Judge Joseph Kameen, who has not held court in Pike County in the past year due to a lingering health issue, has announced his retirement.
MILFORD - Judge Joseph Kameen, who has not held court in Pike County in the past year due to a lingering health issue, has announced his retirement. Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin said it was his understanding that this was effective June 15, 2018. Judge Gregory Chelak becomes President Judge by law.
Judge Kameen was first elected to the Pike County Court of Common Pleas in 2004. Due to an increasing case load, the state legislature approved a second judge for the county, which was filled by Judge Chelak 11 years ago.
A county judge serves 10 years and then can be retained for another 10, until the mandatory retirement age of 75.
State law requires that the judge who has served the longest on the bench, to serve as president judge. In this case it will be Judge Chelak, due to Judge Kameen’s retirement. Upon the appointment of a second judge, Judge Chelak would continue as president judge.
Because the county was approved for two judges, due to Judge Kameen’s retirement the governor appoints a new judge, which is subject to confirmation by a 2/3 vote of the Pennsylvania Senate. The appointed judge would serve until the next municipal election, which is 2019. Whoever is appointed would then need to be on the ballot in November 2019. It will be up to Pike County voters to select a new judge for a 10 year term.
Although Pike County Court has been without a second active judge on the bench for the past year, D.A. Tonkin commented that “Judge Chelak has done an excellent job” handling the case load with the assistance of several senior judges. He said he understands there has been a back-log in cases on the civil side.
Judge Kameen was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder that impaired his speech.