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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 676 (January 30, 2021).

231 Pa. Code Rule 4015. Persons Before Whom Depositions May be Taken.

Rule 4015. Persons Before Whom Depositions May be Taken.

 (a)  Within the United States or within a territory or insular possession subject to the dominion of the United States, depositions shall be taken before an officer authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of this Commonwealth or of the place where the examination is held, or before a person appointed by the court in which the action is pending. A person so appointed shall have power to administer oaths and take testimony.

 (b)  In a foreign country, depositions may be taken

   (1)  on notice before a person authorized to administer oaths in the place in which the examination is held, either by the law thereof or by the law of the United States, or

   (2)  before a person commissioned by the court in which the action is pending, and a person so commissioned shall have the power by virtue of the commission to administer any necessary oath and take testimony, or

   (3)  pursuant to a letter rogatory. A commission or a letter rogatory shall be issued on application and notice and on terms that are just and appropriate. It is not requisite to the issuance of a commission or a letter rogatory that the taking of the deposition in any other manner is impracticable or inconvenient; and both a commission and a letter rogatory may be issued in proper cases. A notice or commission may designate the person before whom the deposition is to be taken either by name or descriptive title. A letter rogatory may be addressed ‘‘To the Appropriate Authority in (here name the country).’’ Evidence obtained in response to a letter rogatory need not be excluded merely for the reason that it is not a verbatim transcript or that the testimony was not taken under oath or for any similar departure from the requirements for depositions taken within the United States under these rules.

 (c)  No deposition shall be taken before a person who is a relative, employee or attorney of any of the parties, or who is a relative or employee of such attorney, or who is financially interested in the action.

Explanatory Note

   The amendments conform the Rule to Fed. R.Civ.P. 28. They make the following changes in present practice:

   (1) When depositions are to be taken within the United States or a territory or insular possession, the list of persons authorized to take the deposition is increased by adding a person appointed by the court in which the action is pending. That person thereby acquires the power to administer an oath. This permits the taking of depositions in isolated places where no one would ordinarily be found who is authorized to administer an oath, and where the parties do not stipulate that the oath be waived under Rule 4002.

   (2) When depositions are to be taken in foreign countries, the list of persons who may take the deposition will now include any person authorized to administer an oath in the place in which the examination is held, either by the law of that place or by the law of the United States. Commissions or letters rogatory remain available, and a person commissioned by the court will have the power to administer oaths or to take testimony by virtue of his commission. It is not requisite to the issuance of a commission or a letter rogatory that the taking of a deposition in any other matter is impracticable or inconvenient and both a commission and a letter may be issued in proper cases.

   In many cases international judicial assistance may be required, especially if there is a non-cooperative witness whose appearance must be compelled. A check should be made to see if the foreign country involved is a signatory to the Hague Convention for the Taking of Evidence Abroad. If so, the procedure under that Convention may be useful. (3) Evidence obtained in response to a letter rogatory may not be excluded merely for the reason that it is not a verbatim transcript or that the testimony was not taken under oath or for any similar departure from the technique used in depositions taken within the United States. This provision is essential to permit the use of testimony taken in non-common law countries where testimony may be taken before a judge or other officer who questions the witness, sometimes without administering an oath and without a verbatim transcript, and who prepares a summary of the testimony which the witness has given. While the court may not exclude the evidence for this reason, its value or weight may be affected by the method of taking or recording the testimony.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 4015 amended November 20, 1978, effective April 16, 1979, 8 Pa.B. 3551; amended April 12, 1999, effective July 1, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 2281. Immediately preceding test appears at serial pages (228843) to (228844).



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