The Honorable Paige Rosini to serve as Northumberland County's first female president judge

Jan. 8—SUNBURY — When the Honorable Paige Rosini steps foot back in the Northumberland County Courthouse on Monday morning, she will become the county's first-ever female president judge.

Rosini, who was elected to the bench in 2015, first served as a private attorney and public defender for the county.

Rosini is one of two female president judges in the Susquehanna Valley. She joins Snyder County Judge Lori Hackenberg. Hackenberg recently became Union Snyder president judge following her predecessor Michael Sholley's retirement.

Rosini said she is aware of the gravity of her new role, but she still just thinks of herself as a judge.

"I am very proud to be a president judge and any positive effect that may have on any other young females to get into law or move up in their careers, I am happy to do that," she said.

"By the same token, I don't think of myself as a female judge or attorney, but rather just a judge. I think it's nice, and I recognize we don't have a lot of female judges around."

Former President Judge Charles Saylor retired Friday, leaving his courtroom — which is courtroom one — open. That courtroom is the biggest in the building, but Rosini said she will remain in courtroom two, which was used by her father, James Rosini, the late district attorney and judge.

"Staying in this courtroom is sentimental to me," she said. "There is also the reason that I like the courtroom and the logistics of it."

Rosini said she has some plans to improve the court process and is excited to get started.

"The major thing is we obviously have a backlog of criminal cases, because of the nature of it," she said. "I want to bring back the call of the list like we used to do."

The call of the list is an every-other-month update for judges on every open case. It eliminates status conference hearings and opens up times for current judge Hugh Jones, and Senior Judge Harold Woelfel and now Saylor — who will continue to preside in Northumberland County as a senior judge — to hear more cases.

Rosini said status conferences are being held almost every Monday and Friday and she wants to be able to bring in all defendants and their attorneys for the call of the list to get updates, whether it be to proceed cases to trial or get continuances.

She said the method will have the same effect and minimize court time.

Rosini said she wants to begin the process in March.

Rosini said she will not be trying to change things just to change them, they will have a purpose.

"Certainly we are doing a lot of things that are very successful," she said. "Treatment court is one example. I do not have any plans to change or eliminate anything we are doing. Some we recently started and some we have been doing for 20 or 30 years that have been very beneficial."

Rosini said even though there is a Court of Common Pleas judge race this spring — sought currently by only two candidates, Sunbury District Judge Mike Toomey and Northumberland County Commissioner Kym Best — she will also be asking the AOPC for approval for another full-time judge position.

"I am very grateful that Judge Woefel was approved to come back for the past two years," she said. "I am also grateful to have Judge Saylor and we need to also get them some staff."

Rosini said she wants to add the additional full-time judge but also understands the courthouse will have to make some adjustments to handle another courtroom if approved.

Rosini said the county has a high amount of homicide cases and she wants to possibly bring in senior judges to hear the cases. She will be handling one of the cases, and Saylor will get another but, from there, Rosini said she will request help, so it will free up the judges' time to stay on track with clearing out the caseload.

Northumberland County Commissioner Sam Schiccatano said he is excited to work with Rosini.

"I've known Judge Rosini for a long time," he said. "We will work well together and I am excited for her to get started. She will do a fantastic job for us in the county."