Mark Beauchat believes he is a better judge than he was when he took office in 2000.
A previous law career mixed with life experiences prepared him to know the law but sitting on the bench for 22 years taught him how to talk to anyone who walks into his courtroom, he said recently in his Butler Township home.
“My job isn’t to talk at people, it is to communicate with people,” Beauchat said. “You cannot communicate with people if you don’t understand the person.”
The 58-year-old district magistrate will seek re-election this year to serve District 51-3-04, which includes Arendtsville, Bendersville, Biglerville, Carroll Valley and Fairfield boroughs and Butler, Cumberland, Franklin, Liberty, Menallen, Highland, Hamiltonban, and Freedom townships. Magisterial district judges handle traffic cases, minor criminal cases, and civil cases involving amounts up to $12,000.
Beauchat says his caseload has steadily increased since he took office, with driving under the influence and computer-related crimes making up the bulk of his work. District magistrates are often the only judge a citizen encounters, he said. He tries to treat them with respect so they have a good impression of the court system.
“I love being able to be part of making the community better and safer,” he said.
He credits law enforcement officers for their dedication to their profession.
“Adams County is blessed by having very good municipal officers and state police troopers,” he said.
Judges can cross-file, so his name will appear on the Republican and Democratic Primary Election Ballots. Anyone seeking to challenge Beauchat must have lived in the district for one year and be at least 21 years old. Nomination petitions will be available Feb. 14 and due March 8.
Featured image: District Magistrate Mark Beauchat is seeking his fifth term in office. (Submitted Photo)
Alex J. Hayes, Editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is heavily involved in the community through his volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, United Way of Adams County, and Healthy Adams County. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania.
Alex encourages readers to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.