By Elizabeth Perry
On Oct. 4 something happened in Allegheny County which hasn’t happened in decades; a father and son duo worked simultaneous shifts at Pittsburgh Municipal Court.
Senior District Judge Randy Martini adjudicated cases in domestic violence court, while District Judge Nicholas Martini adjudicated criminal court cases at the same time.
“I don’t think that ever happened before,” Nicholas said.
Amie Downs, communications director for Allegheny County, said there were no other parent and child magistrate judges in recent memory who had served on the same day.
Nicholas was elected in November 2021 to his judgeship, replacing his father as a magistrate for Pittsburgh’s West End neighborhoods.
“I was so excited for him, because Nick is a community guy, he loves to work in the community and he loves helping, when he was a young lad I used to have him with me all the time,” Randy said.
The former public school teacher had been the municipal manager in Stowe Township for three years prior to becoming a judge.
“The people were the real winner when Nick got that seat,” Randy said.
Randy was originally elected as judge in 2005, and took office in 2006, after 13 years of serving as Chief of Staff for then State Rep. Thomas Petrone. He was appointed after his retirement to serve as a senior judge. Randy hears cases all over Allegheny County and fills in when there is an opening.
“Over the years my parents both stressed to my brother and I to not only live in a community but to be part of the community, which is something I took to heart and really drove a lot of my volunteer and professional working experiences,” Nicholas said.
The father and son duo’s ties run even deeper than family and a shared profession – in 2013, Nicholas donated one of his kidneys to improve the quality of his dad’s life. Nicholas was released from the hospital the next day and said he had zero issues since his kidney donation.
“My dad has been very healthy since the donation and has had zero issues post surgery,” Nicholas said.
Randy said it was a “strange phenomenon,” because the two were a 100% match. He describes the match as “a miracle.”
“I was just overwhelmed with it. His generosity gave me a new life. He didn’t hesitate,” Randy said.