Rule 1915.4-3. Non-Record Proceedings. Trials.
(a) Non-Record Proceedings. In judicial districts utilizing an initial non-record proceeding, i.e., office conference, if an agreement is not finalized by the conclusion of the proceeding, the conference officer shall promptly notify the court that the matter should be listed for trial. A lawyer employed by, or under contract with, a judicial district or appointed by the court to serve as a conference officer to preside over a non-record proceeding shall not practice family law before a conference officer, hearing officer, or judge of the same judicial district.
(b) Trial. The trial before the court shall be de novo. The court shall hear the case and render a decision within the time periods set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.4.
The amendment to this rule, in conjunction with the amendment to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.1, standardizes terminology used in the custody process and identifies court personnel by title and in some cases qualifications. Of note, the term mediator, which had been included in the rule, has been omitted and is specifically defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.1.
As in the support rules, custody conference officers preside over conferences and hearing officers preside over hearings. Regardless of the individuals title, presiding over a conference or a hearing triggers the family law attorney practice preclusion in this rule and in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.4-2(b) in the case of a hearing officer. Mediators, as defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.1 and as qualified in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1940.4, do not preside over custody conferences or hearings; rather, mediators engage custody litigants in alternative dispute resolution methods pursuant to Chapter 1940 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and, as such, the preclusion from practicing family law in the same judicial district in which an attorney/mediator is appointed is inapplicable.
The provisions of this Rule 1915.4-3 amended August 1, 2013, effective September 3, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 4702; amended March 4, 2015, effective in 30 days on April 3, 2015, 45 Pa.B. 1354; amended February 8, 2018, effective April 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 1095; amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 6764. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (390563) to (390564).
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 Code 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.