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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 488 (January 27, 2024).

234 Pa. Code Rule 587. Motion for Dismissal.

Rule 587. Motion for Dismissal.

 (a) Untimely Filing of Information.

   (1)  Upon motion and a showing that an information has not been filed within a reasonable time, the court may order dismissal of the prosecution, or in lieu thereof, make such other order as shall be appropriate in the interests of justice.

   (2)  The attorney for the Commonwealth shall be afforded an opportunity to respond.

 (b) Double Jeopardy.

   (1)  A motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds shall state specifically and with particularity the basis for the claim of double jeopardy and the facts that support the claim.

   (2)  A hearing on the motion shall be scheduled in accordance with Rule 577 (Procedures Following Filing of Motion). The hearing shall be conducted on the record in open court.

   (3)  At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge shall enter on the record a statement of findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall issue an order granting or denying the motion.

   (4)  In a case in which the judge denies the motion, the findings of fact shall include a specific finding as to frivolousness.

   (5)  If the judge makes a finding that the motion is frivolous, the judge shall advise the defendant on the record that a defendant has a right to file a petition for review of that determination pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1311(a)(3) within 30 days of the order denying the motion.

   (6)  If the judge denies the motion but does not find it frivolous, the judge shall advise the defendant on the record that the denial is immediately appealable as a collateral order.


   Cf. Pa.R.J.A. 1901 concerning termination of inactive cases.

   A motion filed pursuant to this rule must comply with the provisions of Rule 575 (Motions and Answers) and Rule 576 (Filing and Service by Parties).

   In any case in which a summary offense is joined with a misdemeanor, felony, or murder charge, and therefore is part of the court case, a dismissal of the prosecution pursuant to subdivision (a)(1) would include the dismissal of the summary offense. See the Comment to Rule 502 (Instituting Proceedings in Court Cases).

   ‘‘Hearing,’’ as used in subdivision (b)(2) includes the taking of testimony, or the hearing of argument, or both. See Rule 115 for the procedures for the recording and transcribing of the hearing.

   Subdivision (b)(4) requires the judge to make a specific finding whether the motion is being dismissed as frivolous. The judge should expressly cite on-point controlling case law that would make the claim frivolous. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Gains, 556 A.2d 870, 874 (Pa. Super. 1989) (‘‘A frivolous claim is a claim clearly and palpably without merit; it is a claim which presents no debatable question.’’). A mere adverse decision of the case does not mean the matter is frivolous.

   Although the judge is required to advise the defendant of his or her appellate rights in subdivisions (b)(5) and (b)(6) upon dismissing the motion, nothing in this rule is intended to preclude the defendant from proceeding to trial without first appealing the double jeopardy question. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Lee, 416 A.2d 503, 504-05 (Pa. 1980) (‘‘Unquestionably, appellant could have sought immediate appellate review of the question involved. For whatever reason, however, appellant proceeded to trial without first appealing the double jeopardy question. We believe that a defendant may choose to proceed to trial and if convicted, still challenge the propriety of the pretrial motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds on appeal.’’ (footnote omitted)).

   For the procedures for challenging the denial of the motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds when the judge makes a finding that the motion is frivolous, see Pa.R.A.P. 1311(a)(3).

   Pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1701(d), the filing of a petition for review does not affect the judge’s power to proceed further in the case while the petition for review is pending.


   The provisions of this Rule 587 amended March 3, 2004, effective July 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 1547; amended March 9, 2006, effective September 1, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 1385; amended June 4, 2013, effective July 4, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 3330; amended January 4, 2022, effective July 1, 2022, 52 Pa.B. 346. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (392298) and (390271) to (390272).

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