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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 06-2508



Consolidated Rules of Court; No. 64 Miscellaneous 2006

Adopting Order

   Now, this 21st day of November, 2006, it is hereby Ordered:

   1.  The following designated Somerset County Rule of Criminal Procedure 575 (Som.R.Crim.P. 575) Motions. Practice and Procedure is hereby adopted as a Rule of this Court, effective thirty (30) days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   2.  The Somerset County Court Administrator is directed to:

   A.  File seven (7) certified copies of this Order and the attached Rule with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

   B.  Distribute two (2) certified copies of this Order and the attached Rule, along with a diskette or CD, to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   C.  File one (1) certified copy of this Order and the attached Rule with the Pennsylvania Criminal Procedural Rules Committee.

   D.  File proof of compliance with this Order in the docket for this Rule, which shall include a copy of each transmittal letter.

By the Court

President Judge

Rules of Court

Som.R.Crim. P. 575 Motions Practice and Procedure

   A.  Filing and Service of Motions:

   1.  All motions shall be filed and served in accordance with the provisions of Part F(1) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, Pa.R.Crim.P. 575, et seq.

   2.  Motions shall be presented:

   a.  At Motions Court, in accordance with the procedure specified in subparagraph B. of this Rule, if the motion is of the type permitted to be presented at Motions Court, or

   b.  In all matters in which a hearing or argument before the Court is required and for which presentation at Motions Court is not appropriate, by the filing of a scheduling praecipe according to the procedure, and in the form specified in subparagraph F. of this Rule, copies of which are available from the Clerk of Courts or Court Administrator, or

   c.  In the case of motions which are permitted to be presented ex parte, without prior notice of presentation and opportunity to be heard, pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph D. of this Rule, by presentation to the Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division in accordance with Motions practice specified in subparagraph C. of this Rule, or

   d.  In the case of motions or petitions which, because of extraordinary and compelling circumstances, cannot be scheduled otherwise, and which must be heard upon short notice, by presentation to the Administrative Judge in accordance with Motions Judge practice specified in subparagraph C. of this Rule.

   B.  Motions Court.

   1.  Criminal Motions Court will be held before the designated Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division at 9:00 A.M. on each Monday and Thursday of every month, holidays excepted.

   2.  A matter may be presented at Criminal Motions Court when the issue raised, or relief requested, is:

   a.  Detention.

   b.  Establishment or revocation of bail.

   c.  Waiver of extradition.

   d.  To permit withdrawal as counsel.

   e.  Approval of nol pros or settlement

   f.  Joinder or severance.

   g.  Entry or vacation of a bench warrant or process.

   h.  Plea, with prior approval of the Administrative Judge.

   i.  Contested motions for continuance.

   j.  Such other matters as ordered by the Administrative Judge.

   3.  At least three days before presentation, a copy of the motion shall be served upon all other counsel and unrepresented parties, and upon the Court Administrator, together with a notice specifying the time and date of the Motions Court at which the motion will be presented.

   4.  The Court Administrator shall maintain a list of motions with date and time of receipt. Only those motions which have been submitted in a timely manner to the Court Administrator in accordance with these Rules or which have been scheduled by the Administrative Judge will be heard. Motions will be heard by the Court in the order of their submission to the Court Administrator.

   5.  The moving party shall file and serve an affidavit of service of the motion and notice prior to, or at the time of presentation. The motion will not be heard unless the notice requirements of this rule have been satisfied and an affidavit of service filed.

   6.  Counsel and unrepresented parties are to confer prior to the presentation of any motion and are to attempt, in good faith, to reach amicable resolution of the issues involved.

   7.  At the time of presentation, the Administrative Judge may enter an Order resolving the issues raised by the motion; schedule argument, hearing or other proceeding; issue a briefing schedule; or enter other appropriate Order.

   C.  Presentation to the Court.

   All uncontested matters, including applications and requests, formal and informal, which may be presented to the Administrative Judge, shall be signed by the moving party, signed by the responding party signifying agreement, filed and docketed in the office of the Clerk of Courts, and then transmitted to Chambers or presented in open court to the Administrative Judge except in the following circumstances:

   1.  Emergency cases may be presented to any judge.

   2.  Matters in which the Administrative Judge has been disqualified or declines to act shall be presented to another judge.

   3.  Administrative and policy matters required by law, will or custom to be acted upon by the President Judge, or appropriate for the attention of the President Judge, shall be presented to the President Judge.

   D.  Ex parte orders.

   1.  Motions presented to the court will not be considered ex parte, without prior notice of presentation and an opportunity to be heard, except in the following cases:

   a.  Cases in which the adverse party has, in writing, waived the opportunity to be heard or has consented to the requested action.

   b.  Cases in which there are special or compelling circumstances which the court finds justify ex parte action.

   2.  Prior notice of presentation of a motion to the court shall state the date, time and place of intended presentation and shall be accompanied by a copy of the motion and the proposed order.

   3.  In cases where an ex parte order is made, a copy of the motion and order shall be served promptly on the opponent, who may file a prompt application for reconsideration of the order.

   4.  In all cases where prior notice of presentation is required under statute or rule of court, the motion shall state that the requisite prior notice was given; the date, time and manner of giving notice; and the substance thereof. If the right to ex parte relief is based on the existence of special or compelling circumstances, the motion shall state such circumstances.

   E.  Continuances.

   1.  Motions for continuance must be made in writing or of record in open court, unless excused by the court for cause.

   2.  Absent exceptional circumstances, motions for continuance of hearings and arguments shall be presented no later than ten (10) days after the date of the order scheduling the matter for hearing or argument. Thereafter, no motions for continuance will be granted except for substantial reasons which were not previously known or reasonably ascertainable.

   3.  The motion shall state whether or not the proceedings previously have been continued, and, if so, the number of prior continuances, with identification of the party upon whose motion each continuance was granted.

   4.  Absent extraordinary circumstances, a request for a continuance based on proceedings scheduled in another Court of Common Pleas will be granted only if the other court's scheduling order was issued before the order scheduling the proceedings for which the continuance is requested. If the motion is based on conflict with a matter scheduled in another Court of Common Pleas a copy of the scheduling order from the other Court of Common Pleas shall be attached to the motion.

   5.  Motions for continuance of court cases shall be presented as follows:

   a.  When at a scheduled call of the list, to the presiding Judge.

   b.  When a case is on a current trial or argument schedule, to the assigned Judge.

   c.  In all other cases, to the Administrative Judge.

   6.  Continuances shall operate to effect rescheduling:

   a.  To a date certain or specific trial session if the Administrative Judge or Presiding Judge states a date certain or specific trial session in the continuance order.

   b.  In all other cases, only upon filing of a scheduling praecipe as provided in subparagraph F. of this Rule.

   7.  An order continuing a case ''sec reg.,'' until the next available session, or in terms of similar generality, will not result in rescheduling, or placement on a new trial or argument list.

   8.  Every motion for continuance shall specify the reasons for the request.

   9.  The moving party shall certify that prior notice of presentation of the motion has been given to opposing counsel and unrepresented parties.

   10.  Every motion for unopposed continuance, whether written or oral, shall be joined in by the responding party or counsel of record.

   11.  An approved form of continuance motion for all matters other than trials is set forth in subparagraph F. 12. of this Rule. Trials may be continued only by filing of a Rule 600 Motion available from the Clerk of Courts.

   12.  Form of Continuance Motion.


)NO. ____ CRIMINAL 200 __

Scheduled before Judge ______ , on __________

For __________

Reason For Request:

Number of prior continuances:
By Commonwealth _____ By Defendant _____


(Sign) ______ Counsel For:__________
      Requesting Attorney or Party

(Sign) ______ Counsel For: __________
      Responding Attorney or Party

[  ] Joins In      [  ] Does Not Object      [  ] Opposes


   AND NOW, this ____ day of ______ 200 ____ , the continuance request is [  ] GRANTED [  ] DENIED.

   [  ]  Hearing to be rescheduled by scheduling praecipe.

   [  ]  Hearing is rescheduled for ______ the _____ day of ______ 200 ____ , at ____ __ M. in Courtroom No. ____ , before Judge ______ .

BY THE COURT:               
_________________ J

   F.  Scheduling by Praecipe.

   1.  Those cases required to be scheduled by praecipe shall be scheduled only upon filing of a scheduling praecipe, substantially in the form set forth below in subparagraph F.6. of this Rule.

   2.  The praecipe and all issued copies thereof shall be signed by counsel of record or an unrepresented party.

   3.  The scheduling praecipe shall be filed as provided in the prescribed form of scheduling praecipe, and the praecipe and copies thereof shall be served promptly on other counsel and unrepresented parties in the case.

   4.  Upon receipt of a scheduling praecipe any party may object thereto as follows:

   a.  If the objection is to the assertion in the praecipe of readiness of the case for disposition by the court, the objection shall be made promptly to the court in accordance with Motions practice on notice to other parties.

   b.  If the objection relates to any other assertion in the praecipe, such as time of scheduling, time required on the schedule, etc., the objecting party shall promptly file a counter praecipe stating only the matter corrected or changed.

   5.  If a party files a scheduling praecipe, knowing that the matter is not ready for disposition by the court, or knowing that the matters certified to in the scheduling praecipe are not true, the court may impose sanctions on the offending party. Sanctions may include assessment of reasonable counsel fees incurred by other parties as the result of such conduct or other appropriate order.

   6.  Form of Scheduling Praecipe.

COMMONWEALTH)Place this case on an
)Argument schedule for
)[  ]  Hearing [  ]  Argument on
)(Nature of Proceeding or Pleading)
)No. ____ CRIMINAL 20 __

Type of scheduling requested:

[  ]  Sec. Reg. (On the next available Argument Schedule).

[  ]  Prompt (At a presently fixed date and time on an Argument Schedule already issued).

State reason for Prompt scheduling (Granted only for cause) __________

Estimated hearing time for all parties: __________

Judge ______ has previously heard a matter in this case.

[  ]  A copy of this praecipe has been served on opposing counsel and any unrepresented party.

______      __________
Signature                  Type Name and Party Represented


   AND NOW, this ____ day of ______ 20 ____ , [  ] Argument [  ] Hearing is scheduled on ______ the _____ day of ______ , 20 ____ , in Court Room ____ , at _____ __ . M. before Judge ______ in Courtroom No. ____ .

BY THE COURT               
_________________ J


   G.  Preparation and Form of Orders. Copies for Distribution.

   1.  Unless otherwise directed by the court, orders requested by a party shall be drafted by the attorney at whose instance they are to be made, and shall be submitted to the court for approval.

   2.  All proposed orders presented to the court, whether by an attorney, court staff or department, or other person, shall list thereon the names of all counsel in the case (of record and known, including counsel for applicant), and shall indicate the party represented by each.

Note: Nothing herein is intended to alter the present practice of the court reporters in preparing court orders.

   3.  Counsel preparing the order shall be responsible for copying, and shall provide sufficient copies to the Clerk of Courts for distribution to all other counsel and parties. If the order continues a case or fixes a date for hearing or argument, counsel shall ensure that the order and its accompanying documents are transmitted to the Court Administrator for notation of the matter for scheduling purposes. The order and documents shall then be filed in the proper office.

   4.  All documents prepared in and issued from chambers shall be transmitted to the Court Administrator for copying and distribution sec reg, and for scheduling if necessary, then filed in the proper office.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-2508. Filed for public inspection December 22, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]


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