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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-250




[210 PA. CODE CHS. 31 AND 37]

Amendment to Pa.R.A.P. 3102 and Adoption to New Pa.R.A.P. 3761; No. 135 Appellate; Appellate Court Rules Doc. No. 1

[32 Pa.B. 876]


Per Curiam:

   Now, this 28th day of January, 2002, upon the recommendation of the Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee, this Recommendation having been published before adoption at 31 Pa.B. 2470 (May 12, 2001);

   It Is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that the proposed amendment to Pa.R.A.P. 3102 and new Pa.R.A.P. 3761 are adopted as follows.

   This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. 103(b) and shall be effective January 28, 2002.

Annex A






Rule 3102.  Quorum and Action.

   (a)  Quorum. A majority of the Supreme Court and, except as otherwise prescribed in this rule, a panel of three judges of any other appellate court shall be a quorum of the court.

   (b)  Absence from panel. If less than three members of a panel attend a session of the panel, another judge or judges shall be designated to complete the panel if reasonably possible, and if it is not reasonably possible to do so the presiding judge with the consent of the parties present may direct that the matter be heard and determined by a panel of two judges. If the two judges who so heard the matter are unable to agree upon the disposition thereof, the president judge of the court may direct either that the matter be submitted on the paperbooks to a third judge, or that the matter be reargued before a full panel.

   (c)  Commonwealth Court evidentiary hearing and election matters. A single judge of the Commonwealth shall be a quorum of the Court for the purposes of hearing and determining:

   (1)  Any matter which under the applicable law may be determined in whole or in part upon the record made before the court.

   (2)  Any election matter.

   (3)  Any enforcement proceeding under Rule 3761 (relating to enforcement proceedings).


Rule 3761.  Enforcement Proceedings.

   (a)  Petition. When a government unit seeks to enforce an order issued under a statute which it administers, it may initiate the proceedings by filing a petition to enforce.

   (b)  Service. The petitioner shall serve the petition and order in the manner prescribed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure for service of original process and shall file the return or certificate of service prescribed by the same rules.

   (c)  Hearing and Notice. Upon the filing of a petition to enforce, the court will issue an order setting a date for a hearing and a date by which the respondent must answer the petition. The petitioner shall serve the court's order upon the respondent in the manner prescribed by Rules 121 and 122.

   (d)  Relief. Following the hearing, the court will enter such orders as may be appropriate.

   (e)  Discovery. Discovery shall be allowed only upon leave of court.

   Official Note:  Rule 3761 (relating to enforcement proceedings) has been promulgated by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania pursuant to authority granted to it by Pa.R.A.P. 104. The rule was made necessary by the opinion issued by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission v. School District of Philadelphia, 732 A.2d 578 (Pa. 1999), in which the Court held that the ''rules of appellate procedure, rather than the rules of civil procedure, govern enforcement proceedings in Commonwealth Court.

   Prior to the Supreme Court ruling in PHRC, Commonwealth Court had treated enforcement proceedings as matters resting within the Court's original jurisdiction and thereby governed in part by the rules of Appellate Procedure and in part by the Rules of Civil Procedure. In PHRC, the Supreme Court made clear that enforcement proceedings are within Commonwealth Court's appellate jurisdiction and that only the Rules of Appellate Procedure apply. The Supreme Court's ruling left a void, however, because the Rules of Appellate Procedure did not prescribe specific procedures governing enforcement proceedings.

   Consistent with PHRC, therefore, Rule 3761 was adopted to establish a Rule of Appellate Procedure to codify the practice which the Commonwealth Court had theretofore followed in enforcement proceedings when those proceedings were regarded as matters within the Court's original jurisdiction. This special rule governing Commonwealth Court practice adheres to the Supreme Court's opinion in PHRC and should prove to be of benefit to both the bench and bar.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-250. Filed for public inspection February 15, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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