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234 Pa. Code Rule 132. Temporary Assignment of Issuing Authorities.

Rule 132. Temporary Assignment of Issuing Authorities.

 (A)  The president judge may assign temporarily the issuing authority of any magisterial district to serve another magisterial district whenever such assignment is needed:

   (1)  to satisfy the requirements of Rule 117;

   (2)  to insure fair and impartial proceedings;

   (3)  to conduct a preliminary hearing pursuant to Rule 544(B); or

   (4)  otherwise for the efficient administration of justice.

 One or more issuing authorities may be so assigned to serve one or more magisterial districts.

 (B)  Whenever a temporary assignment is made under this rule, notice of such assignment shall be filed with the clerk of courts where it shall be available for police agencies and other interested persons.

 (C)  A motion may be filed requesting a temporary assignment under this rule on the ground that the assignment is needed to insure fair and impartial proceedings. Reasonable notice and opportunity to respond shall be provided to the parties.

 (D)  A motion shall be filed requesting a temporary assignment under paragraph (A)(3) whenever the attorney for the Commonwealth elects to proceed under Rule 544(B) following the refiling of a complaint.


   The provisions of former paragraph (A) (Continuous Availability) were incorporated into new Rule 117 (Coverage: Issuing Warrants; Preliminary Arraignments and Summary Trials; and Setting and Accepting Bail) in 2005.

   Paragraphs (A)(2) and (C) make explicit the authority of president judges to assign issuing authorities when necessary to insure fair and impartial proceedings, and to provide a procedure for a party to request such an assignment. Temporary assignment in this situation is intended to cover what might otherwise be referred to as ‘‘change of venue’’ at the magisterial district level. See, e.g., Sufrich v. Commonwealth, 68 Pa. Cmwlth. 42, 447 A.2d 1124 (1982).

   The motion procedure of paragraph (C) is intended to apply when a party requests temporary assignment to insure fair and impartial proceedings. The president judge may, of course, order a response and schedule a hearing with regard to such a motion. However, this paragraph is not intended to require ‘‘a formal hearing . . . beyond the narrow context of a motion for temporary assignment of issuing authority to insure fair and impartial proceedings predicated upon allegations which impugn the character or competence of the assigned issuing authority and which seek the recusal of the assigned issuing authority.’’ See Commonwealth v. Allem, 367 Pa. Super. 173, 532 A.2d 845 (1987) (filing and service of the written motion and answer, and allowance of oral argument were more than adequate to meet the rule’s requirements).

   Paragraphs (A)(3) and (D) govern those situations in which the attorney for the Commonwealth, after refiling the complaint following the withdrawal or dismissal of any criminal charges at, or prior to, a preliminary hearing, determines that the preliminary hearing should be conducted by a differentissuing authority. See also Rule 544 (Reinstituting Charges Following Withdrawal or Dismissal). Under Rule 544, the president judge may designate another judge within the judicial district to handle reassignments.

   The motion procedure is not intended to apply in any of the many other situations in which president judges make temporary assignments of issuing authorities; in all these other situations the president judges may make temporary assignments on their own without any motion, notice, response, or hearing.

   Official Note

   Formerly Rule 152, adopted January 16, 1970, effective immediately; amended and renumbered Rule 23 September 18, 1973, effective January 1, 1974; amended October 21, 1983, effective January 1, 1984; amended February 27, 1995, effective July 1, 1995; amended October 8, 1999, effective January 1, 2000; renumbered Rule 132 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; amended June 30, 2005, effective August 1, 2006.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the February 27, 1995 amendments published with the Court’s Order at 25 Pa.B. 936 (March 18, 1995).

   Final Report explaining the October 8, 1999 amendments concerning motions for temporary assignment of issuing authority following the reinstitution of criminal charges published with the Court’s Order at 29 Pa.B. 5509 (October 23, 1999).

   Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the June 30, 2005 changes to the rule correlative to the changes in procedure in new Rule 117 published with the Court’s Order at 35 Pa.B. 3911 (July 16, 2005).


   The provisions of this Rule 132 amended June 30, 2005, effective July 1, 2006, 35 Pa.B. 3901. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (289074) to (289076).

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