Rule 573. Pretrial Discovery and Inspection.
Before any disclosure or discovery can be sought under these rules by either party, counsel for the parties shall make a good faith effort to resolve all questions of discovery, and to provide information required or requested under these rules as to which there is no dispute. When there are items requested by one party which the other party has refused to disclose, the demanding party may make appropriate motion. Such motion shall be made within 14 days after arraignment, unless the time for filing is extended by the court. In such motion the party must set forth the fact that a good faith effort to discuss the requested material has taken place and proved unsuccessful. Nothing in this provision shall delay the disclosure of any items agreed upon by the parties pending resolution of any motion for discovery.
(B) DISCLOSURE BY THE COMMONWEALTH
In all court cases, on request by the defendant, and subject to any protective order which the Commonwealth might obtain under this rule, the Commonwealth shall disclose to the defendants attorney all of the following requested items or information, provided they are material to the instant case. The Commonwealth shall, when applicable, permit the defendants attorney to inspect and copy or photograph such items.
(a) Any evidence favorable to the accused that is material either to guilt or to punishment, and is within the possession or control of the attorney for the Commonwealth;
(b) any written confession or inculpatory statement, or the substance of any oral confession or inculpatory statement, and the identity of the person to whom the confession or inculpatory statement was made that is in the possession or control of the attorney for the Commonwealth;
(c) the defendants prior criminal record;
(d) the circumstances and results of any identification of the defendant by voice, photograph, or in-person identification;
(e) any results or reports of scientific tests, expert opinions, and written or recorded reports of polygraph examinations or other physical or mental examinations of the defendant that are within the possession or control of the attorney for the Commonwealth;
(f) any tangible objects, including documents, photographs, fingerprints, or other tangible evidence; and
(g) the transcripts and recordings of any electronic surveillance, and the authority by which the said transcripts and recordings were obtained.
(2) DISCRETIONARY WITH THE COURT:
(a) In all court cases, except as otherwise provided in Rules 230 (Disclosure of Testimony Before Investigating Grand Jury) and 556.10 (Secrecy; Disclosure), if the defendant files a motion for pretrial discovery, the court may order the Commonwealth to allow the defendants attorney to inspect and copy or photograph any of the following requested items, upon a showing that they are material to the preparation of the defense, and that the request is reasonable:
(i) the names and addresses of eyewitnesses;
(ii) all written or recorded statements, and substantially verbatim oral statements, of eyewitnesses the Commonwealth intends to call at trial;
(iii) all written and recorded statements, and substantially verbatim oral statements, made by co-defendants, and by co-conspirators or accomplices, whether such individuals have been charged or not; and
(iv) any other evidence specifically identified by the defendant, provided the defendant can additionally establish that its disclosure would be in the interests of justice.
(b) If an expert whom the attorney for the Commonwealth intends to call in any proceeding has not prepared a report of examination or tests, the court, upon motion, may order that the expert prepare, and that the attorney for the Commonwealth disclose, a report stating the subject matter on which the expert is expected to testify; the substance of the facts to which the expert is expected to testify; and a summary of the experts opinions and the grounds for each opinion.
(C) DISCLOSURE BY THE DEFENDANT
(1) In all court cases, if the Commonwealth files a motion for pretrial discovery, upon a showing of materiality to the preparation of the Commonwealths case and that the request is reasonable, the court may order the defendant, subject to the defendants rights against compulsory self-incrimination, to allow the attorney for the Commonwealth to inspect and copy or photograph any of the following requested items:
(a) results or reports of physical or mental examinations, and of scientific tests or experiments made in connection with the particular case, or copies thereof, within the possession or control of the defendant, that the defendant intends to introduce as evidence in chief, or were prepared by a witness whom the defendant intends to call at the trial, when results or reports relate to the testimony of that witness, provided the defendant has requested and received discovery under paragraph (B)(1)(e); and
(b) the names and addresses of eyewitnesses whom the defendant intends to call in its case-in-chief, provided that the defendant has previously requested and received discovery under paragraph (B)(2)(a)(i).
(2) If an expert whom the defendant intends to call in any proceeding has not prepared a report of examination or tests, the court, upon motion, may order that the expert prepare and the defendant disclose a report stating the subject matter on which the expert is expected to testify; the substance of the facts to which the expert is expected to testify; and a summary of the experts opinions and the grounds for each opinion.
(D) CONTINUING DUTY TO DISCLOSE
If, prior to or during trial, either party discovers additional evidence or material previously requested or ordered to be disclosed by it, which is subject to discovery or inspection under this rule, or the identity of an additional witness or witnesses, such party shall promptly notify the opposing party or the court of the additional evidence, material, or witness.
If at any time during the course of the proceedings it is brought to the attention of the court that a party has failed to comply with this rule, the court may order such party to permit discovery or inspection, may grant a continuance, or may prohibit such party from introducing evidence not disclosed, other than testimony of the defendant, or it may enter such other order as it deems just under the circumstances.
(F) PROTECTIVE ORDERS
Upon a sufficient showing, the court may at any time order that the discovery or inspection be denied, restricted, or deferred, or make such other order as is appropriate. Upon motion of any party, the court may permit the showing to be made, in whole or in part, in the form of a written statement to be inspected by the court in camera. If the court enters an order granting relief following a showing in camera, the entire text of the statement shall be sealed and preserved in the records of the court to be made available to the appellate court(s) in the event of an appeal.
(G) WORK PRODUCT
Disclosure shall not be required of legal research or of records, correspondence, reports, or memoranda to the extent that they contain the opinions, theories, or conclusions of the attorney for the Commonwealth or the attorney for the defense, or members of their legal staffs.
This rule is intended to apply only to court cases. However, the constitutional guarantees mandated in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U. S. 83 (1963), and the refinements of the Brady standards embodied in subsequent judicial decisions, apply to all cases, including court cases and summary cases, and nothing to the contrary is intended. For definitions of court case and summary case, see Rule 103.
See Rule 556.10(B)(5) for discovery in cases indicted by a grand jury.
The attorney for the Commonwealth should not charge the defendant for the costs of copying pretrial discovery materials. However, nothing in this rule is intended to preclude the attorney for the Commonwealth, on a case-by-case basis, from requesting an order for the defendant to pay the copying costs. In these cases, the trial judge has discretion to determine the amount of costs, if any, to be paid by the defendant.
Any motion under this rule must comply with the provisions of Rule 575 (Motions and Answers) and Rule 576 (Filing and Service by Parties).
See Rule 576(b)(4) and Comment for the contents and form of the certificate of service.
See Rule 569 (Examination of Defendant by Mental Health Expert) for the procedures for the examination of the defendant by the mental health expert when the defendant has given notice of an intention to assert a defense of insanity or mental infirmity or notice of the intention to introduce expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant.
Included within the scope of paragraph (B)(2)(a)(iv) is any information concerning any prosecutor, investigator, or police officer involved in the case who has received either valuable consideration, or an oral or written promise or contract for valuable consideration, for information concerning the case, or for the production of any work describing the case, or for the right to depict the character of the prosecutor or investigator in connection with his or her involvement in the case.
Pursuant to paragraphs (B)(2)(b) and (C)(2), the trial judge has discretion, upon motion, to order an expert who is expected to testify at trial to prepare a report. However, these provisions are not intended to require a prepared report in every case. The judge should determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a report should be prepared. For example, a prepared report ordinarily would not be necessary when the expert is known to the parties and testifies about the same subject on a regular basis. On the other hand, a report might be necessary if the expert is not known to the parties or is going to testify about a new or controversial technique.
Whenever the rule makes reference to the term identification, or in-person identification, it is understood that such terms are intended to refer to all forms of identifying a defendant by means of the defendants person being in some way exhibited to a witness for the purpose of an identification: e.g., a line-up, stand-up, show-up, one-on-one confrontation, one-way mirror, etc. The purpose of this provision is to make possible the assertion of a rational basis for a claim of improper identification based upon Stovall v. Denno, 388 U. S. 293 (1967), and United States v. Wade, 388 U. S. 218 (1967).
This rule is not intended to affect the admissibility of evidence that is discoverable under this rule or evidence that is the fruits of discovery, nor the standing of the defendant to seek suppression of such evidence. See Rule 211 for the procedures for disclosure of a search warrant affidavit(s) that has been sealed.
Paragraph (C)(1), which provided the requirements for notice of the defenses of alibi, insanity, and mental infirmity, was deleted in 2006 and moved to Rules 567 (Notice of Alibi Defense) and 568 (Notice of Defense of Insanity or Mental Infirmity).
It is intended that the remedies provided in paragraph (E) apply equally to the Commonwealth and the defendant as the interests of justice require.
The provision for a protective order, paragraph (F), does not confer upon the Commonwealth any right of appeal not presently afforded by law.
It should also be noted that as to material which is discretionary with the court, or which is not enumerated in the rule, if such information contains exculpatory evidence as would come under the Brady rule, it must be disclosed. Nothing in this rule is intended to limit in any way disclosure of evidence constitutionally required to be disclosed.
The limited suspension of Section 5720 of the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, 18 Pa.C.S. § 5720, see Rule 1101(E), is intended to insure that the statutory provision and Rule 573(B)(1)(g) are read in harmony. A defendant may seek discovery under paragraph (B)(1)(g) pursuant to the time frame of the rule, while the disclosure provisions of Section 5720 would operate within the time frame set forth in Section 5720 as to materials specified in Section 5720 and not previously discovered.
Present Rule 305 replaces former Rules 310 and 312 in their entirety. Former Rules 310 and 312 adopted June 30, 1964, effective January 1, 1965. Former Rule 312 suspended June 29, 1973, effective immediately. Present Rule 305 adopted 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; Comment revised April 24, 1981, effective June 1, 1981; amended October 22, 1981, effective January 1, 1982; amended September 3, 1993, effective January 1, 1994; amended May 13, 1996, effective July 1, 1996; Comment revised July 28, 1997, effective immediately; Comment revised August 28, 1998, effective January 1, 1999; renumbered Rule 573 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; amended March 3, 2004, effective July 1, 2004; Comment revised March 26, 2004, effective July 1, 2004; amended January 27, 2006, effective August 1, 2006; amended June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Report explaining the September 3, 1993 amendments published at 21 Pa.B. 3681 (August 17, 1991).
Final Report explaining the May 13, 1996 amendments published with the Courts Order at 26 Pa.B. 2488 (June 1, 1996).
Final Report explaining the July 28, 1997 Comment revision deleting the references to the ABA Standards published with the Courts Order at 27 Pa.B. 3997 (August 9, 1997).
Final Report explaining the August 28, 1998 Comment revision concerning disclosure of remuneration published with the Courts Order at 28 Pa.B. 4883 (October 3, 1998).
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 the March 3, 2004 amendments to paragraphs (A), (C)(1)(a), and (C)(1)(b), and the revision to the Comment adding the reference to Rules 575 and 576 published with the Courts Order at 34 Pa.B. 1561 (March 20, 2004).
Final Report explaining the March 26, 2004 Comment revision concerning costs of copying discovery materials published with the Courts Order at 34 Pa.B. 1933 (April 10, 2004).
Final Report explaining the January 27, 2006 changes to paragraph (C) deleting the notice of defenses of alibi, insanity, and mental infirmity published with the Courts Order at 36 Pa.B. 700 (February 11, 2006).
Final Report explaining the June 21, 2012 amendments concerning discovery when case is indicted by grand jury published with the Courts Order at 42 Pa.B. 4153 (July 7, 2012).
The provisions of this Rule 573 amended March 3, 2004, effective July 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 1547; amended March 26, 2004, effective July 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 1932; amended January 27, 2006, effective August 1, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 694; amended June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days, 42 Pa.B. 4140; amended January 4, 2022, effective July 1, 2022, 52 Pa.B. 346. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (371045) to (371050).
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