Rule 1910.29. Evidence in Support Matters.
(a) Record Hearing. Except as provided in this rule, the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence shall be followed in all record hearings conducted in an action for support. A verified petition, affidavit or document, and any document incorporated by reference therein which would not be excluded under the hearsay rule if given in person shall be admitted into evidence if (1) at least 20 days written notice of the intention to offer them into evidence was given to the adverse party accompanied by a copy of each document to be offered; (2) the other party does not object to their admission into evidence; and (3) the evidence is offered under oath by the party or witness. An objection must be in writing and served on the proponent of the document within 10 days of the date of service of the notice of intention to offer the evidence. When an objection is properly made, the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence shall apply to determine the admissibility of the document into evidence.
(b) Medical Evidence.
(1) Non-Record Proceeding. In a non-record hearing, if a physician has determined that a medical condition affects a partys ability to earn income and that party obtains a Physician Verification Form from the domestic relations section, has it completed by the partys physician and submits it at the conference, it may be considered by the conference officer. If a party is receiving Social Security disability or workers compensation benefits, the party shall submit copies of the disability or workers compensation determination in lieu of the Physician Verification Form.
(2) Record Proceeding. If the matter proceeds to a record hearing and the party wishes to introduce the completed Physician Verification Form into evidence, he or she must serve the form on the other party not later than 20 days after the conference. The other party may file and serve an objection to the introduction of the form within 10 days of the date of service. If an objection is made and the physician testifies, the trier of fact shall have the discretion to allocate the costs of the physicians testimony between the parties. If there is no objection, the form may be admitted into evidence without the testimony of the physician. In the event that the record hearing is held sooner than 30 days after the conference, the trier of fact may provide appropriate relief, such as granting a continuance to the objecting party.
(3) The Physician Verification Form shall be substantially in the following form:
IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
PACSES Case Number:
Other State ID Number:
PHYSICIAN VERIFICATION FORM
TO BE COMPLETED BY THE TREATING PHYSICIAN
Physicians license number:
Nature of patients sickness or injury:
Date of first treatment:
Date of most recent treatment:
Frequency of treatments:
The patient has had a medical condition that affects his or her ability to earn income from:
If the patient is unable to work, when should the patient be able to return to work? Will there be limitations?
Signature of Treating Physician:
Physicians telephone number:
I authorize my physician to release the above information to the
County Domestic Relations Section.
23 Pa.C.S. § 4342(f) creates a hearsay exception in support actions to permit a verified petition, affidavit or document and a document incorporated by reference in any of them to be admitted into evidence if it would not otherwise be excluded as hearsay if given in person and it is admitted under oath by a party or witness to the support action. Rule 1910.29 requires that notice of the documents to be admitted be given to the other party prior to the hearing. It also sets forth the procedures for raising an objection to the admission of those documents.
If the requisite 20-day notice is given and there is no objection, the document must be admitted into evidence under this rule and 23 Pa.C.S. § 4342(f). In the event an objection is timely made, the rules of evidence apply to determine the documents ultimate admissibility.
Rule 1910.29 is not intended to affect 23 Pa.C.S. § 4342(g) and (h) relating to admissibility of payment records, billing statements and bills for genetic testing and prenatal and postnatal health care of the mother and child. Those documents are admissible into evidence without advance notice for the limited purposes which are expressly set forth in those statutory provisions.
The provisions of this Rule 1910.29 amended November 7, 1988, effective January 1, 1989, 18 Pa.B. 5326; amended December 2, 1994, effective March 1, 1995, 24 Pa.B. 6263; amended May 31, 2000, effective July 1, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 3155; amended November 30, 2012, effective December 30, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 7522. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (324707).
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