PRINTER'S NO. 1257
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
927
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY RESCHENTHALER, ALLOWAY, YUDICHAK, RAFFERTY,
MENSCH, REGAN, VULAKOVICH, COSTA, WARD AND STEFANO,
OCTOBER 17, 2017
REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, OCTOBER 17, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Title 44 (Law and Justice) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in constables, further providing for
definitions, and for townships, providing for bond, further
providing for deputy constables, providing for ceremonial
constables, further providing for police officers, providing
for bail bond enforcement agent, for professional bondsman,
for debt collection, for disqualification, for nepotism and
for precertification requirements, further providing for
definitions relating to training, for conduct and insurance,
for program established, for program contents, for use of
firearms, for restricted account, for general imposition of
duties and grant of powers, for elections, for executions,
for arrest in boroughs and for fees, repealing provisions
relating to specific fees and to election notice in certain
areas, further providing for incompetence and for
compensation violation, repealing provisions relating to
failure to serve in a township, providing for JNET
authorization and for local constabulary review boards,
establishing the Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board,
providing for vehicle cages and imposing duties on the
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 7102 of Title 44 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a definition to read:
§ 7102. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
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shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commission." The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
Delinquency.
* * *
Section 2. Section 7114 of Title 44 is amended to read:
§ 7114. Townships.
[(a) Election.--]The following shall apply:
(1) The qualified voters of every township shall vote
for and elect a properly qualified person for constable.
(2) The qualified electors of each township of the first
class may vote for and elect a properly qualified person to
serve as constable, in addition to the constable elected
under paragraph (1).
[(b) Procedure upon election; penalty.--Every person elected
to the office of constable in a township shall appear in court
on the first day of the next court of common pleas of the same
county to accept or decline the office. A person who neglects or
refuses to appear, after having been duly notified of the
election, shall forfeit to the township the sum of $40 to be
levied by order of the court.
(c) Bond.--The bond given by a constable in a township shall
be in a sum not less than $500 nor more than $3,000, as the
court shall direct, and shall be taken by the clerk of the court
in the name of the Commonwealth, with conditions for just and
faithful discharge by the constable of the duties of office. The
bond shall be held in trust for the use and benefit of persons
who may sustain injury by reason of neglect of duty, and for the
same purposes and uses as a sheriff's bond.]
Section 3. Title 44 is amended by adding a section to read:
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§ 7115. Bond.
The bond given by a constable shall be in a commercially
available sum not less than $500 nor more than $5,000, as the
court shall direct, and shall be taken by the clerk of the court
in the name of the Commonwealth, with conditions for just and
faithful discharge by the constable of the duties of office. The
bond shall be held in trust for the use and benefit of persons
who may sustain injury by reason of neglect of duty and for the
same purposes and uses as a sheriff's bond.
Section 4. Section 7122 of Title 44 is amended to read:
§ 7122. Deputy constables.
(a) General rule.--[Sole power to appoint deputy constables
in a ward, borough or township is vested in the constable of the
ward, borough or township, subject to approval of the court of
common pleas under subsection (b). No person shall be appointed
as a deputy constable unless, at the time of appointment, he is
a bona fide resident of the ward, borough or township for which
he is appointed and he continues to be a bona fide resident for
the duration of the appointment.] Sole power to appoint deputy
constables in a judicial district is vested in a constable of
the judicial district, subject to approval of the court of
common pleas under subsection (b). A person may not be appointed
as a deputy constable unless, at the time of appointment, the
person is a bona fide resident of the judicial district for
which the person is appointed and continues to be a bona fide
resident of the judicial district for the duration of the
appointment.
(b) Court approval and qualifications.--
(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), no deputy
shall be appointed, either by general or partial
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deputization, without approbation of the court of common
pleas of the [county] judicial district, except for special
appointments in a civil suit or proceeding, at the request
and risk of the plaintiff or [his] the plaintiff's agent. If
a deputy no longer resides in, or ceases to be a qualified
elector of, the [ward] judicial district in which [he] the
deputy was appointed to serve, the court of common pleas may
revoke the appointment of the deputy upon petition of five
duly qualified electors of the ward and proof of facts
requiring revocation.
(2) In the event of a deputy's death or inability or
refusal to act, [the] a constable of a [township] judicial
district may, with approbation of the court of common pleas
of the [county] judicial district where the deputy served,
appoint another deputy who shall have full authority to act
until the next regular session of court. The constable and
[his] the constable's surety shall be liable for acts of the
deputy as in other cases. The constable shall file a written
copy of the deputization in the office of the clerk of courts
of the [county] judicial district where the constable serves.
(c) Certain provisions relating to boroughs unaffected.--
This section does not affect the provisions of section 14 of the
act of June 28, 1923 (P.L.903, No.348), entitled "A supplement
to an act, approved the fourteenth day of May, one thousand nine
hundred and fifteen (Pamphlet Laws, three hundred and twelve),
entitled 'An act providing a system for government of boroughs,
and revising, amending, and consolidating the law relating to
boroughs'; so as to provide a system of government where a
borough now has annexed or hereafter shall annex land in an
adjoining county, including assessment of property, levying and
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collection of taxes, making municipal improvements, and filing
and collecting of liens for the same; the jurisdiction of courts
for the enforcement of borough ordinances and State laws, and
primary, general, municipal, and special elections; and
repealing inconsistent laws."
Section 5. Title 44 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 7123. Ceremonial constables.
(a) Optional status.--Because of age, infirmity or other
reason, an elected constable may choose, during the term of the
constable, to become a ceremonial constable as provided in this
section.
(b) Notice.--An elected constable who chooses to become a
ceremonial constable shall provide written notice of that intent
to the president judge of the court of the common pleas of the
judicial district in which the elected constable serves.
(c) Vacancy established.--The notice under subsection (b)
shall cause a vacancy in the office of constable.
(d) Term of service.--Subject to section 7136 (relating to
disqualification):
(1) Subject to subsection (b), an elected constable who
chooses to become a ceremonial constable shall automatically
become a ceremonial constable.
(2) An individual may serve as a ceremonial constable
until the end of the term to which the individual was elected
as constable.
(e) Limited duty.--A ceremonial constable shall only perform
a duty under section 7152 (relating to elections).
(f) Applicability of other chapter provisions.--Only the
following provisions of this chapter shall apply to a ceremonial
constable:
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(1) Section 7131 (relating to public office).
(2) Section 7132 (relating to police officers).
(3) Section 7133 (relating to bail bond enforcement
agent).
(4) Section 7134 (relating to professional bondsman).
(5) Section 7135 (relating to debt collection).
(6) Section 7136.
(7) Section 7152.
(8) Section 7163 (relating to election services).
(9) Section 7176 (relating to compensation violation).
(g) Conduct.--A ceremonial constable may not in any manner
hold himself or herself out to be active as an agent, an
employee or a representative of a court, magisterial district
judge or judge.
(h) Inquiry into official conduct and determination.--
(1) A court of common pleas with competent jurisdiction
may inquire into the official conduct of a ceremonial
constable if a person files a verified petition alleging that
the ceremonial constable is:
(i) incompetent to discharge official duties because
of intemperance or neglect of duty; or
(ii) malfeasant, engages in conduct or employment
prohibited by Subchapter D (relating to conflicts) or is
incompetent to discharge official duties for a reason
other than intemperance or neglect of duty.
(2) If the court determines that a ceremonial constable
is incompetent to discharge official duties, the court may
remove the ceremonial constable from office.
(i) Quo warranto.--A ceremonial constable is also subject to
removal by an action in quo warranto instituted by:
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(1) the district attorney of the county in which the
ceremonial constable serves; or
(2) the Office of Attorney General.
Section 6. Section 7132 of Title 44 is amended to read:
§ 7132. Police officers.
[(a) Constable employed as policeman not to accept other
fees in addition to salary.--Except for public rewards and legal
mileage allowed to a constable for traveling expenses, and
except as provided in subsection (b), it is unlawful for a
constable who is also employed as a policeman to charge or
accept a fee or other compensation, other than his salary as a
policeman, for services rendered or performed pertaining to his
office or duties as a policeman or constable.
(b) Exception.--Unless prevented from doing so by the
operation of 8 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 Subch. J (relating to civil
service for police and fire apparatus operators), borough
policemen who reside in the borough may hold and exercise the
office of constable in the borough, or in any ward thereof, and
receive all costs, fees and emoluments pertaining to such
office.]
Except for public rewards and legal mileage allowed to a
constable or deputy constable for traveling expenses, a
constable or deputy constable who is also employed as a police
officer may not charge or accept a fee or other compensation,
other than salary as a police officer, for services rendered or
performed pertaining to the office or duties of a police
officer, constable or deputy constable. Reimbursement for
mileage is not payable to a constable or deputy constable for
travel within the municipality where the constable or deputy
constable is also employed as a police officer.
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Section 7. Title 44 is amended by adding sections to read:
§ 7133. Bail bond enforcement agent.
(a) General rule.--Unless separately licensed within the
Commonwealth as a bail bond enforcement agent, and except as
provided in subsection (b), a constable or deputy constable may
not recapture suspects who are released on bail. If separately
licensed within the Commonwealth as a bail bond enforcement
agent, a constable or deputy constable recapturing suspects
released on bail shall comply with all statutes and regulations
governing bail bond enforcement agents.
(b) Exception.--Regardless of licensure as a bail bond
enforcement agent, a constable or deputy constable may execute a
warrant of arrest issued for an individual released on bail.
§ 7134. Professional bondsman.
A constable or deputy constable may not engage in or continue
to engage in business as a licensed professional bondsman.
§ 7135. Debt collection.
(a) Debt collector.--Except when engaged under judicial or
other civil process, a constable or deputy constable may not
enforce, collect, settle, adjust or compromise claims on behalf
of a creditor or collection agency.
(b) Collector-repossessor.--Unless regularly employed by an
installment seller or a sales finance company, a constable or
deputy constable may not collect a payment on an installment
sale contract or repossess a motor vehicle that is the subject
of an installment sale contract. When collecting a payment or
repossessing a motor vehicle as a regularly employed person, a
constable or deputy constable may not hold himself out to be a
constable or deputy constable. A constable or deputy constable
who is authorized as a regularly employed person to collect
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these payments or repossess motor vehicles may not independently
contract to perform the same or similar services as a constable
or deputy constable.
(c) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Claim." As defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 7311(h) (relating to
unlawful collection agency practices).
"Collection agency." As defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 7311(h).
"Creditor." As defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 7311(h).
"Installment sale contract." As defined in 12 Pa.C.S. § 6202
(relating to definitions).
"Installment seller." As defined in 12 Pa.C.S. § 6202.
"Motor vehicle." As defined in 12 Pa.C.S. § 6202.
"Sales finance company." As defined in 12 Pa.C.S. § 6202.
§ 7136. Disqualification.
(a) Ineligibility.--An individual is ineligible to be
certified as a constable or deputy constable if that individual:
(1) Was convicted of an offense graded as a felony or
serious misdemeanor and has not been pardoned for the
offense.
(2) Was convicted of an offense in another jurisdiction,
state, territory or country in accordance with the laws of
that jurisdiction, state, territory or country if the offense
is equivalent to an offense under paragraph (1), regardless
of the grading in that location.
(3) Is required to register under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13
(relating to applicability).
(b) Certification.--The Constables' Education and Training
Board may not certify a constable or deputy constable under
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section 7144(9) (relating to program established) who is
disqualified under subsection (a).
(c) Criminal history check.--To comply with this section,
the Constables' Education and Training Board shall check
criminal history record information under 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91
(relating to criminal history record information).
(d) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "serious
misdemeanor" means a criminal offense for which an individual
may be sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more.
§ 7137. Nepotism.
(a) Magisterial district judge.--A magisterial district
judge may not request services from nor assign work to a
constable or deputy constable related to the magisterial
district judge or a staff member of the magisterial district
judge.
(b) Constable.--A constable or deputy constable may not
perform work for or accept an assignment from a magisterial
district judge if the constable or deputy constable is related
to the magisterial district judge or a staff member of the
magisterial district judge.
(c) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "related
to" refers to a spouse, parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece,
nephew, cousin, grandparent, grandchild and member of the same
household.
§ 7138. Precertification requirements.
(a) Standards.--Prior to enrollment in an initial constable
or deputy constable certification course regarding basic
training which has been approved by the commission, an applicant
for constable or deputy constable shall satisfy the following
physical and psychological standards:
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(1) The applicant shall be personally examined by a
physician and found to be physically fit to complete training
and handle lethal and nonlethal weapons. The examination must
yield the following results:
(i) The applicant must be free from debilitating
neurological conditions, including, but not limited to,
tremors, lack of coordination, convulsions or fainting
episodes.
(ii) The applicant must be reasonably able to
withstand significant cardiovascular stress.
(iii) The applicant must be free from the addictive
or excessive use of alcohol and drugs and entirely free
from any nonprescribed controlled substance, as defined
under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known
as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic
Act.
(iv) The applicant must:
(A) have a visual acuity correctable to at least
20/20 in the stronger eye;
(B) have a visual acuity correctable to at least
20/40 in the weaker eye; and
(C) be free of any significant visual
abnormality.
(v) The applicant must be able to distinguish a
normal whisper at a distance of 15 feet. The audio acuity
test shall be independently conducted for each ear while
the tested ear is facing away from the speaker and the
other ear is firmly covered with the palm of the hand.
(vi) The applicant must be free from any other
significant physical defect or disorder that would, in
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the physician's opinion, impair the applicant's ability
to handle a lethal or nonlethal weapon.
(2) The applicant shall be personally examined by a
psychologist and found to be psychologically capable of
exercising appropriate judgment or restraint to handle lethal
and nonlethal weapons at the time of the examination. The
examination shall include the following:
(i) A personal interview of the applicant and review
of the applicant's history. The information gathered
shall include a summary of the applicant's personal,
educational and employment history, along with any
criminal history.
(ii) The administration of any current standard form
of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
by the psychologist or a paraprofessional employed by and
under the direct control and supervision of the
psychologist.
(3) If the psychologist is unable to certify the
applicant's psychological capability or risk to exercise
appropriate judgment and restraint in the handling of a
lethal or nonlethal weapon at the time of the examination
under paragraph (2), after conducting the examination, the
psychologist shall personally employ whatever other
psychological measuring instruments and techniques are deemed
necessary to form a professional opinion. The use of these
instruments and techniques requires a full and complete
written explanation to the commission.
(b) Completion of requirements.--Prior to enrollment in the
next annual constable or deputy constable recertification
course, a currently certified constable or deputy constable who
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has already attended the basic training component but has not
yet completed the physical and psychological examinations under
subsection (a) shall satisfy the requirements under subsection
(a).
(c) Costs.--Each constable or deputy constable, regardless
of whether elected or appointed to the position, shall bear the
costs associated with obtaining and meeting the standards under
this section.
(d) Submission.--
(1) The examining physician under this section shall
forward the physical examination form to the commission
within 15 days of the examination, even if the applicant is
found to be unfit.
(2) The examining psychologist under this section shall
forward the psychological examination form to the commission
within 15 days of the examination, even if the applicant is
found to be psychologically at risk.
(e) Effect of at-risk finding.--An individual who has been
found under this section to be psychologically at risk in the
exercise of appropriate judgment and restraint in the handling
of a lethal or nonlethal weapon may not reapply for
certification until at least one year has passed from the date
of the finding.
(f) Forms.--The commission shall provide acceptable forms
necessary to implement this section.
(g) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Physician." As defined under section 2 of the act of
December 20, 1985 (P.L.457, No.112), known as the Medical
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Practice Act of 1985.
"Psychologist." A person engaged in the practice of
psychology, as described under the act of March 23, 1972
(P.L.136, No.52), known as the Professional Psychologists
Practice Act.
Section 8. Sections 7141, 7142(b) and (c), 7144(12), 7145
and 7148 of Title 44 are amended to read:
§ 7141. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Account." The Constables' Education and Training Account
established in section 7149 (relating to restricted account).
"Board." The Constables' Education and Training Board
established in section 7143 (relating to board established).
["Commission." The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
Delinquency of the Commonwealth.]
"Court." The minor judiciary or any other court in this
Commonwealth.
"Judicial duties." Those services specified in section 7161
(relating to fees).
"Term of office of a deputy constable." The term of office
of the constable who appointed him.
§ 7142. Conduct and insurance.
* * *
(b) Liability insurance.--Every constable and deputy
constable must file with the clerk of courts proof that he has,
currently in force, a policy of professional liability insurance
covering each individual in the performance of his judicial
duties with a minimum coverage of [$250,000] $500,000 per
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incident and a minimum aggregate of [$500,000] $750,000 per
year. The Constables' Education and Training Board shall
[immediately] recurrently investigate and implement the most
cost-effective method of achieving liability insurance for
constables and deputy constables under this subsection.
(c) Loss of certification.--Any constable or deputy
constable who fails, neglects or refuses to maintain a current
insurance policy as required by subsection (b) or to file proof
thereof with the clerk of courts shall cease automatically to be
certified to perform judicial duties upon the expiration of the
policy of which proof has been filed with the clerk of courts. A
fee earned prior to loss of certification remains payable to the
constable or deputy constable.
* * *
§ 7144. Program established.
The board, with the review and approval of the commission,
shall:
* * *
(12) Make an annual report to the Governor and to the
General Assembly concerning:
(i) The administration of the Constables' Education
and Training Program.
(ii) The activities of the board.
(iii) The costs of the program.
(iv) Proposed changes, if any, in this subchapter.
(v) The availability of insurance.
§ 7145. Program contents.
The Constables' Education and Training Program shall include
training for a total [of 80 hours] ranging from a minimum of 120
hours to a maximum of 240 hours, the content of which shall be
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determined by regulation. The training shall be separate from
any firearms-related training. The training shall include
instruction in the interpretation and application of the fees
provided for in section 7161 (relating to fees).
§ 7148. Use of firearms.
The Constables' Education and Training Board, with the review
and approval of the [Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
Delinquency] commission, shall establish standards for the
certification or qualification of constables and deputy
constables to carry or use firearms in the performance of [any]
duties[.] as constable or deputy constable. To serve or continue
serving as a constable or deputy constable, an individual must
be certified or qualified to carry or use firearms in the
performance of duties as constable or deputy constable.
Section 9. Section 7149(a), (b) and (e) of Title 44 are
amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
read:
§ 7149. Restricted account.
(a) Account established.--There is established a special
restricted account within the General Fund, which shall be known
as the Constables' Education and Training Account, for the
purposes of financing training program expenses, the costs of
administering the program and all other costs associated with
the activities of the board and the implementation of this
subchapter and as provided under subsection (f). This account
shall also be used to pay the costs associated with the
Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board established by section
7182 (relating to Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board). The
costs shall not exceed $5,000 per year without a majority vote
by the governing board of the commission.
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(b) Surcharge.--[There] Except as provided in subsection
(b.1), there is assessed as a cost in each case before a
magisterial district judge a surcharge of [$5] $10 per docket
number in each criminal case and [$5] $10 per named defendant in
each civil case in which a constable or deputy constable
performs a service provided in Subchapter G (relating to
compensation)[, except that no county shall be required to pay
this surcharge on behalf of any indigent or other defendant in a
criminal case]. This surcharge shall be added to each docket
each time a constable or a deputy constable performs services
upon the docket. Additionally, a surcharge of $10 shall be
assessed for any "miscellaneous" docket or "domestic relations"
docket issued by the court of common pleas in which a constable
or a deputy constable performs a service.
(b.1) Indigent defendant.--No county shall be required to
pay the surcharge under subsection (b) on behalf of a defendant
in a criminal case who is found to be indigent.
* * *
(e) Audit.--[The Auditor General shall conduct an audit of
the account as he may deem necessary or advisable, from time to
time, but not less than once every three years.] The Auditor
General shall conduct an annual audit of the special restricted
account to assure that all funds received and deposited are
utilized only for their intended purposes regarding constables.
* * *
Section 10. Sections 7151, 7152, 7156(b), 7158 and 7161 of
Title 44 are amended to read:
§ 7151. General imposition of duties and grant of powers.
(a) Statutory duties.--Constables and deputy constables shall
perform all duties [authorized or] imposed on them by statute[.]
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and comply with all the applicable provisions of this title.
(b) Badge and uniform.--
(1) When performing or attempting to perform an
authorized duty, a constable or deputy constable shall carry
a constabulary badge and wear a police-style uniform or other
clothing clearly identifying the individual as a constable or
deputy constable.
(2) If a constable or deputy constable is wearing a
uniform described under paragraph (1), the clothing:
(i) must display the word "constable" or "deputy
constable" as applicable; and
(ii) shall not display the word "police."
(3) By regulation, the commission may establish general
guidelines for uniforms or other clothing consistent with
this section.
§ 7152. Elections.
(a) Duties.--The constable of a borough, township or ward,
or [his] a deputy constable, shall do all of the following:
(1) Be present at the polling place in each election
district of the borough, township or ward at [each election]
elections during the continuance of each election and while
the votes are being counted, for the purpose of preserving
the peace.
(2) Serve at [all] elections.
(b) Performance of duties.--A constable:
(1) Shall perform a duty under subsection (a) when a
county director of elections and voter registration requires
the constable to be present at a polling place within an
election district of the borough, township or ward in which
the constable was elected.
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(2) May perform a duty under subsection (a) when a
county director of elections and voter registration requests
the constable to be present at a polling place within an
election district of the county outside the borough, township
or ward in which the constable was elected.
(3) May not perform a duty under subsection (a) unless
required or requested to do so by the county director of
elections and voter registration, who must base the
requirement or request on the input of judges of election.
(c) Deputy constable.--If a duty is required or requested
under subsection (b), a constable may have a deputy constable:
(1) Substitute for the constable.
(2) Supplement the presence of the constable when the
requirement or request involves more than one polling place.
(d) Ceremonial constable.--If a duty is required or
requested under subsection (b), a constable or deputy constable
may have a ceremonial constable:
(1) Substitute for the constable or deputy constable.
(2) Supplement the presence of the constable or deputy
constable when the requirement or request involves more than
one polling place.
(3) Serve concurrently at a polling place with the
constable or deputy constable.
§ 7156. Executions.
* * *
(b) Invalid returns.--If a constable or deputy constable
makes a false return, does not produce the plaintiff's receipt
on the return day or makes a return deemed insufficient by the
magisterial district judge, the magisterial district judge shall
issue a summons to the constable or deputy constable to appear
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on the designated day, which may not be more than eight days
from the date of issuance, to show cause why a writ of execution
should not be issued against the constable or deputy constable
for the amount of the writ of execution under subsection (a). If
the constable or deputy constable does not appear or does not
show sufficient cause why the writ of execution should not be
issued against him, the magisterial district judge shall enter
judgment against the constable or deputy constable for the
amount of the writ of execution under subsection (a) with costs.
No stay may be entered upon the writ of execution, and, upon
application of the plaintiff or his agent, the magisterial
district judge shall issue an execution against the constable or
deputy constable for the amount of the judgment, which may be
directed to an authorized person. The summons under this
subsection shall be issued to an authorized person to serve. If
the summons is not served, that person shall pay a fine of [$20]
$25. If an authorized person cannot be conveniently found to
serve the summons, the magisterial district judge shall direct
it to the supervisor of the highways of the township, ward or
district where the constable or deputy constable resides, who
shall serve the summons or pay a penalty of [$20] $25.
* * *
§ 7158. Arrest [in boroughs].
[In addition to any other powers granted under law, a
constable of a borough shall, without warrant and upon view,
arrest and commit for hearing any person who:
(1) Is guilty of a breach of the peace, vagrancy,
riotous or disorderly conduct or drunkenness.
(2) May be engaged in the commission of any unlawful act
tending to imperil the personal security or endanger the
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property of the citizens.
(3) Violates any ordinance of the borough for which a
fine or penalty is imposed.]
(a) Authority.--In addition to executing a warrant of
arrest, a readily identifiable constable or deputy constable
while on official business may, without warrant and upon view
and probable cause, arrest and commit for hearing a person whose
ongoing or threatened conduct is a criminal offense presenting
an immediate, clear and present danger to any person or the
general public.
(b) Fee.--A fee is not payable for the effectuation of a
warrantless arrest.
(c) Court forms.--A constable or deputy constable performing
a warrantless arrest shall have access to appropriate court
forms, including criminal complaint forms, to file charges
accordingly.
(d) Effect of section.--Nothing in this section shall be
construed to allow or authorize a constable or deputy constable
to enforce any portion of 74 Pa.C.S. (relating to
transportation) or 75 Pa.C.S. (relating to vehicles).
(e) Definition.--As used in this section the term "readily
identifiable" means that the constable or deputy constable is
wearing a uniform and carrying a badge as required under section
7151(b) (relating to general imposition of duties and grant of
powers) and makes a reasonably prompt effort to identify himself
as a constable or deputy constable.
§ 7161. Fees.
(a) Travel or mileage.--Actual mileage for travel by motor
vehicle shall be reimbursed at a rate equal to the highest rate
allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. Actual mileage for
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travel by motor vehicle is reimbursable for distances equaling
or exceeding one mile. If travel occurs by a mode other than
motor vehicle, reimbursement shall be for the vouchered travel
expenses.
(b) Apportionment.--If more than one defendant is
transported simultaneously, reimbursements shall be for miles
traveled, and the travel cost shall be divided between or among
the defendants.
(c) Additional persons.--A constable or deputy constable
when [he is] transporting a prisoner[, serving a felony or
misdemeanor warrant or serving a warrant on a juvenile or a
defendant of the opposite sex] or serving a warrant may, at
[his] the discretion of the constable or deputy constable, be
accompanied by a second constable or deputy constable who is
certified [under section 7147 (relating to automatic
certification)] to perform judicial duties. In those cases, each
officer shall receive the fee set out in this section. In all
other civil, landlord-tenant and summary criminal cases, the
issuing authority may authorize payment to a second officer.
(d) Civil and landlord-tenant cases.--In civil and landlord-
tenant cases, constable fees must be paid in advance to the
court for services desired to be performed. These fees shall not
be refundable to the plaintiff if a case is settled or a debt is
satisfied less than 48 hours prior to a scheduled sale or
ejectment. In the latter case, the constable or deputy constable
shall be paid for holding the sale or carrying out an ejectment,
respectively.
(e) Payment.--All civil, landlord-tenant and criminal fees
shall be paid by the court to the constable or deputy constable
as soon as possible and in no case not more than 15 days in
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civil and landlord-tenant cases and 30 days in criminal cases
after the service is performed and a proper request for payment
is submitted, provided that, in criminal cases where the books
and accounts of the relevant county offices are payable on a
monthly basis, payment shall be made not more than 15 days after
the close of the month.
(f) Civil and landlord-tenant cases.--Fees in civil and
landlord-tenant cases shall be as follows:
(1) For serving complaint, summons or notice on suitor
or tenant, either personally or by leaving a copy, [$13] $15,
plus [$5] $6 for each additional defendant at the same
address, [$2.50] $3 for each return of service, plus mileage.
(2) For levying goods, including schedule of property
levied upon and set aside, notice of levy and return of
service, [$75] $90, plus mileage.
(3) For advertising personal property for public sale,
[$7] $8 per posting, with a maximum [$21] $25 fee, plus
mileage, plus the cost of advertising.
(4) For selling goods levied, receipts and returns to
court, [$85] $100, plus mileage.
(5) For making return of not found, [$13] $15, plus
mileage. Payment shall be limited to three returns of not
found.
(6) For executing order of possession, [$13] $15, plus
[$5] $6 for each additional defendant at the same address,
[$2.50] $3 for each return of service, plus mileage.
(7) For ejectment, [$90] $105, [$2.50] $3 for each
return of service, plus mileage.
(8) For making any return of service other than not
found, [$2.50] $4 each.
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(9) For providing courtroom security as ordered by a
magisterial district judge, [$13] $15 per hour, assessed
against one or more parties as determined by the court.
(10) Actual mileage for travel by motor vehicle shall be
reimbursed at the rate equal to the highest rate allowed by
the Internal Revenue Service. Actual mileage for travel by
motor vehicle is reimbursable for distances equaling or
exceeding one mile. If travel is by other than motor vehicle,
reimbursement shall be for vouchered travel expenses.
(g) Criminal cases.--Fees in criminal cases shall be as
follows:
(1) For executing each warrant of arrest or for
effectuating the payment of fines and costs by attempting to
execute each warrant of arrest, [$25] $29 for each docket
number and [$2.50] $3 for each return of service, plus
mileage.
(2) [For taking custody of a defendant, $5 per
defendant.] For taking physical custody of a defendant, $10
per defendant, starting when released by a law enforcement
agency or jailor to the constable or deputy constable or
after the execution of a warrant of arrest and ending with
discharge or commitment, with the starting and ending times
documented.
(3) [For conveyance of defendant to or from court, $5
per defendant.] For physically taking a defendant to or from
court, $10 per defendant, but payable when directed to do so
and documented by a magisterial district judge. This fee is
not payable in addition to the fees for transporting a
defendant by motor vehicle under paragraphs (9) and (10)
during the same trip.
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(4) [For attendance at arraignment or hearing, $13.] For
physical attendance at arraignment, preliminary hearing or
payment determination hearing, $15 as a flat fee, but the
beginning and ending times must be documented.
(5) [For executing discharge, $5 per defendant.] For
executing discharge in lieu of arresting a defendant on a
warrant when the money was collected to clear the warrant,
$10 per defendant.
(6) For executing a judicial order of commitment, [$5]
$8 per defendant.
(7) [For executing release, $5 per defendant.] For
executing release of custody from police, sheriff or a
correctional facility to a constable or deputy constable, $8
per defendant.
(8) [For making returns to the court, $2.50.] For making
timely returns of completed paperwork to the court or issuing
authority, $5. For nonservice of a criminal or bench warrant,
the court shall require the constable or deputy constable to
execute an affidavit of due diligence documenting the search
efforts.
(9) Transporting by motor vehicle each nonincarcerated
defendant to jail, [$17] $20, plus mileage; transporting by
motor vehicle an incarcerated prisoner, [$38] $44 per
prisoner, plus an hourly rate of [$13] $15 per hour, plus
mileage. Computation of hourly rate will apply after the
expiration of the first hour per prisoner per hour, not to
exceed [$26] $30 per hour per constable or deputy constable.
(10) Receipt of the fees for transporting by motor
vehicle a nonincarcerated defendant under paragraph (9) shall
not exclude receipt of the fees under paragraphs (6) and (8)
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for that transport.
(11) Receipt of the fees for transporting by motor
vehicle an incarcerated prisoner under paragraph (9) shall
exclude receipt of the fees under paragraphs (2), (3), (4)
and (7) for the transport.
(12) Actual mileage for travel by motor vehicle shall be
reimbursed at the rate equal to the highest rate allowed by
the Internal Revenue Service. Actual mileage for travel by
motor vehicle is reimbursable for distances equaling or
exceeding one mile. If travel is by other than motor vehicle,
reimbursement shall be for vouchered travel expenses.
(13) [For conveying defendants for fingerprinting, $17
per defendant, plus $13 per hour beyond the first hour per
defendant per hour, not to exceed $26 per hour per constable,
plus mileage.] For physically taking defendants for
fingerprinting at a location other than jail, $20 per
defendant as ordered by a magisterial district judge, plus
$15 per hour while present beyond the first hour per
defendant per hour, not to exceed $30 per hour per constable,
plus mileage. Unless the fingerprinting is done at a location
other than the jail, this fee is not payable in addition to
the fees for transporting defendants by motor vehicle under
paragraphs (9) and (10) during the same trip.
(14) For holding one or more defendants at the office of
a magisterial district judge[, $13] for the time the
constable or deputy constable remains prior to the start of
the hearing and the time after the conclusion of the hearing
but prior to release or transport, $15 per hour per defendant
beyond the first half hour.
(15) For courtroom security as ordered by a magisterial
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district judge, [$13] $15 per hour, assessed against one or
more parties as determined by the court.
(16) In all criminal cases wherein the defendant is
discharged or indigent or the case is otherwise dismissed,
the court shall assess to the county the fee provided in this
section, except that, in cases of private criminal complaints
where the defendant is discharged prior to the indictment or
the filing of any information or the case is otherwise
dismissed at the summary offense hearing, the court [shall]
may assess the fee to the affiant[.], except in cases of
domestic violence, wherein the fee shall be assessed to the
county.
(17) The fees for physically taking a defendant under
paragraphs (3) and (13) are payable whether the defendant is
taken by motor vehicle or otherwise, but the fees for
transporting a defendant by motor vehicle under paragraphs
(9), (10) and (11) are not payable if the defendant is not
transported accordingly.
(h) Subpoenas.--For serving district court-issued subpoenas
for civil, landlord-tenant or criminal matters, [$13] $15 for
first witness, plus [$5] $6 for each additional witness at the
same address, [$2.50] $3 return of service for each subpoena,
plus mileage. The same fee shall be payable for attempting to
serve a subpoena at a wrong address supplied by the party
requesting the service. The fees for witnesses and return of
service under this subsection accrue per docket number.
(i) Similar fees.--For civil, landlord-tenant and criminal
services not specifically provided for, the court shall pay the
same fees as it pays for services that it determines to be
similar to those performed.
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(j) Nepotism.--A fee under this subchapter is not payable if
the claim for payment arose under the circumstances prohibited
in section 7137 (relating to nepotism).
(k) Annual adjustment.--Beginning January 1, 2020, the
commission shall annually adjust the fee amounts under this
section to reflect any upward changes in the Consumer Price
Index for all Urban Consumers for the Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Delaware and Maryland area in the preceding 12 months and shall
immediately submit the adjusted fee amount to the Legislative
Reference Bureau for publication as a notice in the Pennsylvania
Bulletin. The fee shall be adjusted by multiplying the annual
fee amount by any percentage increase to the Consumer Price
Index for all Urban Consumers for the Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Delaware and Maryland area, rounded to the nearest $1. The
resultant product shall be added to the fee amount and the sum
shall become the new annual fee amount under this section.
Section 11. Sections 7161.1 and 7171 of Title 44 are
repealed:
[§ 7161.1. Specific fees.
(a) Court appearances and returns.--For attendance on court
and making returns, the fees to be received by constables shall
be $2.50 per day.
(b) Notices of election.--For serving notices of their
election upon township or borough officers, the fees to be
received by constables shall be $0.15 for each service.
(c) Juvenile matters.--Constables shall receive the same
fees for serving writs in juvenile cases as they receive for
similar services in criminal cases.
§ 7171. Election notice in certain areas.
(a) Scope of section.--This section applies to wards,
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townships and districts.
(b) Acting constables.--The acting constable shall, within
six days after the election for a constable, give notice in
writing to the elected individual of election to the office. An
acting constable who violates this subsection shall pay a civil
penalty of $16 to the Commonwealth.
(c) Elected constables.--An individual elected and notified
under subsection (b) shall appear on the next day that the court
of common pleas of the applicable judicial district is in
session and either decline or accept the office. A constable
elect who violates this subsection shall pay a civil penalty of
$16 to the Commonwealth.
(d) Court.--The applicable court of common pleas has the
authority to levy the penalty under subsection (b) or (c).]
Section 12. Sections 7172 and 7176 of Title 44 are amended
to read:
§ 7172. Incompetence and removal.
(a) Inquiry.--A court of common pleas with competent
jurisdiction may inquire into the official conduct of the
constable or deputy constable if any of the following apply:
(1) A surety of the constable or deputy constable files
a verified petition alleging that the constable or deputy
constable is incompetent to discharge official duties because
of intemperance or neglect of duty.
(2) Any person files a verified petition alleging that
the constable or deputy constable is malfeasant, engages in
conduct or employment prohibited by Subchapter D (relating to
conflicts) or is incompetent to discharge official duties for
a reason other than intemperance or neglect of duty. This
paragraph includes an act of oppression of a litigant or a
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witness.
(b) Determination.--If the court determines that the
constable or deputy constable is incompetent to discharge
official duties, the following apply:
(1) The court may:
(i) require additional security from the constable
or deputy constable; or
(ii) remove the constable or deputy constable from
office.
(2) Upon removal under paragraph (1)(ii), the court may
appoint a suitable individual to fill the vacancy until a
successor is elected and qualified. The appointed individual
must have a freehold estate with at least $1,000 beyond
incumbrance or furnish security.
(c) Quo warranto.--A constable or deputy constable is also
subject to removal by an action in quo warranto instituted by:
(1) the district attorney of the county in which the
constable or deputy constable serves; or
(2) the Office of Attorney General.
(d) Deputy constable.--A constable may revoke the
appointment of a deputy constable with or without court
approval.
§ 7176. Compensation violation.
A constable or deputy constable who violates [the act of July
14, 1897 (P.L.206, No.209), entitled "An act to regulate the
remuneration of policemen and constables employed as policemen
throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and prohibiting
them from charging or accepting any fee or other compensation,
in addition to their salary, except as public rewards and
mileage for traveling expenses,"] section 7132 (relating to
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police officers) commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and
shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of [$50]
$1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.
Section 13. Section 7178 of Title 44 is repealed:
[§ 7178. Failure to serve in a township.
(a) Scope of section.--This section applies to an individual
in a township if all of the following circumstances exist:
(1) The individual is elected or appointed a constable.
(2) The individual has a freehold estate worth at least
$1,000.
(3) The individual fails to:
(i) serve; or
(ii) appoint a deputy to serve.
(b) Fine.--Except as set forth in subsection (c), an
individual under subsection (a) shall be fined $40 for the use
of the appropriate township.
(c) Exception.--Subsection (b) shall not apply to an
individual who:
(1) has served personally or by deputy in the office of
constable of the same township within 15 years of election or
appointment; or
(2) has paid a fine under subsection (b) within 15 years
of election or appointment.]
Section 14. Title 44 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 7179. JNET authorization.
(a) Access to JNET.--
(1) To carry out assigned judicial duties, constables or
deputy constables shall be authorized to access driver
information, photographs, address information and other
pertinent information contained within JNET. This access
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shall be available to constables via:
(i) authorized court personnel or authorized court
staff;
(ii) authorized municipal police officers, the
Pennsylvania State Police or deputy sheriffs; or
(iii) any other authorized JNET criminal justice
user.
(2) A constable or a deputy constable must be in
possession of a judicial assignment including, but not
limited to, a warrant, a subpoena, a protection from abuse
order, an order of execution or an order of possession in
order to obtain information under paragraph (1).
(3) To assure compliance with rules and regulations
established by JNET and to track and audit authorized
information released to constables or deputy constables, the
JNET user giving information shall document at least one of
the following:
(i) The official docket number or case number of the
assigned duty and the constable or deputy constable PCCD
certification number.
(ii) The offense tracking number, if applicable, and
the constable or deputy constable PCCD certification
number.
(b) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"JNET." The Pennsylvania Justice Network established under 4
Pa. Code Ch. 6 Subch. SS (relating to Pennsylvania Justice
Network (JNET) Governance Structure).
"PCCD." The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
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Delinquency.
Section 15. Title 44 is amended by adding a subchapter to
read:
SUBCHAPTER I
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
Sec.
7181. Local constabulary review board.
7182. Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board.
7183. Vehicle cages.
§ 7181. Local constabulary review board.
(a) Establishment and purpose.--Each judicial district shall
establish a constabulary review board to:
(1) Assist in resolving disputes involving constables or
deputy constables and their performance of duties or payment
for that performance.
(2) Establish uniform policies, procedures and standards
affecting constabulary service and payment for those
services. In doing so, the constabulary review board may
adopt or promulgate a constabulary handbook, if the handbook
fully complies with this chapter.
(3) Comply with and implement any statute, regulation,
rule of court, judicial ruling or ruling affecting
constabulary service from the Commonwealth Constabulary
Review Board established under section 7182 (relating to
Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board).
(b) Membership.--Membership of a constabulary review board
under this section shall include the following:
(1) The following individuals appointed by the president
judge of the judicial district:
(i) One magisterial district judge of the judicial
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district.
(ii) Two constables certified by the commission and
serving the judicial district.
(iii) One member of the public residing in the
judicial district.
(2) The county controller or a designee of the county
controller.
(c) Chairperson.--The president judge of the judicial
district shall appoint an individual from among the members
under subsection (b) to serve as the chairperson of the
constabulary review board.
(d) Conflict.--If there is a conflict directly involving a
member of a constabulary review board, the appointing authority
shall appoint an alternate to be used to consider the issue.
(e) Tied decision.--If a constabulary review board reaches a
tied decision on a matter brought before it, the president judge
of the judicial district shall cast the tie-breaking vote.
(f) Term.--The full term of a member of a constabulary
review board shall be two years. A member may not serve more
than two consecutive two-year terms. Each new term shall begin
January 1 of an even-numbered year.
(g) Meetings.--Meetings of the constabulary review board
shall occur:
(1) at least once on a quarterly basis, but the
chairperson may call for additional meetings to fulfill the
duties of the constabulary review board; and
(2) in the courthouse of the judicial district, except
as otherwise determined jointly by the chairperson of the
constabulary review board and the president judge of the
judicial district.
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(h) Vacancy.--If a vacancy occurs on the constabulary review
board, the appointing authority shall appoint a replacement
member who shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(i) Compensation.--A member of the constabulary review board
shall not receive compensation for service as a member but shall
be reimbursed for all necessary travel and other reasonable
expenses incurred in connection with the performance of duties
as a member of the constabulary review board.
(j) R emoval.--The president judge of the judicial district
may, upon cause shown, remove a member of the constabulary
review board.
(k) Referral.--Any matter before a constabulary review board
that involves the investigation or allegation of criminal
misconduct shall immediately be referred to the office of
district attorney of the judicial district to preserve the
constitutional rights of any individual who is under
investigation or the subject of allegation.
(l) Administrative penalties.--A constabulary review board
may assign administrative penalties as appropriate.
§ 7182. Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board.
(a) Establishment and purpose.--By regulation, the
commission shall establish the Commonwealth Constabulary Review
Board to:
(1) Assist in resolving disputes involving constables or
deputy constables and their performance of:
(i) Nonjudicial duties, of which the Commonwealth
Constabulary Review Board shall have original
jurisdiction.
(ii) Judicial duties, on appeal from a determination
from a county constabulary review board.
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(2) Comply with and implement any statute, regulation,
rule of court or judicial ruling affecting constabulary
service.
(b) Membership of the Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board
shall include the following:
(1) The following individuals appointed by the
commission, with consideration given to geographic and
demographic diversity across this Commonwealth:
(i) Two magisterial district judges.
(ii) Three constables or deputy constables.
(iii) Two county controllers.
(iv) Two members of the public with knowledge or
experience in matters under this chapter.
(2) One individual appointed by the President pro
tempore of the Senate.
(3) One individual appointed by the Minority Leader of
the Senate.
(4) One individual appointed by the Speaker of the House
of Representatives.
(5) One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the
House of Representatives.
(c) Chairperson.--The commission shall appoint an individual
from among the members under subsection (b) to serve as the
chairperson of the Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board.
(d) Conflict.--If there is a conflict directly involving a
member of the Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board, the
appointing authority shall appoint an alternate to be used to
consider the issue.
(e) Tied decision.--If the Commonwealth Constabulary Review
Board reaches a tied decision on a matter brought before it, the
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commission shall decide the matter.
(f) Term.--The full term of a member of the Commonwealth
Constabulary Review Board shall be two years. A member may not
serve more than two consecutive two-year terms. Each new term
shall begin January 1 of an even-numbered year.
(g) Meetings.--Meetings of the Commonwealth Constabulary
Review Board shall occur:
(1) at least once on a quarterly basis, but the
chairperson may call for additional meetings to fulfill the
duties of the Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board; and
(2) at locations within this Commonwealth as determined
by the chairperson of the Commonwealth Constabulary Review
Board.
(h) Vacancy.--If a vacancy occurs on the Commonwealth
Constabulary Review Board, the appointing authority shall
appoint a replacement member who shall serve for the remainder
of the unexpired term.
(i) Compensation.--A member of the Commonwealth Constabulary
Review Board shall not receive compensation for service as a
member but shall be reimbursed for all necessary travel and
other reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the
performance of duties as a member of the Commonwealth
Constabulary Review Board.
(j) Removal.--The commission may, upon cause shown, remove a
member of the Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board.
(k) Referral.--Any matter before the Commonwealth
Constabulary Review Board that involves the investigation or
allegation of criminal misconduct shall immediately be referred
to the office of district attorney of the appropriate judicial
district or to the Office of Attorney General to preserve the
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constitutional rights of any individual who is under
investigation or the subject of allegation.
(l) Appeals.--The Commonwealth Court has jurisdiction to
hear an appeal of a final order entered in any matter considered
by the Commonwealth Constabulary Review Board.
(m) Administrative penalties.--The Commonwealth Constabulary
Review Board may assign administrative penalties as appropriate.
§ 7183. Vehicle cages.
A motor vehicle used by a constable or deputy constable for
the transportation of a defendant shall contain a cage behind
the driver's seat and in front of the back passenger seat for
purposes of creating separate and secure areas of the motor
vehicle for the constable or deputy constable and the defendant.
The cage shall be permanent rather than temporary and of the
same type and quality as a similar cage in a motor vehicle used
by a sheriff or police officer.
Section 16. This act shall take effect in six months.
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