Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Bulletin website includes the following: Rulemakings by State agencies; Proposed Rulemakings by State agencies; State agency notices; the Governor’s Proclamations and Executive Orders; Actions by the General Assembly; and Statewide and local court rules.

PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 08-86


Title 231--RULES


[ 231 PA. CODE CH. 200 ]

Amendment of Rule 240 Governing In Forma Pauperis; Proposed Recommendation No. 230

[38 Pa.B. 337]
[Saturday, January 19, 2008]

   The Civil Procedural Rules Committee is proposing that Rule of Civil Procedure 240 governing in forma pauperis be amended as set forth herein. The proposed recommendation is being submitted to the bench and bar for comments and suggestions prior to its submission to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

   All communications in reference to the proposed recommendation should be sent not later than March 3, 2008 to:

Karla M. Shultz
Civil Procedural Rules Committee
5035 Ritter Road, Suite 700
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055
or E-Mail to

   The Explanatory Comment which appears in connection with the proposed recommendation has been inserted by the Committee for the convenience of the bench and bar. It will not constitute part of the rules of civil procedure or be officially adopted or promulgated by the Court.

Annex A




Rule 240. In Forma Pauperis.

*      *      *      *      *

   (c)  Except as provided by subdivision (d), the party shall file a petition and an affidavit in the form prescribed by subdivision (h). The petition may not be filed prior to the commencement of an action or proceeding or the taking of an appeal.

   (1)(i)  If the petition is filed simultaneously with the commencement of the action or proceeding or with the taking of the appeal, the prothonotary shall docket the [action and petition or shall accept the appeal] matter and petition without the payment of any filing fee.

   (ii)  If the court shall thereafter deny the petition, the petitioner shall pay the filing fee for commencing the action or proceeding or taking the appeal. A party required to pay such fee may not without leave of court take any further steps in the action, proceeding or appeal so long as such fee remains unpaid. Not sooner than ten days after notice of the denial of the petition pursuant to Rule 236, the prothonotary shall enter a judgment of non pros in the action or proceeding or strike the appeal if the fee remains unpaid. The action, proceeding or appeal shall be reinstated only by the court for good cause shown.

   (2)  If the action or proceeding is commenced or the appeal is taken without the simultaneous filing of a petition, the appropriate filing fee must be paid and shall not be refunded if a petition is thereafter filed and granted.

   (3)  [The] Except as provided by subparagraph (4), the court shall act promptly upon the petition and shall enter its order within twenty days from the date of the filing of the petition. If the petition is denied, in whole or in part, the court shall briefly state its reasons.

   (4)  If an action is commenced by writ of summons, the court shall not act on the petition until the complaint is filed. If the complaint has not been filed within ninety days of the filing of the petition, the court may dismiss the action pursuant to subdivision (j).

*      *      *      *      *

   (f)  A party permitted to proceed in forma pauperis shall not be required to

*      *      *      *      *

   (2)  post bond or other security for costs as a condition for commencing an action or proceeding or taking an appeal.

*      *      *      *      *

Explanatory Comment

   Present subdivision (j) provides for a court, prior to acting on a petition to proceed in forma pauperis, to dismiss an action, proceeding, or appeal if the allegation of poverty in the petition is untrue, or if the court is satisfied that the action, proceeding, or appeal is frivolous. However, subdivision (j) did not consider the situation where an action is commenced by the issuance of a writ of summons. The proposed amendment to subdivision (c) would require the party commencing an action by writ of summons and seeking to proceed in forma pauperis to file the complaint within ninety days of filing the petition. The court would not make a determination on the petition until the complaint is filed. If the complaint is not filed within the ninety-day time period, the court may dismiss the petition pursuant to procedures set forth in subdivision (j).

By the Civil Procedural Rules Committee


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-86. Filed for public inspection January 18, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.