PART G. Procedures Following Filing of Information
Rule 570. Pretrial Conference.
(A) At any time after the filing of an information, upon motion, or upon its own motion, the court may order the attorney for the Commonwealth and the defense attorney or the pro se defendant to appear before it for a conference in open court, unless agreed by the defendant to be in chambers, to consider:
(1) the terms and procedures for pretrial discovery and inspection;
(2) the simplification or stipulation of factual issues, including admissibility of evidence;
(3) the qualification of exhibits as evidence to avoid unnecessary delay;
(4) the number of witnesses who are to give testimony of a cumulative nature;
(5) the defenses of alibi and insanity, as to which appropriate rulings may be made; and
(6) such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the proceeding.
(B) The parties shall have the right to record an objection to rulings of the court during the conference.
(C) The court shall place on the record the agreements or objections made by the parties and rulings made by the court as to any of the matters considered in the pretrial conference. Such order shall control the subsequent proceedings unless modified at trial to prevent injustice.
The following are suggested topics for the pretrial conference. The list is meant only to be suggestive and by no means exhaustive of the possible subjects for consideration.
(1) All motions including those for pretrial discovery and inspection, and for a bill of particulars.
(2) The establishing of the time and place of the offense charged and the corpus delecti.
(3) The qualifying of pictures, documents, confessions, records, or the like as evidence.
(4) The obtaining of admissions of fact.
(5) Pleas to various counts in the information(s) and whether the jury should be informed of such pleas.
(6) The nolle prosequi or other disposition of some counts of the information(s).
(7) All objections or defenses which are capable of determination before trial.
(8) Whether a defense of alibi, or insanity, or diminished responsibility resulting from other mental infirmity, or other defenses will be raised at the trial.
(9) The determination of the suppression or return of evidence.
(10) Whether there shall be any severance as to defendants or as to information(s) or counts thereof.
(11) The number of counsel who are to participate and examine witnesses.
(12) The order or procedure when there is more than one defendant.
(13) The length and number of addresses of counsel.
(14) The number of challenges of jurors.
(15) The procedure of voir dire, if pertinent.
The 1978 addition of the phrase or a pro se defendant in paragraph (A), and the deletion of paragraph (d), were made pursuant to the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Faretta v. California, 422 U. S. 806 (1975).
See Rule 595 for the requirements for a mandatory status conference following the arraignment in cases in which the defendant was under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the alleged offense and charged with one of the offenses excluded from the definition of delinquent act in paragraphs (2)(i), (2)(ii), and (2)(iii) of 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302.
Rule 311 adopted June 30, 1964, effective January 1, 1965; amended February 15, 1974, effective immediately; amended June 29, 1977 and November 22, 1977, effective as to cases in which the indictment or information is filed on or after January 1, 1978; amended August 12, 1993, effective September 1, 1993; renumbered Rule 570 March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; Comment revised July 31, 2012, effective November 1, 2012.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Report explaining the August 12, 1993 amendments published at 22 Pa.B. 3826 (July 25, 1992).
Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Courts Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).
Final Report explaining July 31, 2012 Comment revision cross-referencing proposed new Rule 595 concerning requests for transfer from criminal proceedings to juvenile proceedings published with the Courts Order at 42 Pa.B. 5340 (August 18, 2012).
The provisions of this Rule 570 amended July 31, 2012, effective November 1, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 5333. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (361862) to (361864).
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