SHAMOKIN - A local judge was released from a hospital Sunday and was expected to be back on the job today.

Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III, who had been hospitalized since Jan. 21, said Monday afternoon that he would be available to sign criminal complaints and other legal documents, but would not conduct any preliminary hearings until next week.

Approximately 30 criminal hearings and other legal proceedings had to be postponed since Gembic was hospitalized.

Gembic did not specify what he was hospitalized for, but said it was due to recurring medical problems. The judge also did not reveal where he was hospitalized.

Northumberland County Court Administrator Brandy Yasenchak said she was aware Gembic had been hospitalized, but was informed Monday by a friend of the judge that he was planning to return to work today. Yasenchak said Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones of Mount Carmel was assigned to handle arraignments and other emergency legal matters in Gembic's absence.

In late August, Gembic was hospitalized at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville with kidney-related problems that required surgery and he was unable to return to work until the middle of September.