Rule 1136. Ex Parte Communication.
A) Unless otherwise authorized by law, no person shall communicate with the court in any way regarding matters pending before the court unless all parties:
1) are present or have been copied if the communication is written or in electronic form; or
2) have waived their presence or right to receive the communication.
B) If the court receives any ex parte communication, the court shall inform all parties of the communication and its content.
No ex parte communications with the court are to occur. Communications should include all parties, such as the filing of a motion, or conducting a conference or a hearing.
Attorneys are bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct. See Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3.5(b). Judges are bound by the Code of Judicial Conduct. See Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.9.
Attorneys and judges understand the impropriety of ex parte communications regarding matters pending before the court but many participants are not attorneys or judges. This rule ensures that all parties have received the same information that is being presented to the court so that it may be challenged or supplemented.
Administrative matters are not considered ex parte communications.
Rule 1136 adopted April 29, 2011, effective July 1, 2011. Amended April 29, 2016, effective immediately.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Final Report explaining the provisions of Rule 1136 published with the Courts Order at 41 Pa.B. 2413 (May 14, 2011).
Final Report explaining the amendment of Rule 1136 published with the Courts Order at 46 Pa.B. 2411 (May 14, 2016).
The provisions of this Rule 1136 adopted April 29, 2011, effective July 1, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 2413; amended April 29, 2016, effective immediately, 46 Pa.B. 2411. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (377952) and (357327).
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