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234 Pa. Code Rule 555. Transfer of Proceedings.

Rule 555. Transfer of Proceedings.

 (A)  In all cases in which charges arising from a single criminal episode occur in more than one judicial district:

   (1)  If the charges are filed in more than one judicial district, at any time after the case is held for court, the proceedings may be transferred to one of the judicial districts.

   (2)  If all the charges are filed in one judicial district, at any time after the case is held for court, the proceedings may be transferred to another one of the judicial districts.

 (B)  The judicial district to which the proceedings are to be transferred shall be determined either:

   (1)  by written agreement of the parties, filed with the clerk(s) of courts of the judicial district(s) in which the charges are pending; or

   (2)  by written agreement of the attorneys for the Commonwealth, filed with the clerk(s) of courts of the judicial district(s) in which the charges are pending, with service upon the defendant or defendant’s counsel, and an opportunity for the defendant to object.

 (C)  Upon the filing of the agreement of the parties in paragraph (B)(1), the court promptly shall order the transfer of the proceedings.

 (D)  Upon the filing of the agreement of the attorneys for the Commonwealth in paragraph (B)(2),

   (1)  absent an objection within 10 days of filing, the court promptly shall order the transfer of the proceedings.

   (2)  In those cases in which an objection is filed by the defendant, the court shall promptly dispose of the objection. If the objection is denied, the court immediately thereafter shall order the transfer of the proceedings.

 (E)  Upon the issuance of the transfer order pursuant to paragraphs (C), (D)(1), or (D)(2), the clerk(s) of courts of the transferring judicial district(s) shall promptly transmit to the clerk of courts of the judicial district to which the proceedings are being transferred a certified copy of all docket entries, together with all the original papers filed in the proceeding in the clerk’s judicial district, a copy of the bail bond and any deposits in satisfaction of a monetary condition of bail, and a bill of the costs which have accrued but have not been collected prior to the transfer.

 (F)  When a proceeding is transferred pursuant to this rule, the case shall proceed to trial and judgment in the same manner as if the proceeding had been instituted in the transfer judicial district.

   (1)  If the proceeding is transferred before an information has been filed in the transferring judicial district, the attorney for the Commonwealth in the transfer judicial district shall join the charges from the transferring judicial district with the charges in the transfer judicial district in the same information.

   (2)  If the proceeding is transferred after an information has been filed, the attorney for the Commonwealth in the transfer judicial district shall proceed pursuant to Rule 582 (Joinder—Trial of Separate Indictments or Informations).

   (3)  The results of any pretrial proceedings that have been completed in the transferring judicial district shall be binding on the transfer judicial district proceedings.

   (4)  Costs, not previously collected, shall be collected in the transfer judicial district.

 (G)  If the defendant is in custody in a transferring judicial district, the order transferring the case shall provide that the defendant shall be delivered to the custody of the sheriff of the transfer judicial district.

Comment

   Rule 555 permits the transfer of proceedings in cases in which multiple charges arising from a single criminal episode have occurred in more than one judicial district so all the charges may be tried together in one judicial district.

   In many cases, multiple charges arising from a single criminal episode will be known to the police officers and attorneys for the Commonwealth involved in the case, and will be joined in the first instance in one criminal complaint, and filed before one issuing authority in one judicial district. See Rule 130(A)(3). However, since there may be cases in which this does not occur, and the charges are filed in more than one judicial district, Rule 555 establishes the procedures, after such a case is held for court, for the transfer of proceedings to one judicial district. See Rule 130(B) for the procedures for transferring charges prior to the preliminary hearing. Rule 555 also governs the transfer of charges in cases in which all the charges are filed in one judicial district, but the parties or the attorneys for the Commonwealth agree that the charges should have been filed in one of the other judicial districts in which the charges occurred.

   The procedures in this rule are distinct from the Rule 584 (Motion for Change of Venue or Change of Venire) procedures for a change of venue in cases in which it is determined at a hearing that a fair and impartial trial cannot be had in the county in which the case is pending.

   It is expected that the parties will be able to agree on the judicial district in which the case should proceed. However, if they cannot agree, paragraph (B)(2) provides for the determination to be by the agreement of the attorneys for the Commonwealth. In determining the judicial district to which the proceedings are to be transferred, the parties must consider in which judicial district it would be in the interests of justice to have the case proceed, based upon the convenience of the defendant and the witnesses, and the prompt administration of justice.

   Pursuant to paragraph (B)(2), upon the filing of the agreement of the attorneys for the Commonwealth, the defendant must be served a copy of the agreement, and be given an opportunity to object to the transfer or to the judicial district selected for the trial.

   When an agreement is filed pursuant to this rule, the clerk of courts must promptly transmit the agreement as provided in Rule 576.

   Pursuant to paragraphs (C) and (D), the court, immediately upon receipt of the agreement, must issue a transfer order, unless the defendant challenges the transfer or the judicial district to which the case would be transferred. ‘‘Court,’’ as used in this rule, includes the judge assigned to handle miscellaneous motions in criminal matters or the president judge, unless a judge has already been assigned to the case.

   The decision to transfer a proceeding under this rule should be made at the earliest time after the case is held for court, so that most, if not all, of the pretrial proceedings can be accomplished in the transfer judicial district.

   For venue between magisterial districts, see Rule 21(A).

   For the procedures for the joinder of offenses in a complaint, see Rule 505.

   For the procedures for the joinder of offenses in an information, see Rule 563.

   For the procedures for the joinder or consolidation for trial of offenses charged in separate informations, see Rule 1127.

   For the procedures for nolle prosequi, see Rule 585.

   When proceedings are transferred pursuant to this rule, the case is to proceed in the same manner as if the charges had been instituted in the transfer judicial district. If any pretrial proceedings have been conducted in the transferring judicial district, the results of those proceedings will be binding on the proceedings in the transfer judicial district. For example, if discovery has been initiated, and the judge in the transferring judicial district has ordered or denied disclosure, this order would be binding on the judge and parties in the transfer judicial district. See Commonwealth v. Starr, 664 A.2d 1326 (Pa. 1995), concerning the coordinate jurisdiction rule and the law of the case doctrine.

   Any costs, except bail-related costs, collected before a proceeding is transferred will remain in the transferring judicial district. See Rule 535 concerning bail-related costs.

   Official Note

   Former Rule 300 rescinded June 28, 1974, effective immediately; rescinded and number reserved June 29, 1977, and November 22, 1977, effective as to cases in which the indictment or information is filed on or after January 1, 1978; new Rule 300 adopted April 20, 2000, effective July 1, 2000; renumbered Rule 555 effective April 1, 2000; amended May 21, 2004, effective July 1, 2004.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the provisions of the new rule published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 2219 (May 6, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the May 21, 2004 changes published with the Court’s Order at 34 Pa.B. 2911 (June 5, 2004).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 555 adopted April 20, 2000, effective July 1, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 2211; amended May 21, 2004, effective July 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 2910. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (266550) to (266552).



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