BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– Blair County officially appointed Ilissa Zimmerman Tuesday as a judge for the courts.
In doing this they have filled the vacancy for Daniel Milliron, who retired back in December.
The county held a ceremony at the courthouse this afternoon to celebrate. During Zimmerman’s time in Blair County, she served over thirty years within the court system, including 17 years being involved with the District Attorney’s office.
“I thought those qualifications may be enough to serve as a judge,” Zimmerman said.
The fellow judges each gave remarks about the new judge and what value she’ll bring to the people of Blair County. President Judge Elizabeth A. Doyle calls Zimmerman a perfect fit considering all her experience.
“We’re very, very excited to have Judge Zimmerman,” Doyle said. “She’s got humility, knowledge of the law, and a great personality for the court. She’s a wonderful fit.”
Zimmerman took oath in front of her family, friends, county colleagues, and officials. She said those are her biggest support system and what got her to the position she’s in today.
“I thought I only got here to what is truly an amazing place because of my friends and my family and because of the support they’ve given me. But the support I’ve gotten through this court system,” Zimmerman said.
Due to her time in the District Attorney’s office, she will not preside over any criminal cases. That is because of potential conflict between the cases and her involvement while working in the offices.
Judge Doyle said they are placing Zimmerman in the family due to her time as divorce and custody master. Once the current cases are handled in the DA’s offices, they will allow Zimmerman to preside over those cases. Doyle hopes to enable her to do those cases by December 2023.
“We’re going to play to her strengths which is family law,” Doyle said. “She’s been our divorce and custody master, and we expect she’ll continue to do a good job for Blair county families.”
Zimmerman plans to be a judge for 18 months on Milliron’s term. She said it’s not her plan to serve another term in the courts.
Her main goal as a judge is to be fair in every case she hears. She wants all sides to be heard and to understand each perspective so there’s a fair, unbiased judgment.
“My goal as a judge is to do my best to understand what their saying, what their priorities are,” Zimmerman said. “So I can make a decision that’s fair to them, fair to both sides cause there’s always both sides while accurately applying the law.”
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Doyle said that Zimmerman already has cases assigned to her, and they’re working on getting her a courtroom.