Local Attorney Jarah Heeter Announces Bid for District Judge
The judicial district spans Ashland, Beaver, Elk, Richland and Salem Townships and Knox, Shippenville, St. Petersburg and Foxburg Boroughs.
As a licensed Pennsylvania attorney, Heeter is qualified for the position without the necessity of additional classes or certifications, according to a release issued by her campaign.
Heeter currently resides in Shippenville with her husband, Nathan D. Reed. She grew up in Knox and attended Keystone Jr./Sr. High School. She then attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania where she studied Communications and Political Science. After college, Heeter attended Duquesne University School of Law.
Heeter returned to Clarion County and began her career as law clerk to Clarion County President Judge, James G. Arner. Her responsibilities included attending court proceedings and assisting the county judge as well as the county’s magisterial district judges when needed. Heeter then worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Clarion County, handling the prosecution of criminal cases through trial.
Currently, Heeter is a partner in the law firm of Pope, Drayer, French & Heeter, PC in Clarion which includes attorneys H. John Drayer (of counsel), Stephen French, Ryan French and Daniel Ferringer. Heeter has practiced with this firm for over eleven years.
Heeter stated, “I was raised in this community. So were my parents and even grandparents. This is where my roots are and where I have chosen to live. It would be a privilege to serve the citizens of this district as magisterial district judge. This position comes with great responsibility. The experience I have gained from actively participating in this county’s legal system makes me uniquely qualified to transition seamlessly and confidently into this role upon Judge Long Turk’s retirement.”
Heeter frequently serves the function of decision-maker in judicial proceedings as Domestic Relations Hearing Officer, Mental Health Review Officer, on arbitration panels and as a divorce master.
“All of these roles require conducting hearings, receiving and evaluating witness testimony and evidence and making decisions based on applicable law,” said Heeter.
Heeter has practiced before all of the Clarion County magisterial district judges as well as magisterial district judges in Armstrong, Venango, Jefferson, Forest and Butler counties.
She stated, “My background includes both criminal prosecution and defense, so I understand the challenges faced by police and prosecutors as well as the importance of respecting the liberties of private citizens. These are issues magisterial district judges continually face regarding search warrants, preliminary hearings and summary trials.”
Heeter also has experience in other matters presided over by magisterial district judges such as civil litigation and landlord/tenant law.
Heeter serves on the board of directors of the Mrs. Claus Club of Knox and as Vice President of the board of Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE). She is a member of the Clarion University Paralegal Advisory Board and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Shippenville. She is the daughter of Dianne Heeter and the late Craig Heeter of Knox.
With respect to her campaign, Heeter said, “I look forward to connecting with people in my hometown and also meeting new people in those areas of the district where I don’t have as many existing connections, like Foxburg, St. Petersburg and Richland Township.”
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