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234 Pa. Code Rule 578. Omnibus Pretrial Motion for Relief.

Rule 578. Omnibus Pretrial Motion for Relief.

 Unless otherwise required in the interests of justice, all pretrial requests for relief shall be included in one omnibus motion.


   Types of relief appropriate for the omnibus pretrial motions include the following requests:

    (1) for continuance;

    (2) for severance and joinder or consolidation;

    (3) for suppression of evidence;

    (4) for psychiatric examination;

    (5) to quash or dismiss an information;

    (6) for change of venue or venire;

    (7) to disqualify a judge;

    (8) for appointment of investigator;

    (9) for pretrial conference;

    (10) challenging the array of an indicting grand jury;

    (11) for transfer from criminal proceedings to juvenile proceedings pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. §  6322; and

    (12) proposing or opposing the admissibility of scientific or expert evidence.

   The omnibus pretrial motion rule is not intended to limit other types of motions, oral or written, made pretrial or during trial, including those traditionally called motions in limine, which may affect the admissibility of evidence or the resolution of other matters. The earliest feasible submissions and rulings on such motions are encouraged.

   See Pa.R.E. 702 and 703 regarding the admissibility of scientific or expert testimony. Pa.R.E. 702 codifies Pennsylvania’s adherence to the test to determine the admissibility of expert evidence first established in Frye v. United States, 293 F.1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923) and adopted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Topa, 369 A.2d 1277 (Pa. 1977). Given the potential complexity when the admissibility of such evidence is challenged, such challenges should be raised in advance of trial as part of the omnibus pretrial motion if possible. However, nothing in this rule precludes such challenges from being raised in a motion in limine when circumstances necessitate it.

   All motions filed pursuant to this rule are public records. However, in addition to restrictions placed by law and rule on the disclosure of confidential information, the motions are subject to the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania and may require further precautions, such as placing certain types of information in a ‘‘Confidential Information Form’’. See Rule 113.1.

   See Rule 113.1 regarding the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania and the requirements regarding filings and documents that contain confidential information.

   See Rule 556.4 for challenges to the array of an indicting grand jury and for motions to dismiss an information filed after a grand jury indicts a defendant.


   The provisions of this Rule 578 adopted June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days, 42 Pa.B. 4140; amended July 31, 2012, effective November 1, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 5333; amended September 21, 2017, effective January 1, 2018, 47 Pa.B. 6173; amended January 5, 2018, effective January 6, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 487; amended June 1, 2018, effective July 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 3575; amended December 1, 2021, effective January 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 7622. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (402531) to (402532).

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