Title 255—LOCAL COURT RULES
Promulgation of Local Rules; No. 1793 S 1989
[49 Pa.B. 918]
[Saturday, March 2, 2019]
And Now, this 8th day of February, 2019, Dauphin County Local Rule of Civil Procedure 1915.11-1 is promulgated as follows:
Rule 1915.11-1. Parenting Coordination.
(a) Appointment of a Parenting Coordinator.
(1) If the parties agree on a Parenting Coordinator or if the Court deems one necessary, an order will be entered in accordance with Pa.R.Civ.P. 1915.22.
(2) If the parties cannot agree on the selection of a Parenting Coordinator, the Court shall require each party to identify their choice(s) along with hourly rates to all parties. If the parties cannot agree, the Court will select their Parenting Coordinator. The roster of the Court's approved Parenting Coordinators is posted at http://www.dauphincounty.org/government/courts/self_help_center/index.php.
(3) Any party seeking a reduced fee under section (g) below must file with the Prothonotary a Request for Reduced Parenting Coordinator Fee and the accompanying affidavit using the forms found at http://www.dauphincounty.org/government/courts/self_help_center/index.php within three (3) days of the appointment order absent good cause shown.
(b) Roster of Approved Parenting Coordinators.
An attorney or mental health professional seeking to be included on the Dauphin County Court's roster of qualified individuals to serve as a Parenting Coordinator shall submit a letter to the President Judge together with the following:
(1) An affidavit attesting the applicant has qualifications found in Pa.R.Civ.P. 1915.11-1;
(2) An acknowledgment the applicant will follow the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Parenting Coordinator guidelines and has read the American Psychological Association (APA) Parenting Coordinator Guidelines; and
(3) An acknowledgment of responsibility to accept reduced fee or no fee assignments each year to equal twenty (20) hours a year, as needed. (Appointments for reduced or no fee assignments will be made on a rotating basis for all Parenting Coordinators on the Court's roster).
AFCC Parenting Coordinator guidelines are posted at https://www.afccnet.org/Portals/0/AFCCGuidelinesforParentingcoordinationnew.pdf and the APA Parenting Coordinator Guidelines are posted at https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/parenting-coordination.pdf.
(f) Parenting Coordinator Recommendations
(2) A Parenting Coordinator shall file their Summary and Recommendations with the Prothonotary within two (2) days after the last communication with the parties on the issues in accordance with Pa.R.Civ.P. 1915.11-1(f)(2).
(3) Objections to Parenting Coordinator's Recommendation(s) and Petition for a Record Hearing.
a. A party objecting to the Recommendations must file with the Prothonotary an original and copy of their Objections and a Petition for a Record Hearing before the Court within five days of service of the Summary and Recommendations together with a Proof of Service upon all parties and the Parenting Coordinator.
b. The Prothonotary shall promptly forward the original Objections and Petition to the Court Administrator's Office for assignment to the parties' Family Court Judge to promptly schedule a record hearing. If the matter is an emergency or time-sensitive and the assigned Family Court Judge is not available, the matter will be assigned to the Emergency Custody Judge to conduct a record hearing.
(4) Court Review of Parenting Coordinator's Recommendations.
If no objections to the Parenting Coordinator's Recommendation are filed with the Prothonotary within five days of service of the Summary and Recommendation, the Prothonotary shall transmit the file to the Court Administrator's Office to be assigned to the parties' Family Court Judge or if none, to any Family Court Judge for review of the Recommendation in accordance with Pa.R.C.P. 1915.11-1(f)(4).
Parties who request the appointment of a Parenting Coordinator or who are identified by the Court as benefiting from the appointment of a Parenting Coordinator shall pay the Parenting Coordinator as follows:
1. Up to $300.00 an hour;
2. Absent good cause, each party shall pay fifty (50) percent of the hourly fee which may be reallocated as deemed appropriate by the Parenting Coordinator or the Court. See Pa.R.C.P. 1915.22(8).
3. If a party's income is above 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines but below the Dauphin County median income for the most recent year, the Court will set the reduced fee rate for that party. See Dauphin County median income: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/dauphincountypennsylvania/INC910216#INC910216. See Federal Poverty Guidelines: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines.
The reduced fee scale is as follows:
Equal to or above median income 100% of allocated fee
1%—25% below median income 75% of allocated fee
26% below median income—
above 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines 50% of allocated fee
Below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines $15 per hour
Below Federal Poverty Guidelines $0 per hour
4. The Court may adjust a party's reduced fee based upon good cause.
1. If the Dauphin County median annual income for one individual is $33,000 and the party's individual gross annual income is $38,000, the party must pay 100% of their allocated fee. If the Parenting Coordinator charged $200 per hour and both parties were to split the fee equally, this party would pay $100.00 an hour.
2. If the party's annual gross income is $9000, the party would pay $15.00 an hour since their gross income is below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
3. If the party's gross annual income is $20,000 and the Dauphin County median annual income for one individual is $33,000, the party would pay 50% of their allocated fee. If the Parenting Coordinator charged $200 per hour and both parties were to split the fee equally, this party would pay $50.00 per hour (50% of the $100.00 allocated fee).
4. If the Parenting Coordinator's fee was allocated 75% for that parent, in the example above, the party, due to being 50% below the Dauphin County median income, would pay 50% of their allocated fee or $75.00 an hour. (75% of $200 = $150 an hour × 50% reduction = $75.00 an hour).
Rule of Civil Procedure 1915.11-1 shall be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and is effective on March 1, 2019.
By the Court
RICHARD A. LEWIS,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-287. Filed for public inspection March 1, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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