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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 1768 (March 27, 2021).

234 Pa. Code Rule 791. Procedure for Obtaining Order for Limited Access in Court Cases; Order for Limited Access.

Rule 791. Procedure for Obtaining Order for Limited Access in Court Cases; Order for Limited Access.

 (A)  PETITION FOR ORDER FOR LIMITED ACCESS

   (1)  Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. §  9122.1, an individual who satisfies the statutory requirements for obtaining an order for limited access may request an order that limits the dissemination of his or her criminal history record information by filing a petition with the clerk of the courts of the judicial district in which the charges were disposed.

   (2)  The petition shall set forth:

     (a)   the petitioner’s name and any aliases that the petitioner has used, address, date of birth, and social security number;

     (b)   the name and address of the judge of the court of common pleas, magisterial district judge, or Philadelphia Municipal Court judge who accepted the guilty plea or heard the case;

     (c)   the name and mailing address of the affiant as shown on the complaint, if available;

     (d)   the court of common pleas docket number, magisterial district court docket number, or the Philadelphia Municipal Court docket number, whichever applies;

     (e)   the offense tracking number (OTN);

     (f)   the date on the complaint, or the date of arrest, and, if available, the criminal justice agency that made the arrest;

     (g)   the specific charges, as they appear on the charging document, to be subject to limited access;

     (h)   the disposition and, if the sentence includes a fine, costs, or restitution, whether the amount due has been paid;

     (i)   the reason(s) for the order for limited access;

     (j)   a statement that the case qualifies for a limited access order and none of the exceptions under 18 Pa.C.S. §  9122.1(b) are applicable; and

     (k)   a verification by the petitioner that facts set forth in the petition are true and correct to the best of the petitioner’s personal knowledge or information and belief. The verification may be by a sworn affidavit or by an unsworn written statement that the facts are verified subject to the penalties for unsworn falsification to authorities under the Crimes Code §  4904, 18 Pa.C.S. §  4904.

     Additional information shall not be required by local rule or practice.

   (3)  Unless the attorney for the Commonwealth agrees to waive this requirement, a current copy of the petitioner’s Pennsylvania State Police criminal history report shall be attached to the petition. The copy shall be obtained from the Pennsylvania State Police within 60 days before filing the petition. Absent a waiver by the attorney for the Commonwealth, the court shall not rule upon the petition until the Pennsylvania State Police criminal history report is filed.

   (4)  A copy of the petition shall be served on the attorney for the Commonwealth concurrently with filing.

 (B)  OBJECTIONS; HEARING

   (1)  Within 30 days after service of the petition, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall file a consent or objection to the petition or take no action. The attorney for the Commonwealth’s consent or objection shall be filed with the clerk of courts, and copies shall be served on the petitioner’s attorney, or the petitioner if unrepresented.

   (2)  Upon receipt of the attorney for the Commonwealth’s response, or no later than 14 days after the expiration of the 30-day period in paragraph (B)(1), the judge of the court of common pleas shall grant or deny the petition or shall schedule a hearing.

   (3)  At the hearing, if any, the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard. Following the hearing, the judge promptly shall enter an order granting or denying the petition.

   (4)  If the judge grants the petition for limited access, the judge shall enter an order directing that the petitioner’s criminal record history information that is subject to the limited access order shall not be disseminated to an individual, a noncriminal justice agency, or an internet website and that dissemination of the petitioner’s criminal record history be limited only to a criminal justice agency or government agency as provided in 18 Pa.C.S. §  9122.1.

     (a)   The order shall contain the information required in paragraph (C).

     (b)   Except when the attorney for the Commonwealth has filed a consent to the petition pursuant to paragraph (B)(1), the order shall be stayed for 30 days pending an appeal. If a timely notice of appeal is filed, the order for limited access is stayed pending the disposition of the appeal and further order of court.

   (5)  If the judge denies the petition for an order of limited access, the judge shall enter an order denying the petition and stating the reasons for the denial.

   (6)  If the judge grants the petition for an order of limited access, the petition and order are subject to limited access.

 (C)  ORDER

   (1)  Every order for limited access shall include:

     (a)   the petitioner’s name and any aliases that the petitioner has used, address, date of birth, and social security number;

     (b)   the name and address of the judge of the court of common pleas, magisterial district judge, or Philadelphia Municipal Court judge who accepted the guilty plea or heard the case;

     (c)   the name and mailing address of the affiant as shown on the complaint, if available;

     (d)   the court of common pleas docket number, magisterial district court docket number, or the Philadelphia Municipal Court docket number, whichever applies;

     (e)   the offense tracking number (OTN);

     (f)   the date on the complaint, or the date of arrest, and, if available, the criminal justice agency that made the arrest;

     (g)   the specific charges, as they appear on the charging document, to be subject to limited access;

     (h)   the disposition and, if the sentence includes a fine, costs, or restitution, whether the amount due has been paid;

     (i)   the reason(s) for the order for limited access;

     (j)   a statement that the case qualifies for a limited access order and none of the exceptions under 18 Pa.C.S. §  9122.1(b) are applicable; and

     (k)   the criminal justice agencies upon which certified copies of the order shall be served.

     Additional information shall not be required by local rule or practice.

   (2)  The clerk of courts shall serve a certified copy of the Order to each criminal justice agency identified in the court’s Order.

Comment

   Section 9122.1 of the Criminal Code provides for an order limiting dissemination of a record of a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor of the second degree, a misdemeanor of the third degree, or an ungraded misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of no more than two years only to a criminal justice agency or government agency. This rule, adopted in 2016, provides the procedures for requesting and ordering an order for limited access as provided in the statute.

   This rule sets forth the only information that must be included in every petition and order for limited access.

   The petition must be filed with the clerk of courts of the judicial district in which the charges that are the subject of the petition were disposed. The petition must be decided by a judge of the court of common pleas, even if the charges that are the subject of the petition were disposed by a magisterial district judge or Philadelphia Municipal Court judge.

   Paragraph (A)(3) requires the petitioner to attach a copy of his or her criminal history report to the petition. The attorney for the Commonwealth may waive the requirement that the criminal history report be attached to the petition. The Commonwealth’s agreement to the waiver may be made orally or in writing, or averred in the petition.

   A form petition and form order for limited access has been created by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, in consultation with the Committee, and is available at the following website: http://www.pacourts.us/forms/for-the-public.

   ‘‘Petition’’ as used in this rule is a ‘‘motion’’ for purposes of Rules 575, 576, and 577.

   The ‘‘reason for the order for limited access’’ in paragraph (A)(2)(i) and (C)(1)(i) means, for example, the defendant’s freedom from arrest or prosecution for 10 years.

   For the procedures for filing and service of petitions, see Rule 576.

   For the procedures for filing and service of orders, see Rule 114.

   When a summons instead of an arrest warrant is issued pursuant to Rule 519, the date of the summons constitutes the ‘‘date of arrest’’ for purposes of paragraph (A)(2)(f).

   For purposes of this rule, ‘‘criminal justice agency’’ includes police departments, county detectives, and other law enforcement agencies. See also 18 Pa.C.S. §  9102. For the definition of ‘‘government agency,’’ see 18 Pa.C.S. §  9121(b.1) and (b.2).

   Nothing in this rule is intended to alter procedures regarding expungement. See Rule 320 for the procedures for expungement following the successful completion of an ARD program in a court case, Rule 490 for summary case expungement procedures, Rule 790 for court case expungement, and 35 P.S. §  780-119 for expungement procedures under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act.

   Concerning standing, see In Re Administrative Order No. 1-MD-2003, 936 A.2d 1 (Pa. 2007); Commonwealth v. J.H., 759 A.2d 1269 (Pa. 2000).

   Official Note

   Adopted November 9, 2016, effective November 14, 2016.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining new Rule 791 providing the procedures for orders for limited access in court cases published with the Court’s Order at 46 Pa.B. 7442 (November 26, 2016).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 791 adopted November 9, 2016, effective November 14, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 7439.



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