Former Washington Co. Democratic chair gets good news from Superior Court

By Takesha Thomas | Oct 22, 2018


Washington County Court of Common Pleas  

HARRISBURG - The state Superior Court has vacated a lower court ruling against the former Washington County Democratic Party chairman. 

On Oct. 10, the Superior Court ruled to vacate a 2017 judgment against Milan Marinkovich in the Washington County Court of Common Pleas. The Democratic Party of Washington County had filed suit against Marinkovich, claiming he failed to hand over party records following a 2008 election. 

The Superior Court, in a ruling written by Judge Mary Jane Bowes, found that Marinkovich was not required to pay the more than $3,075 in attorneys fees to the committee relating to the case. The court ruled, "the trial court lacked the authority in this replevin action to adjudicate Election Code violations, require Marinkovich to re-create property he did not possess, or return money paid by the Committee for the defense of the prior action. Additionally, we find that the record does not support the award of $3,075 in attorney fees to the Committee." 

According to court documents, the committee filed a complaint against Marinkovich in 2008 requesting that he hand over documents, computers and financial records including bank statements related to the Democratic committee. 


At a hearing convened two months later, the committee acknowledged Marinkovich had returned all of the items with the exception of "older bank statements and contribution records," which Marinkovich claims to have not kept after filing reports with the county and state.

According to court documents, Marinkovich "indicated his willingness to execute authorizations to allow the Committee to obtain the unavailable documents." The committee then hired the firm of Cypher & Cypher to conduct an audit. The audit was to be performed in order to "determine the value of the property that should have been returned." 

The committee then requested that the court consider that report and award it damages to compensate it for the property Marinkovich did not return. The court in January 2017 did award attorneys fees to the committee in the sum of $3,075. 

"In sum, we hold that the trial court lacked the authority in this replevin action to adjudicate Election Code violations, require Marinkovich to re-create property he did not possess, or return money paid by the Committee for the defense of the prior action," the ruling states.

"Additionally, we find that the record does not support the award of $3,075 in attorney fees to the Committee."

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