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234 Pa. Code Rule 114. Orders and Court Notices: Filing; Service; and Docket Entries.

Rule 114. Orders and Court Notices: Filing; Service; and Docket Entries.

 (A) Filing

   (1)  All orders and court notices promptly shall be transmitted to the clerk of courts’ office for filing. Upon receipt in the clerk of courts’ office, the order or court notice promptly shall be time stamped with the date of receipt.

   (2)  All orders and court notices promptly shall be placed in the criminal case file.

 (B)  Service

   (1)  A copy of any order or court notice promptly shall be served on each party’s attorney, or the party if unrepresented.

   (2)  The clerk of courts shall serve the order or court notice, unless the president judge has promulgated a local rule designating service to be by the court or court administrator.

   (3)  Methods of Service

 Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 5 concerning notice of the preliminary hearing, service shall be:

     (a)   in writing by

       (i)   personal delivery to the party’s attorney or, if unrepresented, the party; or

       (ii)   personal delivery to the party’s attorney’s employee at the attorney’s office; or

       (iii)   mailing a copy to the party’s attorney or leaving a copy for the attorney at the attorney’s office; or

       (iv)   in those judicial districts that maintain in the courthouse assigned boxes for counsel to receive service, when counsel has agreed to receive service by this method, leaving a copy for the party’s attorney in the box in the courthouse assigned to the attorney for service; or

       (v)   sending a copy to an unrepresented party by certified, registered, or first class mail addressed to the party’s place of residence, business, or confinement; or

       (vi)   sending a copy by facsimile transmission or other electronic means if the party’s attorney, or the party if unrepresented, has filed a written request for this method of service as provided in paragraph (B)(3)(c); or

       (vii)   delivery to the party’s attorney, or the party if unrepresented, by carrier service; or

     (b)   orally in open court on the record.

     (c)   A party’s attorney, or the party if unrepresented, may request to receive service of court orders or notices pursuant to this rule by facsimile transmission or other electronic means by

       (i)   filing a written request for this method of service in the case or including a facsimile number or an electronic address on a prior legal paper filed in the case; or

       (ii)   filing a written request for this method of service to be performed in all cases, specifying a facsimile number or an electronic address to which these orders and notices may be sent.

       The request for electronic service in all cases filed pursuant to paragraph (ii) may be rescinded at any time by the party’s attorney, or the party if unrepresented, by filing a written notice that service of orders and notices shall be accomplished as otherwise provided in this rule.

     (d)   In a judicial district that permits electronic filing pursuant to Rule 576.1, service of court orders or notices shall be made as provided in Rule 576.1(D)(2) and (H)(1).

 (C)  Docket Entries

   (1)  Docket entries promptly shall be made.

   (2)  The docket entries shall contain:

     (a)   the date of receipt in the clerk’s office of the order or court notice;

     (b)   the date appearing on the order or court notice; and

     (c)   the date of service of the order or court notice.

 (D)  Unified Practice

 Any local rule that is inconsistent with the provisions of this rule is prohibited, including any local rule requiring a party to file or serve orders or court notices.

Comment

   This rule was amended in 2004 to provide in one rule the procedures for the filing and service of all orders and court notices, and for making docket entries of the date of receipt, date appearing on the order or notice, and the date of service. This rule incorporates the provisions of former Rule 113 (Notice of Court Proceedings Requiring Defendant’s Presence). But see Rules 511, 540(G)(2), and 542(G) for the procedures for service of notice of a preliminary hearing, which are different from the procedures in this rule.

   Historically, some orders or court notices have been served by the court administrator or by the court. Paragraph (B)(2) permits the president judge to continue this practice by designating either the court or the court administrator to serve orders and court notices. When the president judge makes such a designation, the designation must be in the form of a local rule promulgated in compliance with Rule 105 (Local Rules) and Rule of Judicial Administration 103 (Procedures for Adoption, Filing, and Publishing Rules).

   Paragraph (C)(2) requires three dates to be entered in the list of docket entries with regard to the court’s orders and notices: the date of receipt of the order or notice; the date appearing on the order or notice; and the date the order or notice is served. The date of receipt is the date of filing under these rules. Concerning appeal periods and entry of orders, see Rule 720 (Post-Sentence Procedures; Appeal) and Pa.R.A.P. 108 (Date of Entry of Orders).

   Court notices, as used in this rule, are communications that ordinarily are issued by a judge or the court administrator concerning, for example, calendaring or scheduling, including proceedings requiring the defendant’s presence.

   Although paragraph (B)(3)(a)(iv) permits the use of assigned mailboxes for service under this rule, the Attorney General’s office never may be served by this method.

   Paragraph (B)(3)(c) provides two methods for consenting to the receipt of orders and notices electronically. The first method, added to this rule in 2004, permits electronic service on a case-by-case basis with an authorization for such service required to be filed in each case. A facsimile number or an electronic address set forth on letterhead is not sufficient to authorize service by facsimile transmission or other electronic means under paragraph (B)(3)(c)(i). The authorization for service by facsimile transmission or other electronic means under this rule is valid only for the duration of the case. A separate authorization must be filed in each case the party or attorney wants to receive documents by this method of service.

   The second method was added in 2010 to provide the option of entering a ‘‘blanket consent’’ to electronic service in all cases. It is expected that this would be utilized by those offices that work fre-quently in the criminal justice system, such as a district attorney’s office or public defender’s office, or by a judicial district that has the capability, based upon the availability of local technological resources, to accept a general request from a party to receive court orders and notices electronically. For example, a judicial district may have a system for electronically scanning documents that are stored on the courthouse computer system. In such a situation, an office that is part of the system, such as the District Attorney’s Office or the Public Defender’s Office, could consent to the receipt of all court orders and notices generally. As with service under paragraph (B)(3)(c)(i), a facsimile number or an electronic address set forth on letterhead is not sufficient to authorize service by facsimile transmission or other electronic means under paragraph (B)(3)(c)(ii). This consent may be rescinded as provided in paragraph (B)(3)(c).

   Nothing in this rule is intended to preclude the use of automated or other electronic means for the transmission of the orders or court notices between the judge, court administrator, and clerk of courts, or for time stamping or making docket entries.

   Nothing in this rule is intended to preclude a judicial district from utilizing the United States Postal Service’s return receipt electronic option, or any similar service that electronically provides a return receipt, when using certified mail, return receipt requested.

   Under the post-sentence motion procedures, the clerk of courts must comply with this rule after entering an order denying a post-sentence motion by operation of law. See Rule 720(B)(3)(c).

   This rule makes it clear that the procedures for filing and service, and making docket entries are mandatory and may not be modified by local rule.

   Paragraph (D), titled ‘‘Unified Practice,’’ emphasizes that local rules must not conflict with the statewide rules. Although this prohibition on local rules that are inconsistent with the statewide rules applies to all Criminal Rules through Rule 105 (Local Rules) and Rule of Judicial Administration 103 (Procedures for Adoption, Filing, and Publishing Rules), the reference to the specific prohibitions is included because these types of local rules have been identified by practitioners as creating significant impediments to the statewide practice of law within the unified judicial system. See the first paragraph of the Note to Pa.R.J.A. No. 103. The term ‘‘local rule’’ includes every rule, regulation, directive, policy, custom, usage, form or order of general application. See Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(d)(1).

   For the definition of ‘‘carrier service,’’ see Rule 103.

   See Rule 103 for the definitions of ‘‘clerk of courts’’ and ‘‘court administrator.’’

   See Rule 113 (Criminal Case File and Docket Entries) for the requirements concerning the contents of the criminal case file and the minimum information to be included in the docket entries.

   Official Note

   Formerly Rule 9024, adopted October 21, 1983, effective January 1, 1984; amended March 22, 1993, effective as to cases in which the determination of guilt occurs on or after January 1, 1994; renumbered Rule 9025 and Comment revised June 2, 1994, effective September 1, 1994; renumbered Rule 114 and Comment revised March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; amended March 3, 2004, effective July 1, 2004; amended August 24, 2004, effective August 1, 2005; amended July 20, 2006, effective September 1, 2006; Comment revised September 18, 2008, effective February 1, 2009; amended December 6, 2010, effective February 1, 2011; amended January 25, 2018, effective May 1, 2018.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the March 22, 1993 amendments published with the Court’s Order at 23 Pa.B. 1699 (April 10, 1993).

   Report explaining the June 2, 1994 rule changes published at 23 Pa.B. 5008 (October 23, 1993).

   Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the March 3, 2004 rule changes concerning filing and service, making docket entries, and orders and court notices published with the Court’s Order at 34 Pa.B. 1561 (March 20, 2004).

   Final Report explaining the August 24, 2004 changes concerning notice of preliminary hearing published with the Court’s Order at 34 Pa.B. 5025 (September 11, 2004).

   Final Report explaining the July 20, 2006 deletion of ‘‘manner of service’’ from paragraph (C)(2)(c) published with the Court’s Order at 36 Pa.B. 4173 (August 5, 2006).

   Final Report explaining the September 18, 2008 revision of the Comment concerning the United States Postal Service’s return receipt electronic option published with the Court’s Order at 38 Pa.B. 5428 (October 4, 2008).

   Final Report explaining the December 6, 2010 amendment concerning consent to electronic service published with the Court’s Order at 40 Pa.B. 7336 (December 25, 2010).

   Final Report explaining January 25, 2018 amendments for service where a court has adopted electronic filing published with the Court’s Order at 48 Pa.B. 861 (February 10, 2018).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 114 amended March 3, 2004, effective July 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 1547; amended August 24, 2004, effective August 1, 2005, 34 Pa.B. 5016; amended July 20, 2006, effective September 1, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 4172; amended September 18, 2008, effective February 1, 2009, 38 Pa.B. 5425; amended December 6, 2010, effective February 1, 2011, 40 Pa.B. 7336; amended January 25, 2018, effective May 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 856 and 48 Pa.B. 2759. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (390579) to (390582).



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