gently into the night. Representative Davidson’s comment came with some bite,
“Joke. Any lawyer worth his salt who wants to run on credentials should run for a law degree required judgeship. May I recommend Common Pleas Court? This court is for the people and Robert Davidson is and always will be a man of the people. My last and only post on the subject. Let the people decide!! I trust them.”
Needless to say, Judge Mattox was a gentleman, but did not let this pass, he stated that,
“I am surprised that the state representative does not know that the Constitution of Pennsylvania provides for a Magisterial District Judge to be either a lawyer or certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As you are aware Mr. Davidson failed to certify twice already. He is not qualified to even take the position if he were elected. I would also think that a state representative who serves the people would recognize and respect an individual of high character and credentials who wishes to serve his community. My mom and dad raised 13 children in this community and I have resided in this community my entire life. I do appreciate the endorsement for the Court of Common Pleas but I’d rather stay and serve my community as I have for the past 12 years as their Magisterial District Judge. I also look forward to the people making their decision on November 3rd.”
That is correct the man who wants to be the District Justice by Magisterial District Court 32-2-51 has failed the accreditation testing to be a Judge, TWICE. It gets worse. According to public records in both Philadelphia and Delaware County, Mr. Davidson, who is running on the fact he has been a successful business leader has not 1, not 2 but more than 4 mentions for civil judgements rendered against him. One is a federal tax lien from the IRS in 2002, it was paid off, but as recent as 2011 creditors were trying to garnish his wages for unpaid credit card debt. If you look a bit further you will find that in conjunction with his wife, there are even more judgements listed, one being in $24,000!
In an ironic turn, one of the duties of a Magisterial District Court Justice, is to make judgements between creditors and their customers. To be able to provide an unbiased decision one must be far from any type of accountability. Mr. Davidson it would appear would be unable to do that. Judge Christopher Mattox does not have any type of judgements against him, has graduated, practiced law and represented the district with distinction for 12 years. To undermine Mattox’s service to our community by an elected representative (Davidson) is an affront to the residents of the community. On Election Day, November 3rd, the choice really couldn’t be any clearer. Judge Christopher Mattox cares about our community, is a qualified attorney and is the clear choice for Magisterial District Court 32-2-51.