§ 4137. Contempt powers of magisterial district judges.
(a) General rule.-- A magisterial district judge shall have the power to issue attachments and impose summary punishments for criminal contempts of a magisterial district judge court in the following cases:
(1) Misbehavior of any person in the presence of the court, thereby obstructing the administration of justice.
(2) Failure of a person to obey lawful process in the nature of a subpoena issued by a magisterial district judge.
(3) Failure to comply with an order of a magisterial district judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to compensate the victim of the criminal conduct for the damage or injury sustained by the victim.
(4) Failure to comply with an order of a magisterial district judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order.
(5) Violation of an order issued pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6110 (relating to emergency relief by minor judiciary).
(b) Limitation.--The power of contempt shall not include system and related personnel, attorneys or law enforcement officers when performing official duties or acting as officers of the court.
(c) Punishment.--Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(1) or (3) may be a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(2) shall be a fine of not more than $100. Failure to pay within a reasonable time could result in imprisonment for not more than ten days. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(5) shall be in accordance with that specified in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6114(b) (relating to contempt for violation of order or agreement). Punishment for contempt in subsection (a)(4) would be imprisonment for not more than 90 days.
(d) Procedure.--A magisterial district judge shall have the power to issue an attachment by means of a warrant and to conduct a hearing prior to the imposition of punishment for contempt. Any punishment imposed by a magisterial district judge for contempt shall be automatically stayed for a period of ten days from the date of imposition of the punishment during which time an appeal of the action of the magisterial district judge may be filed with the court of common pleas of the judicial district. The stay shall remain in effect pending the disposition of an appeal. Upon the filing of the appeal, the court of common pleas shall hear the matter de novo. On appeal, the accused shall have the right to be notified of the accusation and shall have a reasonable time to make a defense. The defendant shall not have a right to a jury trial on appeal.
(e) Bail.--A magisterial district judge may not impose bail as a condition of release of any person accused of contempt specified in subsection (a)(1), (2) or (3) during the period that punishment is stayed under subsection (d). A magisterial district judge may impose bail as a condition of release of any person who has committed contempt specified in subsection (a)(4) and (5).
(June 15, 1994, P.L.273, No.45, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)
2004 Amendment. Act 207 amended the heading and subsecs. (a), (d) and (e). See section 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to construction of law.
1994 Amendment. Act 45 added section 4137.
Suspension by Court Rule. Section 4137 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure No. 1101(1), adopted March 1, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with the 30-day appeal period and 30-day automatic stay period set forth in Rule 141 relating to preliminary hearing; continuances.
Cross References. Section 4137 is referred to in section 1523 of this title.