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231 Pa. Code Rule 1915.18. Form of Order Directing Expert Examination and Report.

Rule 1915.18. Form of Order Directing Expert Examination and Report.

 The order of court directing expert evaluation in a custody matter pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.8 shall be substantially in the following form:


 AND NOW, this

day of
, 20
, it is hereby ORDERED, that:

 1. The evaluator shall be

or will be selected by the parties.

 2. The evaluator shall conduct a

  Physical Evaluation

  Psychological Evaluation

  Custody Evaluation

  Drug and/or Alcohol Evaluation

  Home Study

  Other (Specify)

 3. The evaluator shall shall not make specific recommendations for legal and physical custody. If the evaluator makes specific recommendations, the evaluator shall state the specific reasons for the recommendations.

 4. The parties shall participate fully with the evaluator on a timely basis, including retaining the evaluator upon appropriate terms, scheduling appointments, paying promptly, participating in all sessions and in appropriate testing recommended by the evaluator and executing any reasonable consents relating to themselves and their children.


    5. If the evaluation is a medical necessity, the service may be covered by insurance. If so, both parties shall promptly cooperate to maximize the use of available insurance coverage, if any, and to notify the other party of the result. The plaintiff defendant shall submit the costs to his or her insurance first. The cost of the unreimbursed portion of the evaluation shall preliminarily be allocated between the parties with the plaintiff paying

% and the defendant paying
% without prejudice to the ultimate apportionment of such costs by subsequent agreement of the parties or order of court.

  6. The cost of the evaluation shall be borne by the county, subject to reimbursement by



   7. The cost for the evaluator’s time for depositions and/or testimony for hearing shall be allocated

% to the plaintiff and
% to the defendant or paid by the party seeking the testimony.

  8. The evaluator may consult with and/or interview any person the evaluator reasonably believes can provide relevant information, including other experts and/or fact witnesses.

  9. The evaluator may utilize the services of another qualified professional (e.g. to perform additional services) without court approval.

  10. Subject to the applicable rules of evidence, the evaluator’s file (including notes, exhibits, correspondence, test interpretations and, to the extent it is not a violation of copyright law or applicable professional rules, raw test data) shall promptly be made available to counsel for the parties.

  11. Provided that the parties cooperate on a timely basis, the evaluator shall deliver his or her report to counsel for the parties, any unrepresented party, the guardian ad litem and/or counsel for the child, if any, and to the court at least

days prior to the first day of trial. The report shall not be filed of record.

  12. Prior to and/or subsequent to the submission of the evaluator’s written report, counsel for the parties shall not be permitted to communicate with the evaluator as to substantive issues, without the consent or direct participation of counsel for the other party.

 13. If the report or any information from the evaluator is provided to the court, the evaluator shall be subject to cross examination by all counsel and any unrepresented party regardless of who obtains or pays for the services of the evaluator.

 14. The evaluator shall be provided with a copy of this order.

 15. The evaluator’s report shall not be inappropriately disseminated.

  16. Other provisions:




   The provisions of this Rule 1915.18 adopted May 16, 1994, effective July 1, 1994, 24 Pa.B. 2882; amended May 23, 2007, effective August 1, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2602; amended August 2, 2010, effective immediately, 40 Pa.B. 4634; amended January 5, 2018, effective January 6, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 477. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (377889) to (377890).

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