Joseph Evers, the prothonotary for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, has been
appointed permanent court administrator of Philadelphia’s court system, just over a month after he had been named to the post in an interim capacity.
Evers, 58, an employee of the Philadelphia courts for four decades, currently serves as both the prothonotary for the FJD and as the clerk of courts for the criminal division.
In Pennsylvania, the prothonotary is essentially the clerk of courts for the civil side of the justice system.
Evers became the clerk of courts for criminal cases after the FJD took over those responsibilities following the abolishment of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions, according to the Legal Intelligencer.
The Clerk of Quarter Sessions, a vestige of Pennsylvania’s past, was an independently elected position dating back centuries that was eliminated in the fall of 2010 through legislation signed by Mayor Michael Nutter.
The clerk’s office had been tasked with maintaining criminal court records, staffing courtrooms and collecting bail money and fines.
The office was abolished following reports of poor record keeping and mismanagement, according to past news reports.
Evers, who was first tapped to be Philadelphia’s prothonotary in the mid-1990s, had been recommended for the interim court administrator position by the Administrative Governing Board of the First Judicial District, the Pennsylvania Record previously reported.
Evers formerly served as deputy prothonotary, data processing coordinator for the Prothonotary’s Office, and assistant supervisor and data entry clerk in the civil division of both the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and Philadelphia Municipal Court.
Evers takes over for the FJD’s former court administrator, David Wasson, who recently left the post to take a position with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology.
Wasson began his term as court administrator back in March 2011.
The position of court administrator, which is the highest non-judicial leadership post in the FJD, and dates back to 1996, provides centralized management for major service centers that affect the work of the various courts that make up the FJD, and it coordinates the ministerial activities of deputy court administrators throughout various divisions of the court system, according to the FJD’s website.
It was not immediately clear who would replace Evers as prothonotary; the court system’s judges currently elect a person for the post.