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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 23-1173




Adoption of Local Rules of Civil Procedure L-200.1; No. 2023-1

[53 Pa.B. 5496]
[Saturday, September 2, 2023]

Administrative Order

And Now, this 26th day of May, 2023, having received approval from the appropriate Rules Committee pursuant to Pa.R.J.A. 103(d)(4), it is hereby Ordered, Adjudged, and Decreed that Washington County Local Rule of Civil Procedure L-200.1 is rescinded and the following Local Rule L-200.1 is hereby adopted, effective thirty (30) days after publication of this Order in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. 103(d)(5) and (6). The District Court Administrator is directed to:

 1. Distribute copies of the adopted local rules to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;

 2. File one (1) copy with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts;

 3. Publish the local rules on the Court's website within thirty (30) days of the effective date; and

 4. Cause a copy hereof to be published in the Washington County Reports once a week for two (2) successive weeks at the expense of the County of Washington.

By the Court

President Judge

Rule L-200.1. Assignment of Cases.

 (1) The President Judge annually shall assign civil case types to the judges of the Court by Administrative Regulation. The Administrative Regulations shall be available by hard copy in the Office of the Court Administrator and at

 (a) The Court Administrator shall assign cases to judges according to the method that the President Judge orders from time to time.

 (i) All proceedings in a case after its assignment, including trial, will be scheduled and conducted by the assigned judge unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

 (b) The President Judge or the Court Administrator shall have the authority to assign or reassign a case to a judge in the interest of the efficient administration of justice.

 (c) The assignment process is to facilitate administrative control and to manage the flow of cases. All judges may hear any matter that properly comes before the Court.

 (2) No one in the office of the Court Administrator may reveal to any person, other than a judge, the sequence in which cases are assigned, if such cases are assigned randomly, unless necessary to administer the case management system or as authorized by the Court.

 (3) The Court may punish a person for contempt if the person causes or attempts to cause an employee of the Court to reveal the sequence in which cases are randomly assigned or to assign a case inconsistent with the direction of the Court.

 (4) Recusal.

 (a) A judge who intends to recuse on a matter must submit a recusal form to the President Judge.

 (b) Upon approval of the recusal, the President Judge shall reassign the case to another judge in consultation with the Court Administrator.

 (c) If the President Judge is the recusing judge, the commissioned judge with the greatest seniority as determined by Pa.R.J.A. 705 shall reassign the case in consultation with the Court Administrator.

 (d) In the instance of a full bench recusal, the President Judge will request assignment of a judge in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. 701(C).

 (5) Related Cases. Consolidation.

 (a) When a determination is made that two cases are related, the case filed later will be assigned to the judge handling the lowest numbered (earlier filed) case, unless a determination is made that the efficient administration of justice requires otherwise.

 (b) When cases involving common questions of law or fact are pending before different judges, a party may file a motion to consolidate the cases. The motion shall be filed in each case which the movant seeks to consolidate. The motion must be presented to and ruled upon by the judge assigned to the lowest numbered case. If cases assigned to different judges are consolidated, all cases will be assigned to the judge having the lowest numbered cases. Nothing shall prohibit the Court from consolidating a case on its own motion.

 (6) Remand. A remanded case shall be assigned to the judge who previously presided over the case unless:

 (a) the remand order directs otherwise; or

 (b) the President Judge reassigns the case.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 23-1173. Filed for public inspection September 1, 2023, 9:00 a.m.]

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