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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 2336 (April 27, 2024).

237 Pa. Code Rule 128. Presence at Proceedings.

Rule 128. Presence at Proceedings.

 A. General rule. The juvenile shall be present at all proceedings unless the exceptions of paragraph (B) apply.

 B. Exceptions.

   1)  Absence from proceedings. The court may proceed with a hearing in the absence of the juvenile if the court finds that the juvenile was properly subpoenaed or summoned to appear and has willfully failed to attend, and the juvenile’s attorney is present.

   2)  Exclusion from proceedings. The juvenile may be excluded from a proceeding only for good cause shown. If the juvenile is so excluded, the juvenile’s attorney shall be present.

 C. Advanced communication technology. A juvenile may appear utilizing advanced communication technology pursuant to Rule 129.

 D. Order appearance. The court may order the guardian to bring the juvenile and to attend the proceeding.


   The court has discretion whether to proceed if the court finds that the juvenile received proper notice of the hearing and has willfully failed to appear.

   Pursuant to paragraph (B)(2), a juvenile may be excluded only for good cause shown. For example, a juvenile may be removed from the courtroom after repeated warnings for disruptive behavior.

   Requiring the juvenile’s attorney to be present protects the juvenile’s interest if the proceeding is conducted in the juvenile’s absence. However, unless good cause is shown, a juvenile should appear in court.

   Cf. Commonwealth v. Ford, 650 A.2d 433 (Pa. 1994); Commonwealth v. Sullens, 619 A.2d 1349 (Pa. 1992).

   Nothing in these rules creates a right of a juvenile to have his or her guardian present. See 42 Pa.C.S. § §  6310, 6335(b), and 6336.1.

   Official Note

   Rule 128 adopted April 1, 2005, effective October 1, 2005. Amended April 21, 2011, effective July 1, 2011.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the provisions of Rule 128 published with the Court’s Order at 35 Pa.B. 2214 (April 16, 2005).

   Final Report explaining the amendments to Rule 128 published with the Court’s Order at 41 Pa.B. 2327 (May 7, 2011).


   The provisions of this Rule 128 amended April 21, 2011, effective July 1, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 2319. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (332722).

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