[Skip to Content]

Blair County Public Defender’s Office

Right to Counsel

    Every person arrested or accused of an offense in Pennsylvania has the right to the assistance of counsel for his defense. The right to counsel includes the right to representation even if the accused is indigent and cannot afford counsel. Although entitled to free counsel, an indigent defendant does not have the right to defense counsel of his/her choice.

Mission Statement

    The Mission of the Office of the Public Defender is to provide legal representation to defendants by safeguarding fundamental individual rights and to guarantee protection afforded by the United States Constitution.

Court Events:

Court hearings are IN-PERSON appearances.  Your court notices should say what the requirement is for the date/time.  We strongly suggest that you call TWO days in advance to confirm the scheduled date, time, and type of appearance.

About our office:

You will be notified by mail of your new hearing dates. Be sure the Public Defender's Office has your current contact information.  Applications for representation are available on the County's website.  You can mail them to us or drop them off with the Sheriff's Deputy at the front door of the Court House.  

If you are applying for representation for a Public Defender our office is now limiting the number of people in our waiting area to two people.   If you are applying please only bring yourself to our office.   If you are bringing more than yourself that person must remain in the hallway until you are done.    Our waiting area is limiting occupancy to two people total for social distancing requirements.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


Russell J. Montgomery
Chief Public Defender    

Updated: August 26, 2022

The Public Defender handles ONLY criminal proceedings, THIS includeS:

1. Juvenile delinquency proceedings
2. Critical pretrial identification proceedings

3. Preliminary hearings

4. Common Pleas Court Trial, from pretrial motions through post-trial motions

5. Post conviction proceedings at both the trial and appellate levels

6. Superior Court and Pennsylvania Supreme Court appeals

7. Criminal fugitive and extradition proceedings

8. PFA contempt hearings; and

9. Probation and parole proceedings, including revocation thereof.

** If you are unsure if your situation is a criminal matter, please contact our office. **

Representation by the public defender’s office MAY also apply for the following situations:

  • In a prosecution for a summary offense, which carries a jail as a sentence. This typically occurs in cases where there is a citation for driving during a driver’s license suspension.
  • At a magistrate office, contempt proceedings for non-payment of fines/costs. Also known as a payment determination hearings.
  • At the Common Pleas Court (main courthouse), contempt proceedings for non-payment of fines/costs.


  1. Get an application at our office or click on the link in "Resources" (print it out);
  2. Drop the application at our office; OR
  3. Bring it to the magistrate office for your court date; OR
  4. Fax the application to (814) 693-3259; OR
  5. Scan or take pictures of the application and email it to us at publicdefender@blairco.org; OR
  6. Last, standard mail it to us.

If you have any other questions please contact our office at (814) 693-3255, or email to publicdefender@blairco.org.  


423 Allegheny St., Ste 344
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

Hours:  Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Phone: (814) 693-3255
Fax: (814) 693-3259

Email: publicdefender@blairco.org

Attorney Information

Russell J. Montgomery

Chief Public Defender

Email:  rmontgomery@blairco.org

Julia E. Burke

First Assistant Public Defender

Email:  jburke@blairco.org

John F. Siford

Assistant Public Defender

Email:  jsiford@blairco.org

Anthony H. Kattouf

Assistant Public Defender - DUI Specialty

Email:  akattouf@blairco.org

Tyler A. Rowles

Assistant Public Defender

Email:  trowles@blairco.org

Michael S. Emerick

Juvenile Public Defender

Mason Rogers
Certified Legal Intern

Email:  mrogers@blairco.org