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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

TITLE 42

JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE

 

PART I.  PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

Chapter 1.  General Provisions

 

§ 101.  Short title of title.

§ 102.  Definitions.

§ 103.  Principles of construction.

 

PART II.  ORGANIZATION

 

SUBPART A.  COURTS AND MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGES

 

ARTICLE A.  PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

Chapter 3.  General Structure and Powers

 

Subchapter A.  Unified Judicial System

 

§ 301.  Unified judicial system.

 

Subchapter B.  General Provisions Relating to Courts

 

§ 321.  Court of record.

§ 322.  Seal.

§ 323.  Powers.

§ 324.  Sessions and terms of court.

§ 325.  Chief Justice and president judges.

§ 326.  Quorum.

§ 327.  Oaths and acknowledgments.

 

ARTICLE B.  APPELLATE COURTS

 

Chapter 5.  Organization of Appellate Courts

 

Subchapter A.  Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

 

§ 501.  Supreme Court.

§ 502.  General powers of Supreme Court.

§ 503.  Reassignment of matters.

§ 504.  Seat of court.

 

Subchapter B.  Superior Court of Pennsylvania

 

§ 541.  Superior Court.

§ 542.  Powers of Superior Court.

§ 543.  Seat of court.

§ 544.  Additional judges.

 

Subchapter C.  Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

 

§ 561.  Commonwealth Court.

§ 562.  Powers of Commonwealth Court.

§ 563.  Seat of court.

§ 564.  Evidentiary hearings.

 

Chapter 7.  Jurisdiction of Appellate Courts

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 701.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 702.  Interlocutory orders.

§ 702.1. Expedited appeals in eminent domain proceedings.

§ 703.  Place and form of filing appeals.

§ 704.  Waiver of objections to jurisdiction.

§ 705.  Transfers between intermediate appellate courts.

§ 706.  Disposition of appeals.

§ 707.  Lien of judgments for money.

§ 708.  Improvident administrative appeals and other matters.

 

Subchapter B.  Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

 

§ 721.  Original jurisdiction.

§ 722.  Direct appeals from courts of common pleas.

§ 723.  Appeals from Commonwealth Court.

§ 724.  Allowance of appeals from Superior and Commonwealth Courts.

§ 725.  Direct appeals from constitutional and judicial agencies.

§ 726.  Extraordinary jurisdiction.

§ 727.  Special tribunal.

 

Subchapter C.  Jurisdiction of Superior Court

 

§ 741.  Original jurisdiction.

§ 742.  Appeals from courts of common pleas.

 

Subchapter D.  Jurisdiction of Commonwealth Court

 

§ 761.  Original jurisdiction.

§ 762.  Appeals from courts of common pleas.

§ 763.  Direct appeals from government agencies.

§ 764.  Election contests and other matters.

 

ARTICLE C.  COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS

 

Chapter 9.  Organization and Jurisdiction of Courts of Common Pleas

 

Subchapter A.  Judicial Districts

 

§ 901.  Judicial districts.

 

Subchapter B.  Organization of Courts of Common Pleas

 

§ 911.  Courts of common pleas.

§ 912.  Powers of courts of common pleas.

§ 913.  Seats of courts.

§ 914.  Reimbursement for common pleas court costs.

§ 915.  Proportional reduction.

§ 916.  Problem-solving courts.

§ 917.  Housing courts.

 

Subchapter C.  Jurisdiction of Courts of Common Pleas

 

§ 931.  Original jurisdiction and venue.

§ 932.  Appeals from minor judiciary.

§ 933.  Appeals from government agencies.

§ 934.  Writs of certiorari.

 

Subchapter D.  Court Divisions

 

§ 951.  Court divisions.

§ 952.  Status of court divisions.

§ 953.  Administrative judges of divisions.

 

Subchapter E.  Sections of the Staff of the Court

 

§ 961.  Domestic relations section.

§ 962.  Other sections.

 

ARTICLE D.  MINOR COURTS

 

Chapter 11.  Community and Municipal Courts

 

Subchapter A.  Community Courts

 

§ 1101.  Community courts.

§ 1102.  Establishment or discontinuance of community courts.

§ 1103.  Powers of community courts.

§ 1104.  Seats of courts.

§ 1105.  Jurisdiction and venue.

§ 1106.  Lien of judgments.

 

Subchapter B.  Philadelphia Municipal Court

 

§ 1121.  Philadelphia Municipal Court.

§ 1122.  Seat of court.

§ 1123.  Jurisdiction and venue.

§ 1124.  Lien of judgments.

§ 1125.  Substitute arraignment court magistrates.

§ 1126.  Masters.

§ 1127.  Hearing officers.

 

Subchapter C.  Pittsburgh Magistrates Court

 

§ 1141.  Pittsburgh Magistrates Court.

§ 1142.  Seat of court.

§ 1143.  Jurisdiction and venue.

§ 1144.  Lien of judgment.

 

Chapter 13.  Traffic Courts

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 1301.  Seats of traffic courts.

§ 1302.  Jurisdiction and venue.

§ 1303.  Signatures and dockets.

 

Subchapter B.  Traffic Court of Philadelphia

 

§ 1321.  Traffic Court of Philadelphia.

 

Subchapter C.  Traffic Court of Pittsburgh

 

§ 1331.  Traffic Court of Pittsburgh.

§ 1332.  Operations of traffic court.

 

Subchapter D.  Optional Traffic Courts

 

§ 1341.  Third class city traffic courts authorized.

§ 1342.  Operations of optional traffic courts.

 

ARTICLE E.  MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGES

 

Chapter 15.  Magisterial District Judges

 

Subchapter A.  Magisterial Districts

 

§ 1501.  Definitions.

§ 1502.  Classification of districts.

§ 1503.  Reestablishment of districts.

 

Subchapter B.  Magisterial District Judges

 

§ 1511.  Magisterial district judges.

§ 1512.  Seal.

§ 1513.  Powers of magisterial district judges.

§ 1514.  Offices.

§ 1515.  Jurisdiction and venue.

§ 1516.  Lien of judgment.

§ 1517.  Salary (Repealed).

§ 1518.  Philadelphia Municipal Court (Repealed).

§ 1519.  Philadelphia Traffic Court (Repealed).

§ 1520.  Adjudication alternative program.

§ 1521.  Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for summary offenders (Repealed).

§ 1522.  Notice of summary cases involving juveniles.

§ 1523.  Parental or legal guardian attendance required at juvenile hearings.

 

ARTICLE F.  COURT OF JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE

 

Chapter 16.  Court of Judicial Discipline of Pennsylvania

 

§ 1601.  Court of Judicial Discipline.

§ 1602.  Composition of court.

§ 1603.  Organization and operation.

§ 1604.  Powers of Court of Judicial Discipline.

§ 1605.  Seat of court.

§ 1606.  Official immunity.

 

SUBPART B.  OTHER STRUCTURAL PROVISIONS

 

Chapter 17.  Governance of the System

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 1701.  General supervisory and administrative authority of the Supreme Court.

§ 1702.  Rule making procedures.

§ 1703.  Meeting procedures.

 

Subchapter B.  Specific Powers of the Governing Authority of the System

 

§ 1721.  Delegation of powers.

§ 1722.  Adoption of administrative and procedural rules.

§ 1723.  General supervisory and administrative authority.

§ 1724.  Personnel of the system.

§ 1725.  Establishment of fees and charges.

§ 1725.1. Costs.

§ 1725.2. Assumption of summary conviction costs by county.

§ 1725.3. Criminal laboratory user fee.

§ 1725.4. Fee increases and automation fee.

§ 1725.5. Booking center fee.

§ 1725.6. Countywide booking center plan.

§ 1726.  Establishment of taxable costs.

§ 1726.1. Forensic examination costs for sexual offenses.

§ 1726.2. Criminal prosecutions involving domestic violence.

§ 1727.  Budget and financial matters.

§ 1728.  Recognition of related organizations.

§ 1729.  Conferences and institutes.

§ 1730.  Boards, councils, commissions and committees.

 

Subchapter C.  Compensation

 

§ 1741.  Compensation of judges.

§ 1742.  Exclusive jurisdiction of Supreme Court.

 

Chapter 18.  Compensation (Repealed)

 

§ 1801 - § 1810 (Repealed).

 

Chapter 19.  Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

 

§ 1901.  Court Administrator of Pennsylvania.

§ 1902.  Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

§ 1903.  Staff.

§ 1904.  Availability of criminal charge information in child custody proceedings.

§ 1905.  County-level court administrators.

§ 1906.  Senior judge operational support grants.

§ 1907.  Deteriorated real property education and training program for judges.

 

Chapter 21.  Judicial Boards and Commissions

 

Subchapter A.  Judicial Conduct Board

 

§ 2101.  Judicial Conduct Board.

§ 2102.  Composition of board.

§ 2103.  Organization.

§ 2104.  Staff and operations.

§ 2105.  Powers and duties.

§ 2106.  Official immunity.

 

Subchapter B.  Judicial Qualifications Commission (Reserved)

 

Subchapter C.  Jury Selection Commissions

 

§ 2121.  Jury selection commissions.

§ 2122.  Composition of jury selection commissions.

§ 2123.  Expenses, staff and quarters.

§ 2124.  Powers and duties.

 

Subchapter D.  Minor Judiciary Education Board

 

§ 2131.  Minor Judiciary Education Board.

§ 2132.  Composition of board.

§ 2133.  Organization.

§ 2134.  Staff.

§ 2135.  Powers and duties.

 

Subchapter E.  Boards of Viewers

 

§ 2141.  Boards of viewers.

§ 2142.  Composition of boards.

§ 2143.  Staff.

§ 2144.  Powers and duties.

 

Subchapter F.  Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing

 

§ 2151.  Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing (Repealed).

§ 2151.1. Definitions.

§ 2151.2. Commission.

§ 2152.  Composition of commission.

§ 2153.  Powers and duties.

§ 2154.  Adoption of guidelines for sentencing.

§ 2154.1. Adoption of guidelines for county intermediate punishment.

§ 2154.2. Adoption of guidelines for State intermediate punishment.

§ 2154.3. Adoption of guidelines for fines.

§ 2154.4. Adoption of guidelines for resentencing.

§ 2154.5. Adoption of guidelines for parole.

§ 2154.6. Adoption of recommitment ranges following revocation of parole by board.

§ 2154.7. Adoption of risk assessment instrument.

§ 2155.  Publication of guidelines for sentencing, resentencing and parole, risk assessment instrument and recommitment ranges following revocation.

§ 2156.  Severability of subchapter.

 

Subchapter G.  Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners

 

§ 2161.  Criminal history record checks.

 

Chapter 23.  Personnel of the System

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 2301.  Appointment of personnel.

§ 2302.  Maintenance of adequate county staff.

 

Subchapters B through I (Reserved)

 

Subchapter J.  Transferred County-Level Court Administrator Leave and Benefits

 

§ 2391.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 2392.  Definitions.

§ 2393.  Holidays.

§ 2394.  Sick leave and annual leave.

§ 2395.  Other leave.

§ 2396.  Leave following transfer.

§ 2397.  County payments for certain leave.

 

Chapter 25.  Representation of Litigants

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 2501.  Appearance in person or by counsel.

§ 2502.  Certain persons not to appear as counsel.

§ 2503.  Right of participants to receive counsel fees.

§ 2504.  Letters of attorney.

 

Subchapter B.  Attorneys and Counsellors

 

§ 2521.  Office of attorney at law.

§ 2522.  Oath of office.

§ 2523.  Persons specially admitted by local rules.

§ 2524.  Penalty for unauthorized practice of law.

§ 2525.  Unauthorized solicitation prohibited.

 

Chapter 27.  Office of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 2701.  Scope and purpose of chapter.

§ 2702.  Place of filing of documents.

§ 2703.  Notice of transfer of functions and duties.

§ 2704.  Responsibility for entry, maintenance and certification of data and certification of amicable judgments.

§ 2705.  Responsibility for reports to executive agencies.

 

Subchapter B.  Prothonotaries

 

§ 2731.  Prothonotary.

§ 2732.  Selection of prothonotary.

§ 2733.  Seal.

§ 2734.  Office of the prothonotary.

§ 2735.  Staff.

§ 2736.  Matters or documents filed in the office of the prothonotary.

§ 2737.  Powers and duties of the office of the prothonotary.

§ 2737.1. Incorrect debtor identified.

§ 2738.  Criminal, probate, estates and fiduciary matters.

 

Subchapter C.  Clerks of the Courts

 

§ 2751.  Clerk of the courts.

§ 2752.  Selection of clerk of the courts.

§ 2753.  Seal.

§ 2754.  Office of the clerk of the courts.

§ 2755.  Staff.

§ 2756.  Matters or documents filed in the office of the clerk of the courts.

§ 2757.  Powers and duties of the office of the clerk of the courts.

 

Subchapter D.  Clerks of Orphans' Court Divisions

 

§ 2771.  Clerk of the orphans' court division.

§ 2772.  Selection of clerk of the orphans' court division.

§ 2773.  Seal.

§ 2774.  Office of the clerk of the orphans' court division.

§ 2775.  Staff.

§ 2776.  Matters or documents filed in the office of the clerk of the orphans' court division.

§ 2777.  Powers and duties of the office of the clerk of the orphans' court division.

 

Chapter 29.  Officers Serving Process and Enforcing Orders

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions (Reserved)

 

Subchapter B.  Sheriffs

 

§ 2921.  Powers and duties of the sheriff.

 

Subchapter C.  Constables (Repealed)

 

§ 2941 - § 2950 (Repealed).

 

PART III.  SELECTION, RETENTION AND REMOVAL

OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS

 

Chapter 31.  Selection and Retention of Judicial Officers

 

Subchapter A.  Qualifications Generally

 

§ 3101.  Qualifications of judicial officers generally.

 

Subchapter B.  Qualifications of Certain Minor Judiciary

 

§ 3111.  Definitions.

§ 3112.  Course of instruction and examination required.

§ 3113.  Content of course of instruction and examination.

§ 3114.  Admission of interested persons.

§ 3115.  Certification of successful completion of course of training.

§ 3116.  Effect of failure to obtain certificate.

§ 3117.  Expenses.

§ 3118.  Continuing education requirement.

§ 3119.  Rules and regulations.

 

Subchapter C.  Selection of Judicial Officers

 

§ 3131.  Selection of judicial officers for regular terms.

§ 3132.  Vacancies in office.

§ 3132.1. Reappointment of magisterial district judge.

§ 3133.  Commonwealth Court judges.

§ 3134.  Community court judges.

§ 3135.  Increase in number of judges.

 

Subchapter D.  Tenure and Compensation

 

§ 3151.  Oath of office.

§ 3152.  Tenure of judicial officers.

§ 3153.  Retention elections after regular term.

§ 3154.  Compensation of judicial officers (Repealed).

 

Chapter 33.  Discipline, Removal and Retirement of Judicial   Officers

 

Subchapter A.  Standards of Conduct

 

§ 3301.  Constitutional restrictions.

§ 3302.  Additional restrictions.

§ 3303.  Additional compensation prohibited.

§ 3304.  Acting as collection agent or paid arbitrator prohibited.

§ 3305.  Automatic removal upon conviction or disbarment.

§ 3306.  Automatic removal upon nonjudicial candidacy.

§ 3307.  Automatic suspension of judicial officer under impeachment.

 

Subchapter B.  Establishment and Discontinuance of Courts

 

§ 3321.  Establishment of community courts.

§ 3322.  Discontinuance of community courts.

 

Subchapter C.  Discipline and Removal of Judges

 

§ 3331.  Power of discipline or removal.

§ 3332.  Investigation and hearing.

§ 3333.  Recommendation to and action by Supreme Court (Deleted by amendment).

§ 3334.  Proceedings confidential.

 

Subchapter D.  Retirement

 

§ 3351.  Automatic retirement on age.

§ 3352.  Pension rights.

 

PART IV.  FINANCIAL MATTERS

 

Chapter 35.  Budget and Finance

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 3501.  Definitions.

§ 3502.  Financial regulations.

§ 3503.  Penalties.

 

Subchapter B.  Judicial Department Budget and Finance

 

§ 3521.  Development of budget information.

§ 3522.  Preparation of tentative budget request.

§ 3523.  Adoption of final budget request.

§ 3524.  Form of Judicial Department appropriation.

§ 3525.  List of employees to be furnished.

§ 3526.  Release of funds.

§ 3527.  Estimates of current expenditures by Administrative Office.

§ 3528.  Fiscal period.

§ 3529.  Audits of affairs of unified judicial system.

§ 3530.  Preparation of requisitions.

§ 3531.  Budget implementation data.

§ 3532.  Expenses.

 

Subchapter C.  County Finance

 

§ 3541.  Judicial and related account.

§ 3542.  Receipts.

§ 3543.  Credits to account.

§ 3544.  Disbursements.

§ 3545.  Debits to account.

§ 3546.  Relief from liability for loss of property if expenses not paid.

§ 3547.  Restriction on compelling local action.

 

Subchapter D.  Money Paid into Court

 

§ 3561.  Money paid into court.

 

Subchapter E.  Fines, Etc.

 

§ 3571.  Commonwealth portion of fines, etc.

§ 3572.  County portion of fines, etc.

§ 3573.  Municipal corporation portion of fines, etc.

§ 3574.  Fines in the nature of private compensation.

§ 3575.  Criminal Justice Enhancement Account.

 

Subchapter F.  Compensation and Salaries

 

§ 3581.  Judicial salaries (Repealed).

 

Chapter 37.  Facilities and Supplies

 

Subchapter A.  Statewide Facilities and Services

 

§ 3701.  Pennsylvania Judicial Center (Reserved).

§ 3702.  General facilities and services furnished by Administrative Office.

§ 3703.  Local chamber facilities.

§ 3704.  Local facilities for holding sessions of Statewide courts.

 

Subchapter B.  District and County Facilities and Services

 

§ 3721.  County judicial center or courthouse.

§ 3722.  General facilities and services furnished by county.

§ 3723.  Other facilities and services furnished by Administrative Office.

§ 3724.  County law libraries.

§ 3725.  Standards of local facilities and services.

§ 3726.  Manner of expenditure of local funds.

§ 3727.  Restriction on compelling local action.

 

Subchapter C.  Judicial Computer System

 

§ 3731.  Establishment of restricted receipt account.

§ 3732.  Utilization of funds in account.

§ 3733.  Deposits into account.

§ 3733.1. Surcharge.

§ 3734.  Annual appropriations.

§ 3735.  Review of plan and contracts.

 

PART V.  ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE GENERALLY

 

Chapter 41.  Administration of Justice

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 4101.  Coordination of activities.

§ 4102.  Liability insurance for district justices (Repealed).

 

Subchapter B.  Temporary Assignment of Judges and Magisterial District Judges

 

§ 4121.  Assignment of judges.

§ 4122.  Assignment of magisterial district judges.

§ 4123.  Assignment procedure.

§ 4124.  Assignment of senior Philadelphia Municipal Court judges.

 

Subchapter C.  Contempt of Court

 

§ 4131.  Definitions (Reserved).

§ 4132.  Attachment and summary punishment for contempts.

§ 4133.  Commitment or fine for contempt.

§ 4134.  Commitment for failure to pay fine.

§ 4135.  Publication out of court.

§ 4136.  Rights of persons charged with certain indirect criminal contempts.

§ 4137.  Contempt powers of magisterial district judges.

§ 4138.  Contempt powers of Pittsburgh Magistrates Court.

§ 4139.  Contempt powers of Traffic Court of Philadelphia.

 

Chapter 43.  Dockets, Indices and Other Records

 

Subchapter A.  Establishment, Maintenance and Effect of Judicial Records

 

§ 4301.  Establishment and maintenance of judicial records.

§ 4302.  Effect of records as notice.

§ 4303.  Effect of judgments and orders as liens.

§ 4304.  Notice of Federal pending actions.

§ 4305.  Federal judgments as liens.

§ 4306.  Enforcement of foreign judgments.

 

Subchapter B.  Disposition of Obsolete Records

 

§ 4321.  Record retention schedules.

§ 4322.  Destruction and disposition of obsolete records.

§ 4323.  Form of recordation.

§ 4324.  Copies of destroyed records.

§ 4325.  Duplicate permanent records.

§ 4326.  Original records meriting special care.

§ 4327.  Transfer of custody to local museum upon application.

 

Chapter 44.  Court Interpreters

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 4401.  Legislative findings and declaration.

§ 4402.  Definitions.

 

Subchapter B.  Court Interpreters for Persons with Limited English Proficiency

 

§ 4411.  Duties of Court Administrator.

§ 4412.  Appointment of interpreter.

§ 4413.  Replacement of interpreter.

§ 4414.  Oath.

§ 4415.  Confidential communications in presence of interpreter.

§ 4416.  Cost of providing interpreter.

§ 4417.  Funding.

 

Subchapter C.  Court Interpreters for Persons Who Are Deaf

 

§ 4431.  Duties of Court Administrator.

§ 4432.  Appointment of interpreter.

§ 4433.  Replacement of interpreter.

§ 4434.  Interrogation.

§ 4435.  Oath.

§ 4436.  Confidential communications in presence of interpreter.

§ 4437.  Cost of providing interpreter.

§ 4438.  Funding.

 

Chapter 45.  Juries and Jurors

 

Subchapter A.  Qualifications and Exemptions

 

§ 4501.  Declaration of policy.

§ 4502.  Qualifications of jurors.

§ 4503.  Exemptions from jury duty.

 

Subchapter B.  Selection and Custody of Jurors

 

§ 4521.  Selection of prospective jurors.

§ 4521.1. Statewide jury information system.

§ 4522.  List of qualified jurors.

§ 4523.  List of disqualified jurors.

§ 4524.  Selection of jurors for service.

§ 4525.  Equipment used for selection of jurors.

§ 4526.  Challenging compliance with selection procedures.

§ 4527.  Effect of verdict on jury selection errors.

 

Subchapter C.  Summoning Jurors

 

§ 4531.  Issuance of court orders for jurors.

§ 4532.  Summoning persons to serve as jurors.

 

Subchapter D.  Investigating Grand Juries

 

§ 4541.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 4542.  Definitions.

§ 4543.  Convening county investigating grand jury.

§ 4544.  Convening multicounty investigating grand jury.

§ 4545.  Composition of investigating grand jury.

§ 4546.  Term of investigating grand jury.

§ 4547.  Additional investigating grand juries.

§ 4548.  Powers of investigating grand jury.

§ 4549.  Investigating grand jury proceedings.

§ 4550.  Submission of investigations by attorney for the Commonwealth to investigating grand jury.

§ 4551.  Investigating grand jury presentments.

§ 4552.  Investigating grand jury reports.

§ 4553.  Expenses of investigating grand juries and trials   resulting therefrom.

 

Subchapter E.  Miscellaneous Provisions

 

§ 4561.  Compensation of and travel allowance for jurors.

§ 4562.  Juror's right to refuse inquiries.

§ 4563.  Protection of employment of petit and grand jurors.

§ 4563.1. Protection of employment of grand jurors (Deleted by amendment).

§ 4564.  Alternate jurors.

§ 4565.  Challenging certain petit jurors where political subdivision is a party.

 

Subchapter F.  Penalties

 

§ 4581.  Interfering with selection of jurors.

§ 4582.  Tampering with names of jurors.

§ 4583.  Tampering with jurors.

§ 4583.1. Aggravated jury tampering.

§ 4584.  Failure of juror to appear.

 

Chapter 47.  DNA Data and Testing (Repealed)

 

Subchapter A.  Preliminary Provisions (Repealed)

 

§ 4701 - § 4703 (Repealed).

 

Subchapter B.  General Provisions (Repealed)

 

§ 4711 - § 4722 (Repealed).

 

Subchapter C.  Enforcement and Other Provisions (Repealed)

 

§ 4731 - § 4736 (Repealed).

 

Subchapter D.  Miscellaneous Provisions (Repealed)

 

§ 4741 (Repealed).

 

Chapter 49.  Access to Justice

 

§ 4901.  Short title of chapter.

§ 4902.  Declaration.

§ 4903.  Definitions.

§ 4904.  Establishment of Access to Justice Account.

§ 4905.  Purpose of account.

§ 4906.  Distribution of funds.

§ 4907.  Expiration of chapter.

 

PART VI.  ACTIONS, PROCEEDINGS AND

OTHER MATTERS GENERALLY

 

Chapter 51.  Preliminary Provisions

 

§ 5101.  Remedy to exist for legal injury.

§ 5101.1. Venue in medical professional liability actions.

§ 5102.  Place and form of filing applications for relief.

§ 5103.  Transfer of erroneously filed matters.

§ 5104.  Trial by jury.

§ 5105.  Right to appellate review.

§ 5106.  Change of venue.

§ 5107.  Service of process.

§ 5108.  Imprisonment for debt.

§ 5110.  Limited waiver of sovereign immunity (Repealed).

§ 5111.  Limitations on damages (Repealed).

 

Chapter 53.  Bases of Jurisdiction and Interstate and International Procedure

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 5301.  Persons.

§ 5302.  Land.

§ 5303.  Chattels.

§ 5304.  Documents.

§ 5305.  Corporate shares.

§ 5306.  Obligations.

§ 5307.  Status.

§ 5308.  Necessary minimum contacts.

 

Subchapter B.  Interstate and International Procedure

 

§ 5321.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 5322.  Bases of personal jurisdiction over persons outside this Commonwealth.

§ 5323.  Service of process on persons outside this Commonwealth.

§ 5324.  Assistance to tribunals and litigants outside this Commonwealth with respect to service.

§ 5325.  When and how a deposition may be taken outside this Commonwealth.

§ 5326.  Assistance to tribunals and litigants outside this Commonwealth with respect to depositions (Repealed).

§ 5327.  Determination of foreign law.

§ 5328.  Proof of official records.

§ 5329.  Other provisions of law unaffected.

 

Subchapter B.1.  Foreign Depositions and Subpoenas

 

§ 5331.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 5332.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 5333.  Definitions.

§ 5334.  Principles of construction.

§ 5335.  Issuance of subpoena.

§ 5336.  Pennsylvania rules applicable.

§ 5337.  Application to court.

 

Subchapter C.  Child Custody Jurisdiction (Repealed)

 

§ 5341 - § 5366 (Repealed).

 

Chapter 55.  Limitation of Time

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 5501.  Scope of chapter.

§ 5502.  Method of computing periods of limitation generally.

§ 5503.  Commencement of matters.

§ 5504.  Judicial extension of time.

§ 5505.  Modification of orders.

 

Subchapter B.  Civil Actions and Proceedings

 

§ 5521.  Limitations on foreign claims.

§ 5522.  Six months limitation.

§ 5523.  One year limitation.

§ 5524.  Two year limitation.

§ 5524.1. Limitation and application for asbestos claims.

§ 5525.  Four year limitation.

§ 5526.  Five year limitation.

§ 5527.  Six year limitation.

§ 5528.  Fifteen year limitation.

§ 5529.  Twenty year limitation.

§ 5530.  Twenty-one year limitation.

§ 5531.  No limitation.

§ 5532.  Absence or concealment.

§ 5533.  Infancy, insanity or imprisonment.

§ 5534.  War.

§ 5535.  Effect of other actions and proceedings.

§ 5536.  Construction projects.

§ 5537.  Land surveying.

§ 5538.  Landscape architecture.

 

Subchapter C.  Criminal Proceedings

 

§ 5551.  No limitation applicable.

§ 5552.  Other offenses.

§ 5553.  Summary offenses involving vehicles.

§ 5554.  Tolling of statute.

 

Subchapter D.  Appeals

 

§ 5571.  Appeals generally.

§ 5571.1. Appeals from ordinances, resolutions, maps, etc.

§ 5572.  Time of entry of order.

§ 5573.  Effect of application for rehearing.

§ 5574.  Effect of application for amendment to qualify for interlocutory appeal.

 

Chapter 57.  Bonds and Recognizances

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 5701.  Right to bail.

§ 5702.  Bail to be governed by general rules.

 

Subchapter B.  Professional Bondsmen

 

§ 5741.  Definitions.

§ 5742.  Registration and licensure required.

§ 5743.  Issuance of license.

§ 5744.  Office.

§ 5745.  Refusal to grant or renew license.

§ 5746.  Suspension or revocation of license.

§ 5747.  Statements by fidelity or surety companies.

§ 5748.  Maximum premiums.

§ 5749.  Prohibitions and penalties.

 

Subchapter C.  Special Provisions

 

§ 5761.  Bail in drug offenses.

 

Chapter 59.  Depositions and Witnesses

 

Subchapter A.  Witnesses Generally

 

§ 5901.  Judicial oath.

§ 5902.  Effect of religious beliefs.

§ 5903.  Compensation and expenses of witnesses.

§ 5904.  Subpoena of witnesses.

§ 5905.  Subpoenas.

 

CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

 

§ 5911.  Competency of witnesses generally.

§ 5912.  Effect of prior convictions.

§ 5913.  Spouses as witnesses against each other.

§ 5914.  Confidential communications between spouses.

§ 5915.  Testimony by spouse in rebuttal.

§ 5916.  Confidential communications to attorney.

§ 5917.  Notes of evidence at former trial.

§ 5918.  Examination of defendant as to other offenses.

§ 5919.  Depositions in criminal matters.

§ 5920.  Expert testimony in certain criminal proceedings.

 

CIVIL MATTERS

 

§ 5921.  Interest not to disqualify.

§ 5922.  Disqualification by perjury.

§ 5923.  Confidential communications between spouses.

§ 5924.  Spouses as witnesses against each other.

§ 5925.  Testimony by married person against spouse in rebuttal.

§ 5926.  Testimony by spouse after attack on character or conduct.

§ 5927.  Actions by spouse to recover separate property.

§ 5928.  Confidential communications to attorney.

§ 5929.  Physicians not to disclose information.

§ 5930.  Surviving party as witness, in case of death, mental incapacity, etc.

§ 5931.  Incompetent witnesses.

§ 5932.  Witness competent to testify against interest; to become competent upon release of interest.

§ 5933.  Competency of surviving party.

§ 5934.  Notes of evidence at former trial.

§ 5935.  Examination of person adversely interested.

§ 5936.  Medical testimony by deposition.

 

CERTAIN PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES

 

§ 5941.  Persons who may be compelled to testify.

§ 5942.  Confidential communications to news reporters.

§ 5943.  Confidential communications to clergymen.

§ 5944.  Confidential communications to psychiatrists or licensed psychologists.

§ 5945.  Confidential communications to school personnel.

§ 5945.1. Confidential communications with sexual assault

counselors.

§ 5945.2. Confidential communications to crime stopper or similar anticrime program.

§ 5945.3. Confidential communications with human trafficking caseworkers.

§ 5946.  Competency of certain witnesses where political subdivision is a party.

§ 5947.  Immunity of witnesses.

§ 5948.  Confidential communications to qualified professionals.

§ 5949.  Confidential mediation communications and documents.

§ 5950.  Confidential communications involving law enforcement officers.

§ 5951.  Confidential communications involving public safety responders and corrections officers.

§ 5952.  Confidential communications to peer support members.

 

Subchapter B.  Securing Attendance of Witnesses in Criminal Proceedings

 

§ 5961.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 5962.  Definitions.

§ 5963.  Summoning witness in this Commonwealth to testify in another state.

§ 5964.  Witness from another state summoned to testify in this Commonwealth.

§ 5965.  Exemption from arrest and service of process.

 

Subchapter C.  Rendition of Prisoners as Witnesses in Criminal Proceedings

 

§ 5971.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 5972.  Definitions.

§ 5973.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 5974.  Summoning prisoner in this Commonwealth to testify in another state.

§ 5975.  Court order.

§ 5976.  Terms and conditions.

§ 5977.  Prisoner from another state summoned to testify in this Commonwealth.

§ 5978.  Compliance.

§ 5979.  Exemption from arrest and service of process.

 

Subchapter D.  Child Victims and Witnesses

 

§ 5981.  Declaration of policy.

§ 5982.  Definitions.

§ 5983.  Rights and services.

§ 5984.  Videotaped depositions (Repealed).

§ 5984.1. Recorded testimony.

§ 5985.  Testimony by contemporaneous alternative method.

§ 5985.1. Admissibility of certain statements.

§ 5986.  Hearsay.

§ 5987.  Use of dolls.

§ 5988.  Victims of sexual or physical abuse.

 

Chapter 61.  Rules of Evidence

 

Subchapter A.  Documentary Evidence

 

§ 6101.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 6102.  Judicial notice of official seals.

§ 6103.  Proof of official records.

§ 6104.  Effect of official records generally.

§ 6105.  Acts of notaries public.

§ 6106.  Certified exemplifications of records.

§ 6107.  Judicial notice of certain local government ordinances.

§ 6108.  Business records.

§ 6109.  Photographic copies of business and public records.

§ 6110.  Registers kept by religious societies and municipalities.

§ 6111.  Handwriting.

§ 6112.  Introduction of parole evidence after refusal to produce documents.

 

Subchapter B.  Eminent Domain Matters

 

§ 6121.  Eminent domain matters.

 

Subchapter C.  Blood Tests to Determine Paternity (Repealed)

 

§ 6131 - § 6137 (Repealed).

 

Subchapter D.  Miscellaneous Provisions

 

§ 6141.  Effect of certain settlements.

§ 6142.  Pleas in vehicle matters.

§ 6143.  Registration number as evidence of operation of vehicle.

§ 6144.  Dying declarations in case of abortion.

 

Subchapter E.  Medical Records

 

§ 6151.  Use of certified copies.

§ 6152.  Subpoena of records.

§ 6152.1. Limit on charges.

§ 6153.  Receipts.

§ 6154.  Affidavit of none or partial possession.

§ 6155.  Rights of patients.

§ 6156.  Opening of sealed envelopes.

§ 6157.  Retention of records.

§ 6158.  Obtaining personal attendance of custodian.

§ 6159.  Obtaining production of original record.

§ 6160.  Definitions.

 

Chapter 62.  Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act

 

§ 6201.  Short title of chapter.

§ 6202.  Definitions.

§ 6203.  Applicability.

§ 6204.  Validity of unsworn declaration.

§ 6205.  Required medium.

§ 6206.  Form of unsworn declaration.

§ 6207.  Uniformity of application and construction.

§ 6208.  Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

 

Chapter 62A.  Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation

 

§ 62A01.  Scope of chapter.

§ 62A02.  Findings and purpose.

§ 62A03.  Definitions.

§ 62A04.  Responsibilities of law enforcement agencies.

§ 62A05.  Commencement of proceedings.

§ 62A06.  Hearings.

§ 62A07.  Relief.

§ 62A08.  (Reserved).

§ 62A09.  Emergency relief by minor judiciary.

§ 62A10.  Sexual assault counselor.

§ 62A11.  Disclosure of addresses.

§ 62A12.  Arrest for violation of order.

§ 62A13.  Private criminal complaints for violation of order or agreement.

§ 62A14.  Contempt for violation of order.

§ 62A15.  Civil contempt or modification for violation of order or agreement.

§ 62A16.  Confidentiality.

§ 62A17.  Procedure and other remedies.

§ 62A18.  Applicability.

§ 62A19.  Inability to pay.

§ 62A20.  Construction.

 

Chapter 63.  Juvenile Matters

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 6301.  Short title and purposes of chapter.

§ 6302.  Definitions.

§ 6303.  Scope of chapter.

§ 6304.  Powers and duties of probation officers.

§ 6304.1. Summary offenses.

§ 6305.  Masters.

§ 6306.  Costs and expenses of care of child.

§ 6307.  Inspection of court files and records.

§ 6308.  Law enforcement records.

§ 6309.  Juvenile history record information.

§ 6310.  Parental participation.

§ 6311.  Guardian ad litem for child in court proceedings.

 

Subchapter B.  Jurisdiction and Custody

 

§ 6321.  Commencement of proceedings.

§ 6322.  Transfer from criminal proceedings.

§ 6323.  Informal adjustment.

§ 6324.  Taking into custody.

§ 6325.  Detention of child.

§ 6326.  Release or delivery to court.

§ 6327.  Place of detention.

 

Subchapter C.  Procedures and Safeguards

 

§ 6331.  Release from detention or commencement of proceedings.

§ 6332.  Informal hearing.

§ 6333.  Subpoena.

§ 6334.  Petition.

§ 6335.  Release or holding of hearing.

§ 6336.  Conduct of hearings.

§ 6336.1. Notice and hearing.

§ 6336.2. Use of restraints on children during court proceedings.

§ 6337.  Right to counsel.

§ 6337.1. Right to counsel for children in dependency and delinquency proceedings.

§ 6338.  Other basic rights.

§ 6339.  Investigation and report.

§ 6340.  Consent decree.

§ 6341.  Adjudication.

§ 6342.  Court-appointed special advocates.

 

Subchapter D.  Disposition of Children Generally

 

§ 6351.  Disposition of dependent child.

§ 6351.1. Authority of court upon petition to remove child from foster parent.

§ 6352.  Disposition of delinquent child.

§ 6352.1. Treatment records.

§ 6353.  Limitation on and change in place of commitment.

§ 6354.  Effect of adjudication.

§ 6355.  Transfer to criminal proceedings.

§ 6356.  Disposition of mentally ill or mentally retarded child.

§ 6357.  Rights and duties of legal custodian.

§ 6358.  Assessment of delinquent children by the State Sexual Offenders Assessment Board.

 

Subchapter E.  Dispositions Affecting Other Jurisdictions

 

§ 6361.  Disposition of nonresident child.

§ 6362.  Disposition of resident child received from another state.

§ 6363.  Ordering foreign supervision.

§ 6364.  Supervision under foreign order.

§ 6365.  Powers of foreign probation officers.

 

Subchapter F.  Juvenile Court Judges' Commission

 

§ 6371.  Definitions.

§ 6372.  Juvenile Court Judges' Commission.

§ 6373.  Powers and duties.

§ 6374.  Power to make grants.

§ 6375.  Funding.

 

Chapter 64.  Court-ordered Involuntary Treatment of Certain Sexually Violent Persons

 

§ 6401.  Scope of chapter.

§ 6402.  Definitions.

§ 6403.  Court-ordered involuntary treatment.

§ 6404.  Duration of inpatient commitment and review.

§ 6404.1. Transfer to involuntary outpatient treatment.

§ 6404.2. Duration of outpatient commitment and review.

§ 6405.  Right to counsel.

§ 6406.  Duty of Department of Public Welfare.

§ 6407.  Regulations.

§ 6408.  Jurisdiction.

§ 6409.  Immunity for good faith conduct.

 

Chapter 65.  Habeas Corpus

 

§ 6501.  Writ not to be suspended.

§ 6502.  Power to issue writ.

§ 6503.  Right to apply for writ.

§ 6504.  Return on writ.

§ 6505.  Interference with writ prohibited.

 

Chapter 66.  Prisoner Litigation

 

§ 6601.  Definitions.

§ 6602.  Prisoner filing fees.

§ 6603.  Limitations on remedies.

§ 6604.  Prospective relief.

§ 6605.  Types of prospective relief.

§ 6606.  Termination or modification of prospective relief.

§ 6607.  Time limits on settlements.

§ 6608.  Payment of damage award or settlement.

 

Chapter 67.  Protection From Abuse (Repealed)

 

§ 6701 - § 6717 (Repealed).

 

Chapter 68.  Forfeitures

 

§ 6801.  Controlled substances forfeiture.

§ 6801.1. Terrorism forfeiture.

§ 6802.  Procedure with respect to seized property subject to liens and rights of lienholders.

 

Chapter 69.  Particular Rights and Immunities

 

§ 6901.  Short title of chapter.

§ 6902.  Definitions.

§ 6903.  Required disclosures in connection with rental-purchase agreement.

§ 6904.  Prohibited provisions of agreement.

§ 6905.  Lessee's right to acquire ownership.

§ 6906.  Lessee's right to reinstate agreement after termination.

§ 6907.  Rent reduction.

§ 6908.  Advertising and display of property.

§ 6909.  Lessor's liability for noncompliance.

§ 6910.  Limitations on lessor's liability.

§ 6911.  Conflict with other law.

 

Chapter 70.  Ignition Interlock Devices (Repealed)

 

§ 7001 - § 7003 (Repealed).

 

PART VII.  CIVIL ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS

 

Chapter 71.  General Provisions

 

§ 7101.  Settlements and other agreements with hospitalized persons.

§ 7102.  Comparative negligence.

§ 7103.  Interpreters for the deaf (Deleted by amendment).

 

Chapter 73.  Arbitration

 

Subchapter A.  Statutory Arbitration

 

§ 7301.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 7302.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 7303.  Validity of agreement to arbitrate.

§ 7304.  Court proceedings to compel or stay arbitration.

§ 7305.  Appointment of arbitrators by court.

§ 7306.  Action by arbitrators.

§ 7307.  Hearing before arbitrators.

§ 7308.  Representation by attorney.

§ 7309.  Witnesses, subpoenas, oaths and depositions.

§ 7310.  Award of arbitrators.

§ 7311.  Change of award by arbitrators.

§ 7312.  Fees and expenses of arbitration.

§ 7313.  Confirmation of award by court.

§ 7314.  Vacating award by court.

§ 7315.  Modification or correction of award by court.

§ 7316.  Judgment or decree on award.

§ 7317.  Form and service of applications to court.

§ 7318.  Court and jurisdiction.

§ 7319.  Venue of court proceedings.

§ 7320.  Appeals from court orders.

 

Subchapter B.  Common Law Arbitration

 

§ 7341.  Common law arbitration.

§ 7342.  Procedure.

 

Subchapter C.  Judicial Arbitration

 

§ 7361.  Compulsory arbitration.

§ 7362.  Voluntary arbitration of pending judicial matters.

 

Chapter 75.  Commencement of Actions

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 7501.  Attachment of property prior to judgment.

§ 7502.  Affidavit of noninvolvement.

 

Subchapter B.  Interpleader Compacts

 

§ 7521.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 7522.  Interpleader compact.

§ 7523.  Duties of the Department of State.

§ 7524.  Duties of the Governor.

 

Subchapter C.  Declaratory Judgments

 

§ 7531.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 7532.  General scope of declaratory remedy.

§ 7533.  Construction of documents.

§ 7534.  Before breach of contract.

§ 7535.  Rights of fiduciaries and other persons.

§ 7536.  Enumeration not exclusive.

§ 7537.  Remedy discretionary.

§ 7538.  Applications for relief.

§ 7539.  Issues of fact.

§ 7540.  Parties.

§ 7541.  Construction of subchapter.

 

Subchapter D.  Reciprocal Tax Enforcement

 

§ 7551.  Enforcement of taxes imposed by other states.

 

Chapter 77.  Trial

 

§ 7701.  Procedures, motions and other matters.

§ 7702.  Commencement and termination of trial.

 

Chapter 79.  Post-trial Matters

 

§ 7901.  Procedures, motions and other matters.

 

Chapter 81.  Judgments and Other Liens

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 8101.  Interest on judgments.

§ 8102.  Contribution among joint judgment debtors.

§ 8103.  Deficiency judgments.

§ 8104.  Duty of judgment creditor to enter satisfaction.

 

Subchapter B.  Exemptions from Execution

 

§ 8121.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 8122.  Waiver of exemption.

§ 8123.  General monetary exemption.

§ 8124.  Exemption of particular property.

§ 8125.  Tangible personal property exhibited at international exhibitions.

§ 8126.  Common carriers not liable.

§ 8127.  Personal earnings exempt from process.

§ 8128.  Transfer of claim to avoid policy of Commonwealth.

 

Subchapter C.  Priority of Liens

 

§ 8141.  Time from which liens have priority.

§ 8142.  Endorsement of time.

§ 8143.  Open-end mortgages.

§ 8144.  Mortgages to secure certain advances.

 

Subchapter D.  Enforcement of Judgments

 

§ 8151.  Notice to Department of Revenue of judicial sale of property.

§ 8152.  Judicial sale as affecting lien of mortgage.

 

Chapter 83.  Particular Rights and Immunities

 

Subchapter A.  Rights of Action

 

§ 8301.  Death action.

§ 8302.  Survival action.

§ 8303.  Action for performance of a duty required by law.

§ 8304.  Damages in actions on bad checks.

§ 8305.  Actions for wrongful birth and wrongful life.

§ 8306.  Defense against claim for injury sustained in utero barred.

§ 8307.  Action by parent, guardian or other custodian for damages in the sale or transfer of controlled substances to a child.

§ 8308.  Damages in actions on retail theft.

§ 8309.  Civil rights violations.

§ 8310.  Damages in actions on thefts of leased property.

§ 8311.  Damages in actions for conversion of timber.

§ 8312.  Profits received as a result of commission of crime.

§ 8313.  Agricultural crop destruction.

§ 8314.  Assault with biological agent on animal, fowl or honey bees.

§ 8315.  Damages in actions for identity theft.

§ 8316.  Unauthorized use of name or likeness.

§ 8316.1. Damages in actions for unlawful dissemination of intimate image.

§ 8317.  Actions involving products or services used to invade privacy.

§ 8318.  Terrorism action.

§ 8319.  Ecoterrorism.

§ 8320.  Commemorative service demonstration action.

 

Subchapter B.  Contribution Among Tort-feasors

 

§ 8321.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 8322.  Definition.

§ 8323.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 8324.  Right of contribution.

§ 8325.  Effect of judgment.

§ 8326.  Effect of release as to other tort-feasors.

§ 8327.  Liability to make contribution as affected by release.

 

Subchapter C.  Immunities Generally

 

§ 8331.  Medical good Samaritan civil immunity.

§ 8331.1. Veterinary good Samaritan civil immunity.

§ 8331.2. Good Samaritan civil immunity for use of automated external defibrillator.

§ 8331.3. Criminal victim aid good Samaritan civil immunity.

§ 8332.  Emergency response provider and bystander good Samaritan civil immunity.

§ 8332.1. Manager, coach, umpire or referee and nonprofit association negligence standard.

§ 8332.2. Officer, director or trustee of nonprofit organization negligence standard.

§ 8332.3. Volunteer firefighter civil immunity.

§ 8332.4. Volunteer-in-public-service negligence standard.

§ 8332.5. Corporate representatives.

§ 8332.6. Antidrug and town-watch volunteer civil immunity.

§ 8332.7. Immunity of State parole officers.

§ 8332.8. Immunity of county probation officers.

§ 8333.  Body fluid and tissue limited civil immunity.

§ 8334.  Civil immunity in mass immunization projects.

§ 8335.  Damages for conversion of property of fluctuating value.

§ 8336.  Civil immunity for assistance upon request in incidents involving the transportation of hazardous substances.

§ 8337.  Civil immunity of school officers or employees relating to drug or alcohol abuse.

§ 8337.1. Civil immunity of school officers or employees relating to emergency care, first aid and rescue.

§ 8338.  Liability for damages from donated food and grocery products.

§ 8338.1. Liability for damages from donated vehicles or equipment to volunteer fire companies.

§ 8339.  Agricultural immunity.

§ 8339.1. Railroad civil immunity.

§ 8340.  Immunity of program administrators and supervisors.

§ 8340.1. Employer immunity from liability for disclosure of information regarding former or current employees.

§ 8340.2. Civil immunity for use of force.

 

Subchapter D.  Defamation

 

§ 8341.  Single publication limitation.

§ 8342.  Justification a defense.

§ 8343.  Burden of proof.

§ 8344.  Malice or negligence necessary to support award of damages.

§ 8345.  No liability when without power of censorship.

 

Subchapter E.  Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings

 

§ 8351.  Wrongful use of civil proceedings.

§ 8352.  Existence of probable cause.

§ 8353.  Damages.

§ 8354.  Burden of proof.

§ 8355.  Certification of pleadings, motions and other papers.

 

Subchapter F.  Corporate Directors' Liability (Repealed)

 

§ 8361 - § 8367 (Repealed).

 

Subchapter F.1.  Successor Business Entity Liability

 

§ 8368.1. Legislative findings and declaration.

§ 8368.2. Definitions.

§ 8368.3. Liability.

§ 8368.4. Fair market value.

§ 8368.5. Adjustment of fair market value.

§ 8368.6. Applicability and construction.

 

Subchapter G.  Special Damages

 

§ 8371.  Actions on insurance policies.

 

Subchapter H.  Drug Nuisances

 

§ 8381.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 8382.  Definitions.

§ 8383.  Action to abate.

§ 8384.  Complaint.

§ 8385.  Service of original process.

§ 8386.  Preliminary injunction.

§ 8387.  Protection of witnesses.

§ 8388.  Security.

§ 8389.  Judgment and remedies.

§ 8390.  Violation of injunctions or abatement order.

§ 8391.  Release and cancellation.

§ 8392.  Severability.

 

Chapter 85.  Matters Affecting Government Units

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 8501.  Definitions.

§ 8502.  Enforcement proceedings.

 

Subchapter B.  Actions Against Commonwealth Parties

 

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY

 

§ 8521.  Sovereign immunity generally.

§ 8522.  Exceptions to sovereign immunity.

§ 8523.  Venue and process.

§ 8524.  Defenses.

§ 8525.  Legal assistance.

§ 8526.  Counterclaim by the Commonwealth.

§ 8527.  Indemnity relating to inmate health care.

 

LIMITATIONS ON DAMAGES

 

§ 8528.  Limitations on damages.

 

Subchapter C.  Actions Against Local Parties

 

GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY

 

§ 8541.  Governmental immunity generally.

§ 8542.  Exceptions to governmental immunity.

 

OFFICIAL IMMUNITY

 

§ 8545.  Official liability generally.

§ 8546.  Defense of official immunity.

§ 8547.  Legal assistance.

§ 8548.  Indemnity.

§ 8549.  Limitation on damages.

§ 8550.  Willful misconduct.

 

LIMITATIONS ON DAMAGES

 

§ 8553.  Limitations on damages.

 

JUDGMENTS

 

§ 8557.  Judgment as a bar.

§ 8558.  Judgments against insured local agency.

§ 8559.  Judgments against self-insured local agency and those not fully insured.

 

POWERS OF LOCAL AGENCIES

 

§ 8563.  General powers of local agencies.

§ 8564.  Liability insurance and self-insurance.

 

PART VIII.  CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Chapter 87.  General Provisions

 

Subchapter A.  In General

 

§ 8701.  Interpreters for the deaf (Deleted by amendment).

§ 8702.  Impaneling jury from another county.

§ 8703.  Arraignment.

 

Subchapter B.  Availability of Otherwise Confidential Information

 

§ 8721.  Definitions.

§ 8722.  Petition for access to confidential information.

§ 8723.  Grounds for access.

§ 8724.  Disclosure of confidential information.

§ 8725.  Penalties for improper disclosure.

 

Chapter 89.  Commencement of Proceedings

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 8901.  Intrastate hot pursuit (Repealed).

§ 8902.  Arrest without warrant.

 

Subchapter B.  Interstate Hot Pursuit

 

§ 8921.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 8922.  Authority of officers of another state to arrest in this Commonwealth.

§ 8923.  Hearing after arrest.

§ 8924.  Construction of subchapter.

 

Subchapter C.  Indictment and Information

 

§ 8931.  Indictment and information.

§ 8932.  Nolle prosequi or settlement.

§ 8933.  Dismissal of criminal cases.

§ 8934.  Sealing of affidavits.

 

Subchapter D.  Municipal Police Jurisdiction

 

§ 8951.  Definitions.

§ 8952.  Primary municipal police jurisdiction.

§ 8953.  Statewide municipal police jurisdiction.

§ 8954.  Noncompliance with mandatory certification requirements.

 

Chapter 91.  Detainers and Extradition

 

Subchapter A.  Agreement on Detainers

 

§ 9101.  Agreement on detainers.

§ 9102.  Appropriate court.

§ 9103.  Enforcement and cooperation.

§ 9104.  Second and subsequent offenses.

§ 9105.  Escape.

§ 9106.  Duty of warden or other official.

§ 9107.  Administrator and information agent.

§ 9108.  Transmission of subchapter.

 

Subchapter B.  Extradition of Persons Charged with Crime

 

§ 9121.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 9122.  Definitions.

§ 9123.  Duty of Governor with respect to fugitives from justice.

§ 9124.  Form of demand.

§ 9125.  Governor may investigate case.

§ 9126.  Extradition of persons imprisoned or awaiting trial in another state or who have left the demanding state under compulsion.

§ 9127.  Extradition of persons not present in demanding state at time of commission of crime.

§ 9128.  Issue by Governor of warrant of arrest.

§ 9129.  Manner and place of execution.

§ 9130.  Authority of arresting officer.

§ 9131.  Rights of accused person.

§ 9132.  Penalty for noncompliance.

§ 9133.  Confinement in jail.

§ 9134.  Arrest prior to requisition.

§ 9135.  Arrest without a warrant.

§ 9136.  Commitment to await requisition.

§ 9137.  Bail.

§ 9138.  Extension of time of commitment.

§ 9139.  Forfeiture of bail.

§ 9140.  Persons under criminal prosecution in this Commonwealth at time of requisition.

§ 9141.  Inquiry into guilt or innocence of accused.

§ 9142.  Governor may recall warrant or issue another.

§ 9143.  Duty of Governor in case of fugitives from this Commonwealth.

§ 9144.  Issuance of requisition.

§ 9144.1. Payment of expenses, costs and fees.

§ 9145.  Immunity from service of process in certain civil actions.

§ 9146.  Written waiver of extradition proceedings.

§ 9146.1. Presigned waiver of extradition.

§ 9147.  Nonwaiver by Commonwealth.

§ 9148.  Liability to further criminal prosecutions.

 

Subchapter C.  Inter-County Detention

 

§ 9161.  Arrest prior to requisition.

§ 9162.  Arrest without a warrant.

§ 9163.  Commitment to await requisition.

§ 9164.  Bail.

§ 9165.  Payment of costs and expenses.

 

Subchapter D.  Exchange of Offenders Under Treaty

 

§ 9171.  Exchange of offenders under treaty.

 

Chapter 93.  Trial

 

§ 9301.  Procedures, motions and other matters.

§ 9302.  Commencement and termination of trial.

§ 9303.  Liability for violations of general and specific criminal statutes.

 

Chapter 95.  Post-trial Matters

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 9501.  Procedures, motions and other matters.

 

Subchapter B.  Post Conviction Relief

 

§ 9541.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 9542.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 9543.  Eligibility for relief.

§ 9543.1. Postconviction DNA testing.

§ 9544.  Previous litigation and waiver.

§ 9545.  Jurisdiction and proceedings.

§ 9546.  Relief and order.

§ 9547.  Amendment and withdrawal of petition (Repealed).

§ 9548.  Answer to petition (Repealed).

§ 9549.  Hearing on petition (Repealed).

§ 9550.  Order of court and final disposition of petition (Repealed).

§ 9551.  Pauper petitions (Repealed).

 

Subchapter C.  Report by District Attorney

 

§ 9561.  Report by district attorney.

 

Subchapter D.  Unitary Review in Death Penalty Cases

 

§ 9570.  Short title of subchapter.

§ 9571.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 9572.  Representation of counsel.

§ 9573.  Time for petition; contents of petition.

§ 9574.  Answer to petition.

§ 9575.  Disposition without evidentiary hearing.

§ 9576.  Evidentiary hearing.

§ 9577.  Disposition and appeal.

§ 9578.  Subsequent petitions.

§ 9579.  Certification.

 

Chapter 97.  Sentencing

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 9701.  Short title of chapter.

§ 9702.  Definitions.

§ 9703.  Scope of chapter.

 

Subchapter B.  Sentencing Authority

 

§ 9711.  Sentencing procedure for murder of the first degree.

§ 9711.1. Sentencing for certain murders of infant persons.

§ 9712.  Sentences for offenses committed with firearms.

§ 9712.1. Sentences for certain drug offenses committed with firearms.

§ 9713.  Sentences for offenses committed on public transportation.

§ 9714.  Sentences for second and subsequent offenses.

§ 9715.  Life imprisonment for homicide.

§ 9716.  Two or more mandatory minimum sentences applicable.

§ 9717.  Sentences for offenses against elderly persons.

§ 9718.  Sentences for offenses against infant persons.

§ 9718.1. Sexual offender treatment.

§ 9718.2. Sentences for sexual offenders.

§ 9718.3. Sentence for failure to comply with registration of sexual offenders (Expired).

§ 9718.4. Sentence for failure to comply with registration of sexual offenders.

§ 9719.  Sentences for offenses committed while impersonating a law enforcement officer.

§ 9719.1. Sentences for offenses committed against law enforcement officer.

§ 9720.  Sentencing for criminal mischief.

§ 9720.1. Restitution for identity theft (Repealed).

§ 9720.2. Sentencing for trafficking of persons.

§ 9720.3. Sentencing for certain paroled offenders.

§ 9720.4. Sentencing for offenses committed in association with a criminal gang.

§ 9720.5. Sentencing for offenses involving sexual abuse of children.

§ 9720.6. Sentencing for arson offenses.

 

Subchapter C.  Sentencing Alternatives

 

§ 9721.  Sentencing generally.

§ 9722.  Order of probation.

§ 9723.  Determination of guilt without further penalty.

§ 9724.  Partial confinement.

§ 9725.  Total confinement.

§ 9726.  Fine.

§ 9727.  Disposition of persons found guilty but mentally ill.

§ 9728.  Collection of restitution, reparation, fees, costs, fines and penalties.

§ 9729.  Intermediate punishment (Repealed).

§ 9730.  Payment of court costs, restitution and fines.

§ 9730.1. Collection of court costs, restitution and fines by private collection agency.

 

Subchapter D.  Informational Basis of Sentence

 

§ 9731.  Requirement for presentence investigation and report.

§ 9732.  Contents of presentence report.

§ 9733.  General principles of disclosure of presentence report.

§ 9734.  Disclosure of presentence report to the parties.

§ 9735.  Objections to contents of presentence report.

§ 9736.  Report of psychiatric evaluation.

§ 9737.  Report of outstanding charges and sentences.

§ 9738.  Victim impact statements.

 

Subchapter E.  Imposition of Sentence

 

§ 9751.  Sentencing judge.

§ 9752.  Sentencing proceeding generally.

§ 9753.  Determination of guilt without further penalty.

§ 9754.  Order of probation.

§ 9755.  Sentence of partial confinement.

§ 9755.1. Temporary release from county correctional institution.

§ 9756.  Sentence of total confinement.

§ 9757.  Consecutive sentences of total confinement for multiple offenses.

§ 9758.  Fine.

§ 9759.  Record.

§ 9760.  Credit for time served.

§ 9761.  Computation and order of service of sentences.

§ 9762.  Sentencing proceeding; place of confinement.

§ 9763.  Sentence of county intermediate punishment.

§ 9764.  Information required upon commitment and subsequent disposition.

§ 9765.  Merger of sentences.

 

Subchapter F.  Further Judicial Action

 

§ 9771.  Modification or revocation of order of probation.

§ 9771.1. Court-imposed sanctions for offenders violating probation.

§ 9772.  Failure to pay fine.

§ 9773.  Modification or revocation of county intermediate punishment sentence.

§ 9774.  Revocation of State intermediate punishment sentence.

§ 9775.  Parole without board supervision.

§ 9776.  Judicial power to release inmates.

§ 9777.  Transfer of inmates in need of medical treatment.

 

Subchapter G.  Appellate Review of Sentence

 

§ 9781.  Appellate review of sentence.

 

Subchapter H.  Registration of Sexual Offenders

 

§ 9791.  Legislative findings and declaration of policy (Expired).

§ 9792.  Definitions (Expired).

§ 9793.  Registration of certain offenders for ten years (Deleted by amendment).

§ 9794.  Designation of sexually violent predators (Deleted by amendment).

§ 9795.  Registration of offenders (Deleted by amendment).

§ 9795.1. Registration (Expired).

§ 9795.2. Registration procedures and applicability (Expired).

§ 9795.3. Sentencing court information (Expired).

§ 9795.4. Assessments (Expired).

§ 9795.5. Exemption from certain notifications (Expired).

§ 9796.  Verification of residence (Expired).

§ 9797.  Victim notification (Expired).

§ 9798.  Other notification (Expired).

§ 9798.1. Information made available on the Internet and electronic notification (Expired).

§ 9798.2. Administration (Expired).

§ 9798.3. Global positioning system technology (Expired).

§ 9799.  Immunity for good faith conduct (Expired).

§ 9799.1. Duties of Pennsylvania State Police (Expired).

§ 9799.2. Duties of Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Expired).

§ 9799.3. Board (Expired).

§ 9799.4. Counseling of sexually violent predators (Expired).

§ 9799.5. Exemption from notification (Deleted by amendment).

§ 9799.6. Applicability (Deleted by amendment).

§ 9799.7. Exemption from notification for certain licensees and their employees (Expired).

§ 9799.8. Annual performance audit (Expired).

§ 9799.9. Photographs and fingerprinting (Expired).

§ 9799.10. Purposes of subchapter.

§ 9799.11. Legislative findings and declaration of policy.

§ 9799.12. Definitions.

§ 9799.13. Applicability.

§ 9799.14. Sexual offenses and tier system.

§ 9799.15. Period of registration.

§ 9799.16. Registry.

§ 9799.17. Termination of period of registration for juvenile offenders.

§ 9799.18. Information sharing.

§ 9799.19. Initial registration.

§ 9799.20. Duty to inform.

§ 9799.21. Penalty.

§ 9799.22. Enforcement.

§ 9799.23. Court notification and classification requirements.

§ 9799.24. Assessments.

§ 9799.25. Verification by sexual offenders and Pennsylvania State Police.

§ 9799.26. Victim notification.

§ 9799.27. Other notification.

§ 9799.28. Public Internet website.

§ 9799.29. Administration.

§ 9799.30. Global positioning system technology.

§ 9799.31. Immunity for good faith conduct.

§ 9799.32. Pennsylvania State Police.

§ 9799.33. Duties of probation and parole officials.

§ 9799.34. Duties of facilities housing sexual offenders.

§ 9799.35. Board.

§ 9799.36. Counseling of sexually violent predators.

§ 9799.37. Exemption from notification for certain licensees and their employees.

§ 9799.38. Annual performance audit.

§ 9799.39. Photographs and fingerprinting.

§ 9799.40. Duties of Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.

§ 9799.41. Expiration.

 

Chapter 98.  County Intermediate Punishment

 

§ 9801.  Short title of chapter.

§ 9802.  Definitions.

§ 9803.  Purpose.

§ 9804.  County intermediate punishment programs.

§ 9805.  Boards.

§ 9806.  County intermediate punishment plan.

§ 9807.  Commission.

§ 9808.  Funding and audits.

§ 9809.  Prohibitions.

§ 9810.  Continued eligibility.

§ 9811.  Nonapplication of certain provisions.

§ 9812.  Construction.

§ 9813.  Work release or other court order and purposes.

 

Chapter 99.  Other Criminal Provisions

 

Subchapter A.  County Probation Officers

 

§ 9911.  Definitions.

§ 9912.  Supervisory relationship to offenders.

§ 9913.  Peace officer power for probation officers.

42c101h

 

 

TITLE 42

JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE

 

Part

I.  Preliminary Provisions

II.  Organization

III.  Selection, Retention and Removal of Judicial Officers

IV.  Financial Matters

V.  Administration of Justice Generally

VI.  Actions, Proceedings and Other Matters Generally

VII.  Civil Actions and Proceedings

VIII.  Criminal Proceedings

 

Enactment.  Unless otherwise noted, the provisions of Title 42 were added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978 (P.L.202, No.53). Act 142 also amended certain part headings and repealed former Chapter 83 which were added November 15, 1972, P.L.1063, No.271.

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See Act 142 of 1976, Act 53 of 1978 and other statutory provisions in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to pending proceedings, periods of limitation, existing judicial officers and bodies and financial matters, etc.

Short Title of Implementing Statutes.  Section 28 of Act 142 of 1976 provided that Act 142 shall be known and may be cited as the Judiciary Act of 1976.

Section 1 of Act 53 of 1978 provided that Act 53 shall be known and may be cited as the Judiciary Act Repealer Act.

Section 101 of Act 142 of 1980 provided that Act 142 shall be known and may be cited as the JARA Continuation Act of 1980.

Section 101 of Act 326 of 1982 provided that Act 326 shall be known and may be cited as the JARA Continuation Act of 1982.

 

 

PART I

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

Chapter

1.  General Provisions

 

Enactment.  Part I was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

 

CHAPTER 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Sec.

101.  Short title of title.

102.  Definitions.

103.  Principles of construction.

 

Enactment.  Chapter 1 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

42c101s

§ 101.  Short title of title.

This title shall be known and may be cited as the "Judicial Code."

42c102s

§ 102.  Definitions.

Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent provisions of this title which are applicable to specific provisions of this title, the following words and phrases when used in this title shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

"Action."  Any action at law or in equity.

"Administrative judge."  The administrative judge of a division of a court, determined or selected as prescribed by general rule.

"Administrative Office."  The office of the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania as specified in section 1902 (relating to Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts).

"Administrative staff."  All individuals employed in the business of a court, including the personnel of the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas, but the term does not include judicial officers or their personal staff. The term includes the clerks or prothonotaries of the Supreme Court, the Superior Court and the Commonwealth Court and their staffs.

"Affidavit."  Includes an unsworn document containing statements of fact and a statement by the signatory that it is made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities).

"Appeal."  Any petition or other application to a court for review of subordinate governmental determinations. The term includes an application for certiorari under section 934 (relating to writs of certiorari) or under any other provision of law. Where required by the context, the term includes proceedings on petition for review.

"Appellate court."  Includes the Supreme Court, the Superior Court and the Commonwealth Court.

"Appointive judicial officers."  Arbitrators, auditors, commissioners to take oaths and depositions, custodians, examiners, guardians, masters, mental health review officers, receivers, referees, trustees, viewers and other like officers.

"Branch."  As applied to a court of common pleas in a multicounty judicial district, an administrative unit composed of those members of the staff of the court from a particular county within the judicial district.

"Central staff."  All individuals employed in the business of the unified judicial system, but the term does not include magisterial district judges or their personal staff or personnel of the courts.

"Clerk."  As applied to a court of common pleas or the Philadelphia Municipal Court, the personnel of the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas, and as applied to any other court, the administrative staff responsible for the receipt of documents transmitted to the court by litigants and the transmission of notice of orders entered by and process issued under the authority of the court.

"Clerk of the courts."  The officer exercising the powers and performing the duties specified in Subchapter C of Chapter 27 (relating to clerks of the courts). The term includes the Clerk of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia.

"Clerk of the orphans' court division."  The officer exercising the powers and performing the duties specified in Subchapter D of Chapter 27 (relating to clerks of orphans' court divisions).

"Commonwealth agency."  Any executive agency or independent agency.

"Commonwealth Court."  The court existing under section 4 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and Subchapter C of Chapter 5 (relating to Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania).

"Commonwealth government."  The government of the Commonwealth, including the courts and other officers or agencies of the unified judicial system, the General Assembly and its officers and agencies, the Governor, and the departments, boards, commissions, authorities and officers and agencies of the Commonwealth, but the term does not include any political subdivision, municipal or other local authority, or any officer or agency of any such political subdivision or local authority.

"Community court."  A court existing in a judicial district under section 6(a) of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and Subchapter A of Chapter 11 (relating to community courts).

"County."  Includes the City and County of Philadelphia.

"County staff."  System and related personnel elected by the electorate of a county or subject to appointment and removal by officers, other than judicial officers, so elected. The term does not include judicial officers.

"Court."  Includes any one or more of the judges of the court who are authorized by general rule or rule of court, or by law or usage, to exercise the powers of the court in the name of the court.

"Court Administrator of Pennsylvania."  The court administrator appointed by the Supreme Court under section 10(b) of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and section 1901 (relating to Court Administrator of Pennsylvania).

"Court of common pleas."  The court existing in each judicial district under section 5 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and Chapter 9 (relating to organization and jurisdiction of courts of common pleas).

"Determination."  Action or inaction by a government unit which action or inaction is subject to judicial review by a court under section 9 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania or otherwise. The term includes an order entered by a government unit.

"District justice."  (Deleted by amendment).

"Division."  An administrative unit composed of those judges of the court responsible for the transaction of a specified class of the business of the court. In a court having two or more divisions each division of the court is vested with the full jurisdiction of the whole court, but the business of the court may be allocated among the divisions of the court by or pursuant to general rules.

"Executive agency."  The Governor and the departments, boards, commissions, authorities and other officers and agencies of the Commonwealth government, but the term does not include any court or other officer or agency of the unified judicial system, the General Assembly and its officers and agencies, or any independent agency.

"General rule."  A rule or order promulgated by the governing authority.

"Governing authority."

(1)  The Supreme Court; or

(2)  any agency or unit of the unified judicial system exercising a power or performing a duty pursuant to section 1721 (relating to delegation of powers).

"Government agency."  Any Commonwealth agency or any political subdivision or municipal or other local authority, or any officer or agency of any such political subdivision or local authority.

"Government unit."  The General Assembly and its officers and agencies, any government agency or any court or other officer or agency of the unified judicial system.

"Independent agency."  Boards, commissions, authorities and other agencies and officers of the Commonwealth government which are not subject to the policy supervision and control of the Governor, but the term does not include any court or other officer or agency of the unified judicial system or the General Assembly and its officers and agencies. For purposes of jurisdiction of courts the term includes the Pennsylvania Deposit Insurance Corporation existing under the act of October 5, 1978 (P.L.1088, No.255), known as the "Pennsylvania Deposit Insurance Corporation Act."

"Indictable offense."  An offense other than a summary offense.

"Issuing authority."  Any judge or magisterial district judge of the minor judiciary, subject to the express limitations on jurisdiction specified in this title.

"Judge."  Includes a justice of the Supreme Court. Except with respect to the power to select a president or administrative judge, to appoint and remove the administrative staff of the court and to adopt rules of court and other similar matters, the term includes a senior judge.

"Judicial and related account."  The account required to be established upon the books of certain political subdivisions pursuant to section 3541 (relating to judicial and related account).

"Judicial branch."  The judicial branch specified in section 10(c) of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

"Judicial Department."  A term utilized in appropriation statutes to distinguish judicial appropriations from other appropriations.

"Judicial district."  A district established by section 901 (relating to judicial districts) for the election of one or more judges of a court of common pleas.

"Judicial officers."  Judges, magisterial district judges and appointive judicial officers.

"Litigant."  A party or any other person legally concerned with the results of a matter.

"Magisterial district."  A district established within a judicial district pursuant to Subchapter A of Chapter 15 (relating to magisterial districts) for the election of a magisterial district judge.

"Magisterial district judge."  A justice of the peace holding office under section 7(a) of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and Subchapter B of Chapter 15 (relating to magisterial district judges).

"Matter."  Action, proceeding or appeal.

"Minor judiciary."  The community courts, magisterial district judges and Pittsburgh Magistrates Court.

"Office of the clerk of the court of common pleas."  A term employed in this title to refer generally to the administrative staff of the courts of common pleas and the Philadelphia Municipal Court responsible for the receipt of documents transmitted to the court by litigants and the transmission of notice of orders entered by and process issued under the authority of the court. The business of such staff shall be divided among the personnel of the offices of the prothonotary, the clerk of the courts and the clerk of the orphans' court division in the manner provided by or pursuant to Chapter 27 (relating to office of the clerk of the court of common pleas). Except as otherwise provided by statute, the term does not imply the unification of the administration, personnel or operations of any or all of such offices.

"Officer enforcing orders."  Includes:

(1)  A recorder of deeds when the order affects the ownership of an interest in property described or describable by a document which has been or may be filed or recorded in his office, or relates to the indexing of documents filed or recorded in his office.

(2)  A register of wills.

(3)  A sheriff.

"Order."  Includes judgment, decision, decree, sentence and adjudication.

"Participant."  Litigants, witnesses and their counsel.

"Party."  A person who commences or against whom relief is sought in a matter. The term includes counsel for such a person who is represented by counsel.

"Personal staff."  Private secretaries, law clerks and such other personnel as an individual may be authorized by law to select and remove subject to standards and classifications established by the governing authority.

"Personnel of the court."  The judges and staff of the court.

"Personnel of the system."  Judicial officers, personal staff, administrative staff and central staff.

"Philadelphia Municipal Court."  The municipal court existing under section 6(c) of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and Subchapter B of Chapter 11 (relating to Philadelphia Municipal Court) so long as a community court has not been established or in the event one has been discontinued in the City and County of Philadelphia.

"Pittsburgh Magistrates Court."  The court existing under Subchapter C of Chapter 11 (relating to Pittsburgh Magistrates Court).

"President judge."  The president judge of a court determined or selected as provided or as prescribed by law.

"Proceeding."  Includes every declaration, petition or other application which may be made to a court under law or usage or under special statutory authority, but the term does not include an action or an appeal.

"Process."  A document evidencing a command of a court or of a magisterial district judge.

"Prothonotary."  The officer exercising the powers and performing the duties specified in Subchapter B of Chapter 27 (relating to prothonotaries).

"Quasi-judicial order."  An order of a government unit, made after notice and opportunity for hearing, which is by law reviewable solely upon the record made before the government unit, and not upon a record made in whole or in part before the reviewing court. This definition has no application to the definition of "tribunal."

"Related staff."  All individuals employed at public expense who serve the unified judicial system, but the term does not include personnel of the system.

"Rule of court."  A rule promulgated by a court regulating practice or procedure before the promulgating court.

"Section."  An administrative unit of the administrative staff of the court composed of those persons responsible for the support of a class of the business of the court specified by law.

"Senior magisterial district judge."  A former or retired magisterial district judge who retires or otherwise vacates office after January 1, 1970, who has served at least one complete six year elected term as a magisterial district judge, and who, with his consent, is assigned on temporary magisterial service pursuant to section 4122(b) (relating to assignment of senior magisterial district judges).

"Senior judge."  A former or retired judge who shall not have been defeated for reelection and shall have served as a judge (whether or not continuously or on the same court) by election or appointment for an aggregate of at least ten years and any duly elected judge having an aggregate of six years of service as a judge who is required to retire at age 70 and who, with his consent, is assigned on temporary judicial service pursuant to section 4121(b) (relating to assignment of judges).

"Staff of the court."  Appointive judicial officers, the administrative staff and personal staff of the court.

"State."  When used in reference to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and other organized territories and possessions of the United States.

"State Law Library."  The Law Library Bureau of the State Library of Pennsylvania.

"Superior Court."  The court existing under section 3 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and Subchapter B of Chapter 5 (relating to Superior Court of Pennsylvania).

"Supreme Court."  The court existing under section 2 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and Subchapter A of Chapter 5 (relating to Supreme Court of Pennsylvania).

"System."  The unified judicial system.

"System and related personnel."  Personnel of the system and related staff. The term includes district attorneys, public defenders, sheriffs and other officers serving process or enforcing orders, registers of wills, prothonotaries, clerks of the courts, clerks of the orphans' court division, coroners, jury commissioners, probation officials, and the personnel of all of the foregoing.

"Traffic Court of Philadelphia."  Any of the following:

(1)  The Traffic Division under section 1121(c) (relating to Philadelphia Municipal Court). This paragraph includes the predecessor of the Traffic Division.

(2)  The Traffic Court of Philadelphia under section 1321(b) (relating to Traffic Court of Philadelphia). This paragraph includes the predecessor of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia.

"Tribunal."  A court, magisterial district judge or other judicial officer vested with the power to enter an order in a matter. The term includes a government unit, other than the General Assembly and its officers and agencies, when performing quasi-judicial functions.

"Unified judicial system."  The unified judicial system existing under section 1 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and section 301 (relating to unified judicial system).

"Verified."  Includes an unsworn document containing a statement by the signatory that is made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities).

42c102v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; July 20, 1979, P.L.157, No.52, eff. 60 days; Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days; Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days; Oct. 12, 1984, P.L.959, No.187, eff. 60 days; Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.574, No.147, eff. 60 days; July 9, 1992, P.L.689, No.102, eff. imd.; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days; Aug. 11, 2009, P.L.147, No.33, eff. 60 days; June 19, 2013, P.L.55, No.17, eff. imd.)

 

2013 Amendment.  Act 17 amended the defs. of "minor judiciary" and "Traffic Court of Philadelphia."

2009 Amendment.  Act 33 amended the def. of "process."

2007 Effectuation of Repeal.  The Legislative Reference Bureau effectuated the 1992 repeal.

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended the defs. of "central staff," "issuing authority," "judicial officers," "magisterial district," "minor judiciary," "senior district justice" and "tribunal," deleted the def. of "district justice" and added the def. of "magisterial district judge." See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

1992 Repeal.  Act 102 repealed Act 147 of 1990 which added par. (4) of the def. of "officer enforcing orders." Section 1956 of Title 1 provides: "The repeal of an amendatory statute does not revive the corresponding provision or section of the original statute or of any prior amendment." The text of par. (4) of the def. of "officer enforcing orders" has not been changed to give effect to the repeal.

1991 Unconstitutionality.  Act 147 of 1990 was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. In re Act 147 of 1990, 528 Pa. 460, 598 A.2d 985 (1991).

1990 Amendment.  Act 147 amended the def. of "officer enforcing orders."

1980 Amendment.  Act 142 amended the defs. of "independent agency," "senior judge" and "system and related personnel."

1978 Amendment.  Act 53 amended the def. of "appointive judicial officers" and added the defs. of "officer enforcing orders" and "senior district justice."

Effective Date.  Section 29(2) of Act 142 of 1976 provided that section 102, insofar as applicable to section 1725 of this title, shall take effect January 1, 1977.

Cross References.  Section 102 is referred to in section 4402 of this title; section 101 of Title 2 (Administrative Law and Procedure); section 6109 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses); section 102 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries); sections 102, 5329.1 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); section 4110 of Title 51 (Military Affairs); section 310 of Title 57 (Notaries Public); section 102 of Title 75 (Vehicles).

42c103s

§ 103.  Principles of construction.

(a)  Necessary powers conferred.--The provisions of this title shall be construed so as to vest in the unified judicial system and in the personnel of the system power to do all things that are reasonably necessary for the proper execution and administration of their functions within the scope of their respective jurisdiction.

(b)  No inference from express grant of powers.--The inclusion in this title of provisions derived from or based on the text of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and the specification in this title of the powers of the unified judicial system is for the avoidance of potential controversy and the convenient codification of the powers of the system from whatever source derived and shall not be construed as a determination by the General Assembly that any of such powers are or are not inherent in the Supreme Court or the other agencies and units of the system under the Constitution of Pennsylvania or otherwise.

42c301h

 

 

PART II

ORGANIZATION

 

Subpart

A.  Courts and Magisterial District Judges

B.  Other Structural Provisions

 

Enactment.  Part II was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

 

 

SUBPART A

COURTS AND MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGES

 

Article

A.  Preliminary Provisions

B.  Appellate Courts

C.  Courts of Common Pleas

D.  Minor Courts

E.  Magisterial District Judges

F.  Court of Judicial Discipline

 

Subpart Heading.  The heading of Subpart A was amended August 11, 2009, P.L.147, No.33, effective in 60 days.

 

 

ARTICLE A

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

Chapter

3.  General Structure and Powers

 

 

CHAPTER 3

GENERAL STRUCTURE AND POWERS

 

Subchapter

A.  Unified Judicial System

B.  General Provisions Relating to Courts

 

Enactment.  Chapter 3 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

UNIFIED JUDICIAL SYSTEM

 

Sec.

301.  Unified judicial system.

42c301s

§ 301.  Unified judicial system.

The judicial power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a unified judicial system consisting of the:

(1)  Supreme Court.

(2)  Superior Court.

(3)  Commonwealth Court.

(4)  Courts of common pleas.

(5)  Community courts.

(6)  Philadelphia Municipal Court.

(7)  Pittsburgh Magistrates Court.

(8)  Traffic Court of Philadelphia.

(9)  Magisterial district judges.

All courts and magisterial district judges and their jurisdiction shall be in this unified judicial system.

42c301v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

Cross References.  Section 301 is referred to in section 102 of this title; section 3717 of Title 22 (Detectives and Private Police).

42c321h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO COURTS

 

Sec.

321.  Court of record.

322.  Seal.

323.  Powers.

324.  Sessions and terms of court.

325.  Chief Justice and president judges.

326.  Quorum.

327.  Oaths and acknowledgments.

42c321s

§ 321.  Court of record.

Except as otherwise provided in this subpart every court of this Commonwealth shall be a court of record with all the qualities and incidents of a court of record at common law.

42c322s

§ 322.  Seal.

Each court of this Commonwealth shall have a seal engraved with the name of the court and such other inscription as may be specified by general rule or rule of court. A facsimile or preprinted seal may be used for all purposes in lieu of the original seal.

42c323s

§ 323.  Powers.

Every court shall have power to issue, under its judicial seal, every lawful writ and process necessary or suitable for the exercise of its jurisdiction and for the enforcement of any order which it may make and all legal and equitable powers required for or incidental to the exercise of its jurisdiction, and, except as otherwise prescribed by general rules, every court shall have power to make such rules and orders of court as the interest of justice or the business of the court may require.

42c324s

§ 324.  Sessions and terms of court.

Except as otherwise prescribed by general rule or rule of court each court shall be in session as often as its judges shall deem necessary or proper and there shall be no terms of court. Each court shall always be open for the transaction of judicial business and the court or any judge shall have the same power in vacation to issue injunctions, grant stays and enter other orders as they have while the court is in session. The continued existence or expiration of a session of a court in no way affects the power of a court to do any act or take any proceeding.

42c325s

§ 325.  Chief Justice and president judges.

(a)  General rule.--The Chief Justice of Pennsylvania and the president judges of all courts with seven or less judges shall be the judge longest in continuous service on their respective courts. In the event of his resignation from this position the judge next longest in continuous service shall be the Chief Justice of Pennsylvania or the president judge. Should any two or more judges of the same court assume office at the same time, they shall cast lots forthwith for priority of commission, and certify the results to the Governor who shall issue their commissions accordingly.

(b)  Courts of eight or more judges.--The president judges of all courts with eight or more judges shall be selected for five-year terms by the members of their respective courts. In the event of a tie vote for the office of president judge, the Supreme Court shall appoint as president judge one of the judges receiving the highest number of votes.

(c)  Traffic Court of Philadelphia.--(Deleted by amendment).

(d)  Resignation and temporary inability.--The Chief Justice of Pennsylvania or a president judge may resign such position and remain a member of the court.

(e)  Powers of president judge.--Except as otherwise provided or prescribed by this title, by general rule or by order of the governing authority, the president judge of a court shall:

(1)  Be the executive and administrative head of the court, supervise the judicial business of the court, promulgate all administrative rules and regulations, make all judicial assignments, and assign and reassign among the personnel of the court available chambers and other physical facilities.

(2)  Exercise the powers of the court under section 2301(a)(2) (relating to appointment of personnel).

42c325v

(June 19, 2013, P.L.55, No.17, eff. imd.)

 

2013 Amendment.  Act 17 deleted subsec. (c).

42c326s

§ 326.  Quorum.

(a)  Supreme Court.--A majority of the Supreme Court shall be a quorum of the court.

(b)  Other courts.--The quorum requisite to hold a session of any other court shall be specified by general rule.

(c)  Inability to assemble quorum.--Where by reason of vacancy, illness, disqualification or otherwise it is impossible to assemble a quorum of a court at the time and place appropriate therefor, sufficient judges shall be temporarily assigned to the court to permit the court to hold a duly convened session and transact the business of the court.

(d)  Court en banc.--The composition of a court en banc shall be as specified by general rules.

42c327s

§ 327.  Oaths and acknowledgments.

(a)  General ability.--Each judicial officer, each clerk of court, each retired or senior judge and such other personnel of the system and jurors as may be designated by or pursuant to general rules may administer oaths and affirmations and take acknowledgments. An acknowledgment may be taken by a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania if the document is thereafter certified to an officer authorized to administer oaths. Certification by an attorney shall be in accordance with 57 Pa.C.S. Ch. 3 (relating to Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts) and shall include the attorney's Supreme Court identification number.

(b)  Retired or senior judges.--A retired or senior judge may administer oaths and affirmations and take acknowledgments so long as all of the following criteria are met:

(1)  The retired or senior judge has served as a magisterial district judge, judge or justice, whether or not continuously or on the same court, by election or appointment, for an aggregate period equaling a full term of office.

(2)  The retired or senior judge has not been defeated for reelection or retention.

(3)  The retired or senior judge has not been convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to any misdemeanor or felony offense under the laws of this Commonwealth or an equivalent offense under the laws of the United States or one of its territories or possessions, another state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a foreign nation.

(4)  The retired or senior judge has not resigned a judicial commission to avoid having charges filed or to avoid prosecution by Federal, State or local law enforcement agencies or by the Judicial Conduct Board.

(5)  The retired or senior judge has not been removed from office by the Court of Judicial Discipline.

(6)  The retired or senior judge is a resident of this Commonwealth.

42c327v

(July 1, 1987, P.L.180, No.21, eff. imd.; June 30, 2012, P.L.666, No.79, eff. 60 days; Oct. 9, 2013, P.L.609, No.73)

 

2013 Amendment.  Act 73 amended subsec. (a). Section 5(3) of Act 73 provided that section 327 shall take effect 180 days after publication of the notice under section 4 of Act 73.

Cross References.  Section 327 is referred to in sections 2737, 2757, 2777 of this title; section 316 of Title 57 (Notaries Public).

42c501h

 

 

ARTICLE B

APPELLATE COURTS

 

Chapter

5.  Organization of Appellate Courts

7.  Jurisdiction of Appellate Courts

 

 

CHAPTER 5

ORGANIZATION OF APPELLATE COURTS

 

Subchapter

A.  Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

B.  Superior Court of Pennsylvania

C.  Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

 

Enactment.  Chapter 5 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

Sec.

501.  Supreme Court.

502.  General powers of Supreme Court.

503.  Reassignment of matters.

504.  Seat of court.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter A is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c501s

§ 501.  Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania shall consist of the Chief Justice of Pennsylvania and six associate justices. The court shall be the highest court of this Commonwealth and in it shall be reposed the supreme judicial power of the Commonwealth.

42c502s

§ 502.  General powers of Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court shall have and exercise the powers vested in it by the Constitution of Pennsylvania, including the power generally to minister justice to all persons and to exercise the powers of the court, as fully and amply, to all intents and purposes, as the justices of the Court of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, at Westminster, or any of them, could or might do on May 22, 1722. The Supreme Court shall also have and exercise the following powers:

(1)  All powers necessary or appropriate in aid of its original and appellate jurisdiction which are agreeable to the usages and principles of law.

(2)  The powers vested in it by statute, including the provisions of this title.

42c503s

§ 503.  Reassignment of matters.

(a)  General rule.--The Supreme Court may by general rule provide for the assignment and reassignment of classes of matters among the several courts of this Commonwealth and the magisterial district judges as the needs of justice shall require and all laws shall be suspended to the extent that they are inconsistent with such general rules.

(b)  Procedures.--

(1)  Rules adopted pursuant to subsection (a) shall be reported to the General Assembly by the Chief Justice at or after the beginning of a regular session thereof, but not later than May 1.

(2)  Upon receipt, such rules shall be proposed to each house of the General Assembly as a resolution or resolutions, shall be placed on the calendar of each house for the next legislative day following their receipt, and shall be considered by each house within 120 calendar days of continuous session by the General Assembly.

(3)  Such rules shall take effect if they are approved by a majority vote of the duly elected members of each house during such 120-day period, or may be disapproved by either house during that period by a majority vote of the duly elected membership of each house. The effective date of such rules shall be the date of approval of the last of the two houses to act.

(4)  Upon the expiration of the 120-day period after the delivery of such rules to the two houses of the General Assembly and the failure to act as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), such rules shall become effective.

(5)  For the purposes of this subsection, continuity of session shall be considered as broken only by an adjournment of the General Assembly sine die; but in the computation of the 120-day period, there shall be excluded the days on which either house is not in session because of an adjournment of more than ten days to a day certain.

(6)  Any such rules may, under provisions contained therein, be made operative at a time later than the date on which such rules would otherwise take effect.

42c503v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (a). See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

Cross References.  Section 503 is referred to in sections 701, 704, 931, 932, 933, 1105, 1123, 1143, 1302, 1515, 1702, 1722, 3724, 5502 of this title.

42c504s

§ 504.  Seat of court.

The regular sessions of the Supreme Court shall be held in the facility specified in section 3701 (relating to Pennsylvania Judicial Center) and elsewhere as prescribed by general rule.

42c541h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

Sec.

541.  Superior Court.

542.  Powers of Superior Court.

543.  Seat of court.

544.  Additional judges.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c541s

§ 541.  Superior Court.

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania shall consist of 15 judges.

42c541v

(June 11, 1980, P.L.213, No.63, eff. imd.)

42c542s

§ 542.  Powers of Superior Court.

The Superior Court shall have all powers necessary or appropriate in aid of its jurisdiction which are agreeable to the usages and principles of law.

42c543s

§ 543.  Seat of court.

The regular sessions of the Superior Court shall be held at the cities of Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and elsewhere as prescribed by general rule or rule of court.

42c544s

§ 544.  Additional judges.

(a)  Constitution.--In order to increase the number of Superior Court judges so that the court shall hereafter be composed of 15 judges, pursuant to sections 3 and 13 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, the appointment of eight additional judges to the court is hereby provided for. These additional judges shall possess the qualifications otherwise required by law for judges of the Superior Court and shall be initially appointed as provided in this section.

(b)  Initial appointments.--The Governor, with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the members elected to the Senate, shall appoint eight additional judges for initial terms as follows:

(1)  Two judges shall be appointed for terms ending the first Monday of January next following the third municipal election more than ten months after the additional judges are selected. These appointees shall be of different political parties.

(2)  Two judges shall be appointed for terms ending the first Monday of January next following the second municipal election more than ten months after the additional judges are selected. These appointees shall be of different political parties.

(3)  Four judges shall be appointed for terms ending the first Monday of January next following the first municipal election more than ten months after the additional judges are selected. Of these appointees, no more than two shall be of the same political party.

(c)  Vacancies.--Vacancies caused by the death, retirement, resignation or removal of a judge appointed under this section shall be filled in the manner and for the term prescribed by section 13 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

(d)  Retention declarations.--No judge appointed pursuant to this section shall, prior to the expiration of his appointive term, file a declaration of candidacy for retention, as provided in section 15 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

(e)  Elections.--Elections for judges of the court shall be held at the times and in the manner prescribed by section 13 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and, to the extent not inconsistent therewith, pursuant to the election laws of this Commonwealth applicable to the election of judges of the Superior Court.

(f)  Terms of judges.--Except as provided in this section for the initial appointive terms for additional judges of the Superior Court, the terms of office of judges of the Superior Court shall be as otherwise provided by law.

42c544v

(June 11, 1980, P.L.213, No.63, eff. imd.)

 

1980 Amendment.  Act 63 added section 544.

42c561h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER C

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

Sec.

561.  Commonwealth Court.

562.  Powers of Commonwealth Court.

563.  Seat of court.

564.  Evidentiary hearings.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter C is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c561s

§ 561.  Commonwealth Court.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania shall consist of nine judges.

42c561v

(Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days)

42c562s

§ 562.  Powers of Commonwealth Court.

The Commonwealth Court shall have power to issue, under its judicial seal, every lawful writ and process necessary or suitable for the exercise of its jurisdiction and for the enforcement of any order which it may make, including such writs and process to or to be served or enforced by system and related personnel as the courts of common pleas are authorized by law or usage to issue. The court shall also have all powers of a court of record possessed by the courts of common pleas and all powers necessary or appropriate in aid of its appellate jurisdiction which are agreeable to the usages and principles of law.

42c563s

§ 563.  Seat of court.

(a)  Regular sessions.--The regular sessions of the Commonwealth Court shall be held at the seat of government and elsewhere as provided in subsection (b). Each judge shall be provided with suitable chambers and other facilities at the seat of government. The intention of this provision is to render the court and the judges thereof as available, except as provided in subsection (b) or as otherwise provided in this title, at the seat of government for the conduct of routine and emergency judicial business as would be the case if the jurisdiction of the court were exercised by the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County.

(b)  Other sessions.--Within the limits of available appropriations, special sessions of the court may be held from time to time for the convenience of parties or witnesses, or both, in the interest of justice, in such judicial districts of this Commonwealth as make available without cost to the Commonwealth suitable courtroom and related physical facilities. The court shall also sit in the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

42c564s

§ 564.  Evidentiary hearings.

In any matter which requires the taking of testimony, the President Judge of the Commonwealth Court may assign a judge of the court, or another judge temporarily assigned to the court pursuant to section 4121 (relating to assignment of judges), to sit and receive the evidence, and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by rule or order of court.

42c701h

 

 

CHAPTER 7

JURISDICTION OF APPELLATE COURTS

 

Subchapter

A.  General Provisions

B.  Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

C.  Jurisdiction of Superior Court

D.  Jurisdiction of Commonwealth Court

 

Enactment.  Chapter 7 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Sec.

701.  Scope of subchapter.

702.  Interlocutory orders.

702.1. Expedited appeals in eminent domain proceedings.

703.  Place and form of filing appeals.

704.  Waiver of objections to jurisdiction.

705.  Transfers between intermediate appellate courts.

706.  Disposition of appeals.

707.  Lien of judgments for money.

708.  Improvident administrative appeals and other matters.

42c701s

§ 701.  Scope of subchapter.

(a)  General rule.--The provisions of this subchapter shall apply to all courts of this Commonwealth, including the courts of common pleas when sitting as appellate courts.

(b)  Reassignment of matters.--Any of the provisions of Subchapter B (relating to jurisdiction of Supreme Court), Subchapter C (relating to jurisdiction of Superior Court) and Subchapter D (relating to jurisdiction of Commonwealth Court) shall be subject to and superseded by any inconsistent provisions of any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters).

42c702s

§ 702.  Interlocutory orders.

(a)  Appeals authorized by law.--An appeal authorized by law from an interlocutory order in a matter shall be taken to the appellate court having jurisdiction of final orders in such matter.

(b)  Interlocutory appeals by permission.--When a court or other government unit, in making an interlocutory order in a matter in which its final order would be within the jurisdiction of an appellate court, shall be of the opinion that such order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the matter, it shall so state in such order. The appellate court may thereupon, in its discretion, permit an appeal to be taken from such interlocutory order.

(c)  Supersedeas.--Except as otherwise prescribed by general rules, a petition for permission to appeal under this section shall not stay the proceedings before the lower court or other government unit, unless the lower court or other government unit or the appellate court or a judge thereof shall so order.

42c702v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days)

 

1978 Amendment.  Act 53 amended subsecs. (b) and (c).

Cross References.  Section 702 is referred to in sections 704, 5105, 5574 of this title.

42c702.1s

§ 702.1.  Expedited appeals in eminent domain proceedings.

When a court in an eminent domain proceeding rules on preliminary objections to a declaration of taking and is of the opinion that the matters involved are of immediate public importance, it shall, upon request of a party, so state in the order. If an appeal is taken from that order, the appellate court shall give priority to the determination of the issues raised by the appeal.

42c702.1v

(May 4, 2006, P.L.112, No.34, eff. 120 days)

 

2006 Amendment.  Act 34 added section 702.1. Section 6(1) provided that, except as provided in par. (2), Act 34 shall apply to all condemnations effected on or after the effective date of section 6.

42c703s

§ 703.  Place and form of filing appeals.

Appeals, petitions for review, petitions for permission to appeal and petitions for allowance of appeal shall be filed in such office and in such form as may be prescribed by general rule.

42c704s

§ 704.  Waiver of objections to jurisdiction.

(a)  General rule.--The failure of an appellee to file an objection to the jurisdiction of an appellate court within such time as may be specified by general rule, shall, unless the appellate court otherwise orders, operate to perfect the appellate jurisdiction of such appellate court, notwithstanding any provision of this title, or of any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters), vesting jurisdiction of such appeal in another appellate court.

(b)  Exception.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to any defect in the jurisdiction of an appellate court which arises out of:

(1)  The failure to effect a filing within the time provided or prescribed by law.

(2)  An attempt to take an appeal from an interlocutory order which has not been made appealable by law or pursuant to section 702(b) (relating to interlocutory appeals by permission).

42c705s

§ 705.  Transfers between intermediate appellate courts.

The Superior Court and the Commonwealth Court shall have power pursuant to general rules, on their own motion or upon petition of any party, to transfer any appeal to the other court for consideration and decision with any matter pending in such other court involving the same or related questions of fact, law or discretion.

42c706s

§ 706.  Disposition of appeals.

An appellate court may affirm, modify, vacate, set aside or reverse any order brought before it for review, and may remand the matter and direct the entry of such appropriate order, or require such further proceedings to be had as may be just under the circumstances.

42c706v

 

Cross References.  Section 706 is referred to in sections 704, 754 of Title 2 (Administrative Law and Procedure); section 1711.1 of Title 62 (Procurement).

42c707s

§ 707.  Lien of judgments for money.

Any judgment or other order of the Supreme Court, the Superior Court or the Commonwealth Court for the payment of money shall not be a lien upon real property in any county until it is entered of record in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas of the county where the property is situated, or in the office of the clerk of the branch of the court of common pleas embracing such county, in the same manner as a judgment transferred from the court of common pleas of another county.

42c708s

§ 708.  Improvident administrative appeals and other matters.

(a)  General rule.--No objection to a governmental determination shall be defeated by reason of error in the form of the objection or the office of clerk of court in which the objection is filed.

(b)  Appeals.--If an appeal is improvidently taken to a court under any provision of law from the determination of a government unit where the proper mode of relief is an action in the nature of equity, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto or otherwise, this alone shall not be a ground for dismissal, but the papers whereon the appeal was taken shall be regarded and acted on as a complaint or other proper process commenced against the government unit or the persons for the time being conducting its affairs and as if filed at the time the appeal was taken.

(c)  Other matters.--If a complaint in the nature of equity, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto or other original process is commenced in any court against a government unit or one or more of the persons for the time being conducting its affairs, as such, objecting to a governmental determination by any of them, where the proper mode of relief is an appeal from the determination of the government unit, this alone shall not be a ground for dismissal, but the papers whereon the process against the government unit or any of such persons was commenced shall be regarded and acted on as an appeal from such determination of the government unit and as if filed at the time such process was commenced.

(d)  Place of filing.--Section 5103 (relating to transfer of erroneously filed matters) shall also be applicable to an appeal or other matter which is deemed to be filed or commenced under any provision of this section.

(e)  Single form of action.--Where pursuant to general rules review of a determination of a government unit may be had by a petition for review or another single form of action embracing the appeal and actions in the nature of equity, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto or otherwise, the jurisdiction of the appellate court shall not be limited by the provisions of 1 Pa.C.S. § 1504 (relating to statutory remedy preferred over common law), but such provisions to the extent applicable shall limit the relief available.

42c708v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days)

 

1978 Amendment.  Act 53 added subsec. (e).

Cross References.  Section 708 is referred to in section 1722 of this title.

42c721h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

JURISDICTION OF SUPREME COURT

 

Sec.

721.  Original jurisdiction.

722.  Direct appeals from courts of common pleas.

723.  Appeals from Commonwealth Court.

724.  Allowance of appeals from Superior and Commonwealth Courts.

725.  Direct appeals from constitutional and judicial agencies.

726.  Extraordinary jurisdiction.

727.  Special tribunal.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in section 701 of this title.

42c721s

§ 721.  Original jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction of all cases of:

(1)  Habeas corpus.

(2)  Mandamus or prohibition to courts of inferior jurisdiction.

(3)  Quo warranto as to any officer of Statewide jurisdiction.

42c721v

 

Cross References.  Section 721 is referred to in section 761 of this title.

42c722s

§ 722.  Direct appeals from courts of common pleas.

The Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of appeals from final orders of the courts of common pleas in the following classes of cases:

(1)  Matters prescribed by general rule.

(2)  The right to public office.

(3)  Matters where the qualifications, tenure or right to serve, or the manner of service, of any member of the judiciary is drawn in question.

(4)  Automatic review of sentences as provided by 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9546(d) (relating to relief and order) and 9711(h) (relating to review of death sentence).

(5)  Supersession of a district attorney by an Attorney General or by a court or where the matter relates to the convening, supervision, administration, operation or discharge of an investigating grand jury or otherwise directly affects such a grand jury or any investigation conducted by it.

(6)  Matters where the right or power of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision to create or issue indebtedness is drawn in direct question.

(7)  Matters where the court of common pleas has held invalid as repugnant to the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States, or to the Constitution of this Commonwealth, any treaty or law of the United States or any provision of the Constitution of, or of any statute of, this Commonwealth, or any provision of any home rule charter.

(8)  Matters where the right to practice law is drawn in direct question.

42c722v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Sept. 23, 1980, P.L.686, No.137, eff. 60 days; Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days; Apr. 13, 1988, P.L.336, No.47, eff. imd.)

 

1988 Amendment.  Act 47 amended par. (4). Section 6 of Act 47 provided that par. (4) shall apply to all actions for collateral relief, whether statutory or common law, instituted on or after the effective date of Act 47, irrespective of the date of conviction or sentence.

1980 Amendment.  Act 142 amended par. (5).

Cross References.  Section 722 is referred to in section 762 of this title.

42c723s

§ 723.  Appeals from Commonwealth Court.

(a)  General rule.--The Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of appeals from final orders of the Commonwealth Court entered in any matter which was originally commenced in the Commonwealth Court except an order entered in a matter which constitutes an appeal to the Commonwealth Court from another court, a magisterial district judge or another government unit.

(b)  Board of Finance and Revenue matters.--Any final order of the Commonwealth Court entered in any appeal from a decision of the Board of Finance and Revenue shall be appealable to the Supreme Court, as of right, under this section.

42c723v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (a). See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

Cross References.  Section 723 is referred to in sections 724, 763, 5105 of this title.

42c724s

§ 724.  Allowance of appeals from Superior and Commonwealth Courts.

(a)  General rule.--Except as provided by section 9781(f) (relating to limitation on additional appellate review), final orders of the Superior Court and final orders of the Commonwealth Court not appealable under section 723 (relating to appeals from Commonwealth Court) may be reviewed by the Supreme Court upon allowance of appeal by any two justices of the Supreme Court upon petition of any party to the matter. If the petition shall be granted, the Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction to review the order in the manner provided by section 5105(d)(1) (relating to scope of appeal).

(b)  Improvident appeals.--If an appeal is improvidently taken to the Supreme Court under section 723 in a case where the proper mode of review is by petition for allowance of appeal under this section, this alone shall not be a ground for dismissal, but the papers whereon the appeal was taken shall be regarded and acted on as a petition for allowance of appeal and as if duly filed at the time the appeal was taken.

42c724v

(Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days)

 

1980 Amendment.  Act 142 amended subsec. (a).

42c725s

§ 725.  Direct appeals from constitutional and judicial agencies.

The Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of appeals from final orders of the following constitutional and judicial agencies:

(1)  Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

(2)  Court of Judicial Discipline, except matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of a special tribunal as established under section 18(c)(1) of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

(3)  The agency vested with the power to determine whether those members of the minor judiciary required to do so have completed a course of training and instruction in the duties of their respective offices and passed an examination.

(4)  The agency vested with the power to admit or recommend the admission of persons to the bar and the practice of law.

(5)  The agency vested with the power to discipline or recommend the discipline of attorneys at law.

42c725v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; July 2, 1993, P.L.395, No.56, eff. Aug. 16, 1993)

 

1993 Amendment.  Act 56 amended par. (2).

1978 Amendment.  Act 53 amended pars. (4) and (5).

Cross References.  Section 725 is referred to in section 763 of this title.

42c726s

§ 726.  Extraordinary jurisdiction.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Supreme Court may, on its own motion or upon petition of any party, in any matter pending before any court or magisterial district judge of this Commonwealth involving an issue of immediate public importance, assume plenary jurisdiction of such matter at any stage thereof and enter a final order or otherwise cause right and justice to be done.

42c726v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

Saved from Suspension.  Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure for District Justices No. 1082, as amended April 25, 1979, provided that section 726 shall not be deemed suspended or affected. Rules 1001 through 1082 relate to appellate proceedings with respect to judgments and other decisions of district justices in civil matters. Act 207 of 2004 changed justices of the peace to magisterial district judges. Rule 1082 can now be found in the Rules of Conduct, Office Standards and Civil Procedure for Magisterial District Judges.

42c727s

§ 727.  Special tribunal.

(a)  General rule.--A justice seeking review of a decision of the Court of Judicial Discipline pursuant to section 18 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania shall so notify the Court of Judicial Discipline.

(b)  Establishment.--Upon receipt of notice under subsection (a), the Court of Judicial Discipline shall notify the Secretary of the Commonwealth who shall set a date within 20 days for the selection of the special tribunal as set forth in section 18 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania. At the time and place fixed, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, in a manner consistent with any applicable general rules, shall publicly select by lot seven names from the members of the Superior Court and the Commonwealth Court in regular active duty, except judges then serving on the Court of Judicial Discipline or the Judicial Conduct Board.

(c)  Vacancies.--A vacancy on the special tribunal shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner provided under subsection (b).

(d)  Powers and duties.--The special tribunal shall review the decision of the Court of Judicial Discipline as provided in section 18 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania. There shall be no right of appeal or other form of review from the special tribunal.

42c727v

(July 2, 1993, P.L.395, No.56, eff. Aug. 16, 1993)

 

1993 Amendment.  Act 56 added section 727.

Suspension by Court Rule.  Section 727 was suspended by Rule No. 7 of Pennsylvania Rules Governing Appeals from the Court of Judicial Discipline, adopted May 24, 1994, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rules 1 through 11.

42c741h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER C

JURISDICTION OF SUPERIOR COURT

 

Sec.

741.  Original jurisdiction.

742.  Appeals from courts of common pleas.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter C is referred to in section 701 of this title.

42c741s

§ 741.  Original jurisdiction.

The Superior Court shall have no original jurisdiction, except in cases of mandamus and prohibition to courts of inferior jurisdiction where such relief is ancillary to matters within its appellate jurisdiction, and except that it, or any judge thereof, shall have full power and authority when and as often as there may be occasion, to issue writs of habeas corpus under like conditions returnable to the said court.

42c742s

§ 742.  Appeals from courts of common pleas.

The Superior Court shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction of all appeals from final orders of the courts of common pleas, regardless of the nature of the controversy or the amount involved, except such classes of appeals as are by any provision of this chapter within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or the Commonwealth Court.

42c761h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER D

JURISDICTION OF COMMONWEALTH COURT

 

Sec.

761.  Original jurisdiction.

762.  Appeals from courts of common pleas.

763.  Direct appeals from government agencies.

764.  Election contests and other matters.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter D is referred to in section 701 of this title.

42c761s

§ 761.  Original jurisdiction.

(a)  General rule.--The Commonwealth Court shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions or proceedings:

(1)  Against the Commonwealth government, including any officer thereof, acting in his official capacity, except:

(i)  actions or proceedings in the nature of applications for a writ of habeas corpus or post-conviction relief not ancillary to proceedings within the appellate jurisdiction of the court;

(ii)  eminent domain proceedings;

(iii)  actions or proceedings conducted pursuant to Chapter 85 (relating to matters affecting government units);

(iv)  actions or proceedings conducted pursuant to the act of May 20, 1937 (P.L.728, No.193), referred to as the Board of Claims Act; and

(v)  actions or proceedings in the nature of trespass as to which the Commonwealth government formerly enjoyed sovereign or other immunity and actions or proceedings in the nature of assumpsit relating to such actions or proceedings in the nature of trespass.

(2)  By the Commonwealth government, including any officer thereof, acting in his official capacity, except eminent domain proceedings.

(3)  Arising under Article V of the act of May 17, 1921 (P.L.789, No.285), known as "The Insurance Department Act of 1921."

(4)  Original jurisdiction of which is vested in the Commonwealth Court by any statute hereafter enacted.

(b)  Concurrent and exclusive jurisdiction.--The jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court under subsection (a) shall be exclusive except as provided in section 721 (relating to original jurisdiction) and except with respect to actions or proceedings by the Commonwealth government, including any officer thereof, acting in his official capacity, where the jurisdiction of the court shall be concurrent with the several courts of common pleas.

(c)  Ancillary matters.--The Commonwealth Court shall have original jurisdiction in cases of mandamus and prohibition to courts of inferior jurisdiction and other government units where such relief is ancillary to matters within its appellate jurisdiction, and it, or any judge thereof, shall have full power and authority when and as often as there may be occasion, to issue writs of habeas corpus under like conditions returnable to the said court. To the extent prescribed by general rule the Commonwealth Court shall have ancillary jurisdiction over any claim or other matter which is related to a claim or other matter otherwise within its exclusive original jurisdiction.

42c761v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Sept. 28, 1978, P.L.788, No.152, eff. imd.; Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days; Dec. 5, 1980, P.L.1104, No.189, eff. imd.; Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days)

 

1982 Amendment.  Act 326 amended subsec. (a).

1980 Amendments.  Act 142 amended subsec. (a), repealed subsec. (c) and relettered subsec. (d) to (c) and Act 189 amended subsec. (a)(1), retroactive to June 27, 1978.

1978 Amendments.  Act 53 amended subsecs. (a) and (b) and Act 152 amended subsecs. (a) and (c).

Transfer of Records.  Section 6 of Act 189 of 1980 provided that the Prothonotary of the Commonwealth Court shall, except as otherwise ordered by the court in the interest of justice, transfer to the appropriate office of the clerk of the court of common pleas all dockets, records, pleadings and other papers, or certified copies thereof, relating to all pending matters jurisdiction of which is vested in another tribunal by reason of 42 Pa.C.S. § 761(a)(1)(iv) or 933(a)(1)(v) as added or amended by Act 189.

References in Text.  The act of May 20, 1937 (P.L.728, No.193), referred to as the Board of Claims Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(iv), was repealed by the act of December 3, 2002 (P.L.1147, No.142). The subject matter is now contained in Subchapter C of Chapter 17 of Title 62 (Procurement).

Cross References.  Section 761 is referred to in section 762 of this title; section 323 of Title 57 (Notaries Public).

42c762s

§ 762.  Appeals from courts of common pleas.

(a)  General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the Commonwealth Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of appeals from final orders of the courts of common pleas in the following cases:

(1)  Commonwealth civil cases.--All civil actions or proceedings:

(i)  Original jurisdiction of which is vested in another tribunal by virtue of any of the exceptions to section 761(a)(1) (relating to original jurisdiction), except actions or proceedings in the nature of applications for a writ of habeas corpus or post-conviction relief not ancillary to proceedings within the appellate jurisdiction of the court.

(ii)  By the Commonwealth government, including any officer thereof acting in his official capacity.

(2)  Governmental and Commonwealth regulatory criminal cases.--All criminal actions or proceedings for the violation of any:

(i)  Rule, regulation or order of any Commonwealth agency.

(ii)  Regulatory statute administered by any Commonwealth agency subject to Subchapter A of Chapter 5 of Title 2 (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies). The term "regulatory statute" as used in this subparagraph does not include any provision of Title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses).

(3)  Secondary review of certain appeals from Commonwealth agencies.--All appeals from Commonwealth agencies which may be taken initially to the courts of common pleas under section 933 (relating to appeals from government agencies).

(4)  Local government civil and criminal matters.--

(i)  All actions or proceedings arising under any municipality, institution district, public school, planning or zoning code or under which a municipality or other political subdivision or municipality authority may be formed or incorporated or where is drawn in question the application, interpretation or enforcement of any:

(A)  statute regulating the affairs of political subdivisions, municipality and other local authorities or other public corporations or of the officers, employees or agents thereof, acting in their official capacity;

(B)  home rule charter or local ordinance or resolution; or

(C)  statute relating to elections, campaign financing or other election procedures.

(ii)  All appeals from government agencies other than Commonwealth agencies decided under section 933 or otherwise.

(5)  Certain private corporation matters.--

(i)  All actions or proceedings relating to corporations not-for-profit arising under Title 15 (relating to corporations and unincorporated associations) or where is drawn in question the application, interpretation or enforcement of any provision of the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States, or the Constitution of Pennsylvania or any statute, regulating in any such case the corporate affairs of any corporation not-for-profit subject to Title 15 or the affairs of the members, security holders, directors, officers, employees or agents thereof, as such.

(ii)  All actions or proceedings otherwise involving the corporate affairs of any corporation not-for-profit subject to Title 15 or the affairs of the members, security holders, directors, officers, or employees or agents thereof, as such.

(6)  Eminent domain.--All eminent domain proceedings or where is drawn in question the power or right of the acquiring agency to appropriate the condemned property or to use it for the purpose condemned or otherwise.

(7)  Immunity waiver matters.--Matters conducted pursuant to Subchapter C of Chapter 85 (relating to actions against local parties).

(b)  Exception.--The Commonwealth Court shall not have jurisdiction of such classes of appeals from courts of common pleas as are by section 722 (relating to direct appeals from courts of common pleas) within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

42c762v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Sept. 28, 1978, P.L.788, No.152, eff. imd.; Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days; Dec. 5, 1980, P.L.1104, No.189, eff. imd.; Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days)

 

1982 Amendment.  Act 326 amended subsec. (a), retroactive to December 5, 1980, as to subsec. (a)(1)(ii).

Cross References.  Section 762 is referred to in section 933 of this title.

42c763s

§ 763.  Direct appeals from government agencies.

(a)  General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (c), the Commonwealth Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of appeals from final orders of government agencies in the following cases:

(1)  All appeals from Commonwealth agencies under Subchapter A of Chapter 7 of Title 2 (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action) or otherwise and including appeals from the Board of Claims, the Environmental Hearing Board, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and from any other Commonwealth agency having Statewide jurisdiction.

(2)  All appeals jurisdiction of which is vested in the Commonwealth Court by any statute hereafter enacted.

(b)  Awards of arbitrators.--The Commonwealth Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all petitions for review of an award of arbitrators appointed in conformity with statute to arbitrate a dispute between the Commonwealth and an employee of the Commonwealth. The petition for review shall be deemed an appeal from a government unit for the purposes of section 723 (relating to appeals from Commonwealth Court) and Chapter 55 (relating to limitation of time).

(c)  Exceptions.--The Commonwealth Court shall not have jurisdiction of such classes of appeals from government agencies as are:

(1)  By section 725 (relating to direct appeals from constitutional and judicial agencies) within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

(2)  By section 933 (relating to appeals from government agencies) within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas.

42c763v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; May 15, 1998, P.L.358, No.57, eff. 180 days)

 

1998 Amendment.  Act 57 amended subsec. (a).

Cross References.  Section 763 is referred to in section 1204 of Title 4 (Amusements); section 8533.1 of Title 24 (Education); section 8157 of Title 35 (Health and Safety); section 2309 of Title 58 (Oil and Gas); sections 531, 1725 of Title 62 (Procurement); section 5953.1 of Title 71 (State Government); sections 1553, 1554 of Title 75 (Vehicles).

42c764s

§ 764.  Election contests and other matters.

The Commonwealth Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of:

(1)  Contested nominations and elections of the second class under the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the "Pennsylvania Election Code."

(2)  All matters arising in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth relating to Statewide office, except nomination and election contests within the jurisdiction of another tribunal.

42c764v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days)

 

1978 Amendment.  Act 53 added section 764.

42c901h

 

 

ARTICLE C

COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS

 

Chapter

9.  Organization and Jurisdiction of Courts of Common Pleas

 

 

CHAPTER 9

ORGANIZATION AND JURISDICTION OF

COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS

 

Subchapter

A.  Judicial Districts

B.  Organization of Courts of Common Pleas

C.  Jurisdiction of Courts of Common Pleas

D.  Court Divisions

E.  Sections of the Staff of the Court

 

Enactment.  Chapter 9 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

Cross References.  Chapter 9 is referred to in section 102 of this title.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

JUDICIAL DISTRICTS

 

Sec.

901.  Judicial districts.

42c901s

§ 901.  Judicial districts.

(a)  General rule.--The Commonwealth is divided into 60 judicial districts, numbered and composed as follows:

First.--City and County of Philadelphia.

Second.--County of Lancaster.

Third.--County of Northampton.

Fourth.--County of Tioga.

Fifth.--County of Allegheny.

Sixth.--County of Erie.

Seventh.--County of Bucks.

Eighth.--County of Northumberland.

Ninth.--County of Cumberland.

Tenth.--County of Westmoreland.

Eleventh.--County of Luzerne.

Twelfth.--County of Dauphin.

Thirteenth.--County of Greene.

Fourteenth.--County of Fayette.

Fifteenth.--County of Chester.

Sixteenth.--County of Somerset.

Seventeenth.--Counties of Snyder and Union.

Eighteenth.--County of Clarion.

Nineteenth.--County of York.

Twentieth.--County of Huntingdon.

Twenty-first.--County of Schuylkill.

Twenty-second.--County of Wayne.

Twenty-third.--County of Berks.

Twenty-fourth.--County of Blair.

Twenty-fifth.--County of Clinton.

Twenty-sixth.--Counties of Columbia and Montour.

Twenty-seventh.--County of Washington.

Twenty-eighth.--County of Venango.

Twenty-ninth.--County of Lycoming.

Thirtieth.--County of Crawford.

Thirty-first.--County of Lehigh.

Thirty-second.--County of Delaware.

Thirty-third.--County of Armstrong.

Thirty-fourth.--County of Susquehanna.

Thirty-fifth.--County of Mercer.

Thirty-sixth.--County of Beaver.

Thirty-seventh.--Counties of Forest and Warren.

Thirty-eighth.--County of Montgomery.

Thirty-ninth.--Counties of Franklin and Fulton.

Fortieth.--County of Indiana.

Forty-first.--Counties of Juniata and Perry.

Forty-second.--County of Bradford.

Forty-third.--County of Monroe.

Forty-fourth.--Counties of Sullivan and Wyoming.

Forty-fifth.--County of Lackawanna.

Forty-sixth.--County of Clearfield.

Forty-seventh.--County of Cambria.

Forty-eighth.--County of McKean.

Forty-ninth.--County of Centre.

Fiftieth.--County of Butler.

Fifty-first.--County of Adams.

Fifty-second.--County of Lebanon.

Fifty-third.--County of Lawrence.

Fifty-fourth.--County of Jefferson.

Fifty-fifth.--County of Potter.

Fifty-sixth.--County of Carbon.

Fifty-seventh.--County of Bedford.

Fifty-eighth.--County of Mifflin.

Fifty-ninth.--Counties of Cameron and Elk.

Sixtieth.--County of Pike.

(b)  Change in number or boundaries.--Except as otherwise provided therein, any statute amending subsection (a) so as to change the number or boundaries of the judicial districts of this Commonwealth shall take effect 30 days after the entry of an order of the Supreme Court evidencing the advice and consent of the court to the amendment pursuant to section 11 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

42c901v

(Apr. 8, 1982, P.L.292, No.82)

 

1982 Amendment.  Section 2 of Act 82 provided that Act 82 shall take effect 30 days after the advice and consent of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is given by order of the court pursuant to section 11 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania. The consent of the Supreme Court was given by order of June 30, 1982, published at 12 Pa.B. 2264. Section 901 was amended by adding a 60th Judicial District composed of the County of Pike and removing that county from the 43rd Judicial District, and section 911 was amended by adding a judge to the 60th Judicial District and removing a judge from the 43rd Judicial District.

Cross References.  Section 901 is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c911h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

ORGANIZATION OF COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS

 

Sec.

911.  Courts of common pleas.

912.  Powers of courts of common pleas.

913.  Seats of courts.

914.  Reimbursement for common pleas court costs.

915.  Proportional reduction.

916.  Problem-solving courts.

917.  Housing courts.

42c911s

§ 911.  Courts of common pleas.

(a)  General rule.--There shall be one court of common pleas for each judicial district of this Commonwealth consisting of the following number of judges:

 

Judicial District

Number of

Judges

First

93

Second

15

Third

 9

Fourth

 1

Fifth

43

Sixth

 9

Seventh

13

Eighth

 3

Ninth

 6

Tenth

11

Eleventh

10

Twelfth

10

Thirteenth

 2

Fourteenth

 5

Fifteenth

14

Sixteenth

 3

Seventeenth

 2

Eighteenth

 1

Nineteenth

15

Twentieth

 1

Twenty-first

 6

Twenty-second

 1

Twenty-third

13

Twenty-fourth

 5

Twenty-fifth

 2

Twenty-sixth

 2

Twenty-seventh

 6

Twenty-eighth

 2

Twenty-ninth

 5

Thirtieth

 3

Thirty-first

10

Thirty-second

20

Thirty-third

 2

Thirty-fourth

 1

Thirty-fifth

 4

Thirty-sixth

 7

Thirty-seventh

 2

Thirty-eighth

23

Thirty-ninth

 5

Fortieth

 3

Forty-first

 2

Forty-second

 2

Forty-third

 6

Forty-fourth

 1

Forty-fifth

 9

Forty-sixth

 2

Forty-seventh

 5

Forty-eighth

 2

Forty-ninth

 4

Fiftieth

 6

Fifty-first

 4

Fifty-second

 4

Fifty-third

 4

Fifty-fourth

 1

Fifty-fifth

 1

Fifty-sixth

 3

Fifty-seventh

 2

Fifty-eighth

 2

Fifty-ninth

 1

Sixtieth

 2

(a.1)  Interim judgeship.--(Expired).

(a.2)  Fifteenth Judicial District.--Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the Court of Common Pleas of the Fifteenth Judicial District shall consist of 13 judges. This subsection shall expire January 6, 2014.

(b)  Single county districts.--In single county judicial districts the court of common pleas of the district shall be known as the "Court of Common Pleas of (the respective) County."

(c)  Multicounty districts.--In multicounty judicial districts the court of common pleas of the district shall be known as the "Court of Common Pleas of the (respective) Judicial District." There shall be a separate branch of the court in each county comprising the judicial district.

42c911v

(Nov. 26, 1978, P.L.1264, No.301, eff. imd.; July 10, 1980, P.L.513, No.106; Apr. 8, 1982, P.L.292, No.82; July 10, 1984, P.L.708, No.150, eff. imd.; Dec. 22, 1986, P.L.1744, No.213, eff. 60 days; May 13, 1987, P.L.15, No.6, eff. imd.; Dec. 7, 1990, P.L.619, No.159, eff. imd.; Feb. 14, 1997, P.L.3, No.2, eff. imd.; Dec. 15, 1998, P.L.949, No.126; Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.742, No.105, eff. imd.; June 22, 2001, P.L.388, No.28, eff. imd.; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1705, No.215, eff. imd.; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1703, No.217, eff. imd.; Oct. 9, 2008, P.L.1352, No.98, eff. imd.; Nov. 23, 2010, P.L.1137, No.114, eff. 60 days)

 

2010 Amendment.  Act 114 added subsec. (a.2).

2008 Amendment.  Act 98 amended subsec. (a). See section 8 of Act 98 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to the selection of additional judges.

2004 Amendment.  See section 5 of Act 217 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to election of additional judges.

2002 Amendment.  See section 7 of Act 215 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to election of additional judges.

2002 Expiration.  Subsec. (a.1) expired January 8, 2002. See Act 28 of 2001.

2001 Amendment.  Act 28 added subsec. (a.1). See sections 2 and 3 of Act 28 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to election of additional judges and legislative findings.

2000 Amendment.  See section 7 of Act 105 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to election of additional judges.

1998 Amendment.  Act 126 amended the entire section, effective immediately as to subsec. (a) and January 1, 1999, as to the remainder of the section. Section 12 of Act 126 provided that the new judgeship for the fifty-second district added by the amendment of subsec. (a) shall be created on January 3, 2000, and shall be initially filled by election at the 1999 municipal election.

1997 Amendment.  See section 2 of Act 2 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to the election of additional judges.

1990 Amendment.  See sections 2 and 3 of Act 159 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to judgeships in First Judicial District and filling of new judgeships.

1984 Amendment.  See section 3 of Act 150 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to election of additional judges.

1978 Amendment.  See section 4 of Act 301 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to election of additional judges.

42c912s

§ 912.  Powers of courts of common pleas.

Every court of common pleas shall have power to issue, under its judicial seal, every lawful writ and process to or to be served or enforced by system and related personnel as such courts have been heretofore authorized by law or usage to issue. Every judge of a court of common pleas shall have all the powers of a judge or magisterial district judge of the minor judiciary.

42c912v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c913s

§ 913.  Seats of courts.

The regular sessions of each court of common pleas shall be held at the county seat of each county comprising the judicial district and elsewhere as prescribed by general rule or rule of court.

42c914s

§ 914.  Reimbursement for common pleas court costs.

For the purposes of reimbursement for common pleas court judge authorized positions, no county shall receive less than 77.5% of the actual reimbursement for court costs provided to them from funds appropriated for the fiscal year July 1, 1980, to June 30, 1981.

42c914v

(Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.742, No.105, eff. 60 days)

 

2000 Amendment.  Act 105 added section 914.

Cross References.  Section 914 is referred to in section 915 of this title.

42c915s

§ 915.  Proportional reduction.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 914 (relating to reimbursement for common pleas court costs), in the event that the total county court reimbursement qualifying for payment for any calendar year exceeds the amount appropriated by the General Assembly for such purpose, the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania shall proportionally reduce the amount of reimbursement for every county so that the total of all reimbursements does not exceed the amount appropriated.

42c915v

(July 17, 2007, P.L.123, No.37, eff. 60 days)

 

2007 Amendment.  Act 37 added section 915.

42c916s

§ 916.  Problem-solving courts.

(a)  Establishment.--The court of common pleas of a judicial district and the Municipal Court of Philadelphia may establish, from available funds, one or more problem-solving courts which have specialized jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, drug courts, mental health courts and driving under the influence courts, whereby defendants are admitted to a court-supervised individualized treatment program. The court may adopt local rules for the administration of problem-solving courts and their related treatment services. The local rules may not be inconsistent with this section or any rules established by the Supreme Court.

(b)  Statewide problem-solving courts coordinator.--To the extent that funds are available, the Supreme Court may appoint a Statewide problem-solving courts coordinator. The coordinator may:

(1)  Encourage and assist in the establishment of problem-solving courts in each judicial district.

(2)  Identify sources of funding for problem-solving courts and their related treatment services, including the availability of grants.

(3)  Provide coordination and technical assistance for grant applications.

(4)  Develop model guidelines for the administration of problem-solving courts and their related treatment services.

(5)  Establish procedures for monitoring problem-solving courts and their related treatment services and for evaluating the effectiveness of problem-solving courts and their related treatment services.

(c)  Advisory committee.--The Supreme Court may establish, from available funds, an interdisciplinary and interbranch advisory committee to advise and assist the Statewide problem-solving courts coordinator in monitoring and administrating problem-solving courts Statewide.

42c916v

(June 3, 2010, P.L.207, No.30, eff. 60 days)

 

2010 Amendment.  Act 30 added section 916.

42c917s

§ 917.  Housing courts.

(a)  Establishment.--The court of common pleas of a judicial district may establish, from available funds, a housing court which shall have jurisdiction as provided under subsection (d). The court may adopt local rules for the administration of housing courts and their related services such as housing clinics to counsel code violators on their responsibilities and procedures to bring properties into code compliance. The local rules may not be inconsistent with this section or any rules established by the Supreme Court.

(b)  Statewide housing courts coordinator.--To the extent that funds are available, the Supreme Court may appoint a Statewide housing courts coordinator who may be assigned other responsibilities by the Supreme Court. The coordinator may:

(1)  Encourage and assist in the establishment of housing courts in each judicial district where the caseload justifies the establishment of such courts.

(2)  Identify sources of funding for housing courts and their related services, including the availability of grants.

(3)  Provide coordination and technical assistance for grant applications.

(4)  Develop model guidelines for the administration of housing courts and their related services.

(5)  Establish procedures for monitoring housing courts and their related services and for evaluating the effectiveness of housing courts and their related services.

(c)  Advisory committee.--The Supreme Court may establish, from available funds, an interdisciplinary and interbranch advisory committee to advise and assist the Statewide housing courts coordinator in monitoring and administering housing courts Statewide.

(d)  Jurisdiction of housing court.--In a court of common pleas which has established a housing court pursuant to this section, the exclusive jurisdiction of the following matters may be vested in the housing court:

(1)  Criminal and civil actions arising within the county under any other general or special law, ordinance, rule or regulation concerned with the health, safety or welfare of an occupant of a place used or intended for use as a place of human habitation.

(2)  Land use decisions appealed to the court of common pleas in accordance with Article X-A of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), known as the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, provided they relate to single-family and multifamily properties, or proceedings appealed to court in accordance with the act of June 13, 1961 (P.L.282, No.167), relating to the establishment of historic districts.

(3)  Appeals from government agencies under the former act of December 2, 1968 (P.L.1133, No.353), known as the Local Agency Law, or otherwise, relating to the housing, building, safety, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, health or fire ordinances and regulations of a municipal corporation within the county or of the county itself.

(4)  Matters arising under the act of April 6, 1951 (P.L.69, No.20), known as The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951, which involve a place used or intended for use as a place of human habitation.

(5)  Matters arising under the act of November 10, 1999 (P.L.491, No.45), known as the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, which involve a place used, or intended for use, as a place of human habitation.

42c917v

(Oct. 27, 2010, P.L.875, No.90, eff. 180 days)

 

2010 Amendment.  Act 90 added section 917.

42c931h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER C

JURISDICTION OF COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS

 

Sec.

931.  Original jurisdiction and venue.

932.  Appeals from minor judiciary.

933.  Appeals from government agencies.

934.  Writs of certiorari.

42c931s

§ 931.  Original jurisdiction and venue.

(a)  General rule.--Except where exclusive original jurisdiction of an action or proceeding is by statute or by general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters) vested in another court of this Commonwealth, the courts of common pleas shall have unlimited original jurisdiction of all actions and proceedings, including all actions and proceedings heretofore cognizable by law or usage in the courts of common pleas.

(b)  Concurrent and exclusive jurisdiction.--The jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas under this section shall be exclusive except with respect to actions and proceedings concurrent jurisdiction of which is by statute or by general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 vested in another court of this Commonwealth or in the magisterial district judges.

(c)  Venue and process.--Except as provided by section 5101.1 (relating to venue in medical professional liability actions) and Subchapter B of Chapter 85 (relating to actions against Commonwealth parties), the venue of a court of common pleas concerning matters over which jurisdiction is conferred by this section shall be as prescribed by general rule. The process of the court shall extend beyond the territorial limits of the judicial district to the extent prescribed by general rule. Except as otherwise prescribed by general rule, in a proceeding to enforce an order of a government agency the process of the court shall extend throughout this Commonwealth.

42c931v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Sept. 28, 1978, P.L.788, No.152, eff. imd.; Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days; Oct. 17, 2002, P.L.880, No.127, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (b). See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

2002 Amendment.  Act 127 amended subsec. (c). Section 5 of Act 127 provided that the amendment of subsec. (c) shall apply to all medical professional liability actions filed on or after the effective date of section 5.

1980 Amendment.  Act 142 added present section 931 and repealed former section 931 relating to the same subject matter.

Cross References.  Section 931 is referred to in section 7796 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries).

42c932s

§ 932.  Appeals from minor judiciary.

Except as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters), each court of common pleas shall have exclusive jurisdiction of appeals from final orders of the minor judiciary established within the judicial district.

42c933s

§ 933.  Appeals from government agencies.

(a)  General rule.--Except as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters), each court of common pleas shall have jurisdiction of appeals from final orders of government agencies in the following cases:

(1)  Appeals from Commonwealth agencies in the following cases:

(i)  Determinations of the Department of Health in connection with any matters concerning birth records. Except as prescribed by general rules, the venue of such matters shall be as provided in 20 Pa.C.S. § 711(9) (relating to birth records) and 20 Pa.C.S. § 713 (relating to special provisions for Philadelphia County).

(ii)  Determinations of the Department of Transportation appealable under the following provisions of Title 75 (relating to vehicles):

Section 1377 (relating to judicial review).

Section 1550 (relating to judicial review).

Section 4724(b) (relating to judicial review).

Section 7303(b) (relating to judicial review).

Section 7503(b) (relating to judicial review).

Except as otherwise prescribed by general rules, the venue shall be in the county of the principal place of business of any salvor or messenger service, the location of any inspection station involved, the county where the arrest for a violation of 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) was made in appeals involving the suspension of operating privileges under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1547 (relating to chemical testing to determine amount of alcohol or controlled substance) or the residence of any individual appellant where the venue is not otherwise fixed by this sentence. In the case of a nonresident individual venue, except as otherwise prescribed by general rules, shall be in the county in which the offense giving rise to the recall, cancellation, suspension or revocation of operating privileges occurred.

(iii)  (Deleted by amendment).

(iv)  Determinations of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board appealable under the act of June 21, 1939 (P.L.566, No.284), known as The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act. Except as otherwise prescribed by general rules, the venue of such matters shall be as provided in section 427 of the act.

(v)  Determinations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board appealable under the act of April 12, 1951 (P.L.90, No.21), known as the Liquor Code, except matters appealable under section 433, 444 or 710 of the act. Except as otherwise prescribed by general rules, the venue of such matters shall be as provided in the act.

(vi)  Determinations of the Department of Revenue reviewable under Article XXI of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971, or under any predecessor statute, in connection with the administration of the estate of a decedent. Except as otherwise prescribed by general rules, the venue of such matters shall be in the court having jurisdiction over the administration of the related estate.

(vii)  (Deleted by amendment).

(viii)  (Deleted by amendment).

(ix)  Determinations of the Department of Labor and Industry or the Department of Commerce reviewable under the act of December 15, 1980 (P.L.1203, No.222), known as the Building Energy Conservation Act. Except as otherwise prescribed by general rules, venue shall be in the county where the building is located.

(2)  Appeals from government agencies, except Commonwealth agencies, under Subchapter B of Chapter 7 of Title 2 (relating to judicial review of local agency action) or otherwise.

(3)  Appeals jurisdiction of which is vested in the courts of common pleas by any statute hereafter enacted.

(b)  Awards of arbitrators.--Except as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503, each court of common pleas shall have jurisdiction of petitions for review of an award of arbitrators appointed in conformity with statute to arbitrate a dispute between a government agency, except a Commonwealth agency, and an employee of such agency. The application shall be deemed an appeal from a government agency for the purposes of section 762(4) (relating to appeals from courts of common pleas) and Chapter 55 (relating to limitation of time).

(c)  Concurrent and exclusive jurisdiction.--Except as otherwise provided by statute or prescribed by general rule adopted pursuant to section 503:

(1)  The jurisdiction of a court of common pleas of a judicial district under this section shall be exclusive as to a government agency which has jurisdiction only within such judicial district, and shall be concurrent with the courts of common pleas of all judicial districts in which the government agency has jurisdiction where such agency has jurisdiction in more than one judicial district.

(2)  Whenever proceedings are commenced in two or more courts with respect to the same determination of a government agency, exclusive jurisdiction shall be vested in the court having jurisdiction in which such proceedings are first commenced.

42c933v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Dec. 5, 1980, P.L.1104, No.189, eff. imd.; Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days; June 5, 1998, P.L.451, No.63, eff. 60 days; Sept. 30, 2003, P.L.120, No.24, eff. Feb. 1, 2004; July 4, 2008, P.L.286, No.35, eff. July 1, 2008)

 

2008 Amendment.  Act 35 deleted subsec. (a)(1)(vii). Section 2 of Act 35 provided that each court of common pleas shall retain jurisdiction over appeals of cases filed and pending with them prior to the effective date of Act 35.

2003 Amendment.  Act 24 amended subsec. (a)(1)(ii).

1998 Amendment.  Act 63 amended subsec. (a).

1978 Amendment.  Act 53 added present section 933 and repealed former section 933 relating to the same subject matter.

Transfer of Records.  Section 6 of Act 189 of 1980 provided that the Prothonotary of the Commonwealth Court shall, except as otherwise ordered by the court in the interest of justice, transfer to the appropriate office of the clerk of the court of common pleas all dockets, records, pleadings and other papers, or certified copies thereof, relating to all pending matters jurisdiction of which is vested in another tribunal by reason of 42 Pa.C.S. § 761(a)(1)(iv) or 933(a)(1)(v) as added or amended by Act 189.

References in Text.  The Department of Commerce, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(ix), was renamed the Department of Community and Economic Development by Act 58 of 1996.

Section 7503 of Title 75, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(ii), was deleted by amendment.

The act of December 15, 1980 (P.L.1203, No.222), known as the Building Energy Conservation Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(ix), was repealed by the act of November 10, 1999 (P.L.491, No.45). The subject matter is now contained in the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act.

Cross References.  Section 933 is referred to in sections 762, 763 of this title; sections 501, 561, 581, 701 of Title 2 (Administrative Law and Procedure); section 1506 of Title 4 (Amusements); sections 1553, 1554 of Title 75 (Vehicles).

42c934s

§ 934.  Writs of certiorari.

Unless and until changed by general rule, the judges of the courts of common pleas, within their respective judicial districts, shall have power, in addition to the right of appeal under section 9 of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, to issue writs of certiorari to the minor judiciary.

42c934v

 

Cross References.  Section 934 is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c951h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER D

COURT DIVISIONS

 

Sec.

951.  Court divisions.

952.  Status of court divisions.

953.  Administrative judges of divisions.

42c951s

§ 951.  Court divisions.

(a)  Philadelphia County.--The Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County shall have the following divisions:

(1)  Trial division.

(2)  Orphans' court division.

(3)  Family court division.

(b)  Allegheny County.--The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County shall have the following divisions:

(1)  Civil division.

(2)  Criminal division.

(3)  Orphans' court division.

(4)  Family division.

(c)  Other separate orphans' court divisions.--The courts of common pleas of Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Cambria, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, Schuylkill, Washington, Westmoreland and York counties shall each have a separate orphans' court division.

(d)  Judicial districts having no separate orphans' court division.--In each judicial district having no separate orphans' court division, there shall be an orphans' court division composed of the court of common pleas of that judicial district.

(e)  Change in size of divisions.--The number of judges constituting a division may be increased or reduced by order of the governing authority.

42c952s

§ 952.  Status of court divisions.

The divisions of a court of common pleas are administrative units composed of those judges of the court responsible for the transaction of specified classes of the business of the court. In a court of common pleas having two or more divisions each division of the court is vested with the full jurisdiction of the whole court, but the business of the court may be allocated among the divisions of the court by or pursuant to general rules.

42c953s

§ 953.  Administrative judges of divisions.

Each division of a court of common pleas shall have an administrative judge who shall assist the president judge of the court in supervising and administering the business of the court and shall be responsible to him.

42c953v

(Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days)

42c961h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER E

SECTIONS OF THE STAFF OF THE COURT

 

Sec.

961.  Domestic relations section.

962.  Other sections.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter E was added April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, effective in 60 days.

42c961s

§ 961.  Domestic relations section.

Each court of common pleas shall have a domestic relations section, which shall consist of such probation officers and other staff of the court as shall be assigned thereto.

42c962s

§ 962.  Other sections.

Each court of common pleas shall have such other sections as may be provided or prescribed by law.

42c1101h

 

 

ARTICLE D

MINOR COURTS

 

Chapter

11.  Community and Municipal Courts

13.  Traffic Courts

 

 

CHAPTER 11

COMMUNITY AND MUNICIPAL COURTS

 

Subchapter

A.  Community Courts

B.  Philadelphia Municipal Court

C.  Pittsburgh Magistrates Court

 

Enactment.  Chapter 11 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

COMMUNITY COURTS

 

Sec.

1101.  Community courts.

1102.  Establishment or discontinuance of community courts.

1103.  Powers of community courts.

1104.  Seats of courts.

1105.  Jurisdiction and venue.

1106.  Lien of judgments.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter A is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c1101s

§ 1101.  Community courts.

(a)  General rule.--There shall be one community court for each judicial district of this Commonwealth which has elected to establish and which has not elected to discontinue such a court in the manner provided in this subchapter. The community court shall be a court not of record and shall consist of a number of judges determined by dividing the total population of the judicial district as determined by the last officially reported decennial or special Federal census by 75,000. In any judicial district where the aforesaid division results in a remainder greater than 40,000, the judicial district shall be entitled to an additional community court judge. In no event shall any judicial district have less than two community court judges.

(b)  Single county districts.--In single county judicial districts the community court of the district shall be known as the "Community Court of (the respective) County."

(c)  Multicounty districts.--In multicounty judicial districts the community court of the district shall be known as the "Community Court of the (respective) Judicial District."

42c1102s

§ 1102.  Establishment or discontinuance of community courts.

(a)  General rule.--The question whether a community court shall be established or discontinued in any judicial district shall be placed upon the ballot in a primary election by petition which shall be in the form prescribed by the officer of the Commonwealth who under law shall have supervision over elections. The petition shall be filed with that officer and shall be signed by a number of electors equal to 5% of the total votes cast for all candidates for the office occupied by a single official for which the highest number of votes was cast in that judicial district at the last preceding general or municipal election. The manner of signing such petitions, the time of circulating them, the affidavits of the persons circulating them and all other details not contained in this subsection shall be governed by the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the "Pennsylvania Election Code." The question shall not be placed upon the ballot in a judicial district more than once in any five-year period. The affirmative vote of a majority of the electors of the judicial district voting thereon shall be sufficient to establish or discontinue a community court for the judicial district.

(b)  Establishment.--The community court of a judicial district shall be established on the first Monday of January following the municipal election at which the first judges of the court shall be elected. A court when established shall, in accordance with and subject to Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, supplant all magisterial district judges or the municipal court and the traffic court, as the case may be, within the judicial district, except that in the fifth judicial district a community court shall not supplant the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court. Upon the expiration of the term of any magisterial district judge or judge of the municipal or traffic court, as the case may be, or the abolition of his office in the manner and at such time as is provided by section 3321 (relating to establishment of community courts), in a judicial district in which a community court has been established, the matters then pending and the books, dockets and records thereof shall be transferred to the community court which shall determine and conclude such matters as if it had assumed jurisdiction in the first instance.

(c)  Discontinuance.--Where the electors of a judicial district have at a primary election approved the discontinuance of an existing community court within their judicial district such community court and the office of the judges serving thereon shall then be abolished in the manner and at such time as is provided by section 3322 (relating to discontinuance of community courts). Thereafter, the office of magisterial district judge or judge of the municipal or traffic court, as the case may be, shall be established to replace and supplant such community court on the first Monday of January of the even-numbered year next following the odd-numbered year specified in section 1503(b) (relating to discontinuance of community court) and the number and boundaries of magisterial districts, if any, of each class within such judicial district shall be established in the manner provided by section 1503(b).

42c1102v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsecs. (b) and (c). See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1103s

§ 1103.  Powers of community courts.

Every judge of a community court shall have all the powers of a judge of the municipal court or traffic court, or of a magisterial district judge, as the case may be.

42c1103v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1104s

§ 1104.  Seats of courts.

The regular sessions of each community court shall be held at such location within the judicial district as may be approved by the president judge of the court of common pleas of the judicial district in compliance with general rules.

42c1105s

§ 1105.  Jurisdiction and venue.

(a)  General rule.--Except as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters) each community court shall have the jurisdiction which under law was exercised by the municipal court or traffic court or by magisterial district judges, as the case may be, within the judicial district.

(b)  Venue and process.--The venue of a community court concerning matters over which jurisdiction is conferred by subsection (a) shall be as prescribed by general rule. The process of the court shall extend beyond the territorial limits of the judicial district to the extent prescribed by general rule.

42c1105v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (a). See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1106s

§ 1106.  Lien of judgments.

A judgment of a community court shall not operate as a lien on real property until a transcript of the record showing a final judgment in the community court has been filed in the manner prescribed by general rules in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas of the county where the property is situated, or in the office of the clerk of the branch of the court of common pleas embracing such county. After such entry the judgment shall, from the date of such entry, be a lien upon real property to the same extent that judgment recovered in the court of common pleas is a lien. No such transcript shall be filed until after 30 days after the entry of final judgment by the community court. No execution against real estate shall issue out of the community court.

42c1121h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

PHILADELPHIA MUNICIPAL COURT

 

Sec.

1121.  Philadelphia Municipal Court.

1122.  Seat of court.

1123.  Jurisdiction and venue.

1124.  Lien of judgments.

1125.  Substitute arraignment court magistrates.

1126.  Masters.

1127.  Hearing officers.

 

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See sections 9(b) and 10 of Act 142 of 1976 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to the temporary assignment of judges and jurisdiction.

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c1121s

§ 1121.  Philadelphia Municipal Court.

(a)  Organization.--The Philadelphia Municipal Court shall be organized as follows:

(1)  The General Division shall consist of 27 judges.

(2)  The Traffic Division shall consist of four judges elected to the Traffic Court of Philadelphia prior to the effective date of this paragraph. If a vacancy in the Traffic Division occurs, the vacancy shall not be filled. This paragraph shall expire on the later of:

(i)  the date of the ratification by the electorate of an amendment to the Constitution of Pennsylvania abolishing the Philadelphia Traffic Court; or

(ii)  the date of the expiration of the longest term of a judge specified in subsection (c)(4).

(b)  General Division.--

(1)  A judge in the General Division must be an attorney at law.

(2)  The salary of a judge in the General Division shall be as set forth in section 2.1(e) and (i) of the act of September 30, 1983 (P.L.160, No.39), known as the Public Official Compensation Law.

(3)  The General Division shall exercise full jurisdiction of the municipal court under section 1123(a) (relating to jurisdiction and venue).

(c)  Traffic Division.--

(1)  A judge in the Traffic Division must:

(i)  be an attorney at law; or

(ii)  prior to assuming office, complete a course of training and instruction in the duties of the office and pass an examination.

(2)  The salary of a judge in the Traffic Division shall be as set forth in section 2.1(f) and (i) of the Public Official Compensation Law.

(3)  The Traffic Division shall, at the direction of the President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court, exercise jurisdiction under section 1123(a)(9).

(4)  This subsection shall apply during the terms of all judges of the Philadelphia Traffic Court:

(i)  who have been elected prior to January 1, 2014; and

(ii)  whose term expires after December 31, 2017.

(5)  A judge identified in paragraph (4) shall, until the expiration of the term to which the judge has been elected, serve as a judge in the Traffic Division.

(6)  This subsection shall expire on the later of:

(i)  the date of the ratification by the electorate of an amendment to the Constitution of Pennsylvania abolishing the Philadelphia Traffic Court; or

(ii)  the date of the expiration of the longest term of a judge specified in paragraph (4).

(d)  Annual report.--The President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court shall file an annual report with the General Assembly regarding the Traffic Division. The report shall include how funding was allocated for the Traffic Division, the number of cases that came before the Traffic Division and how the cases were resolved by the Traffic Division.

42c1121v

(Feb. 14, 1997, P.L.3, No.2; June 19, 2013, P.L.55, No.17, eff. imd.)

 

1997 Amendment.  Section 4 of Act 2 provided that the amendment shall take effect on the first Monday of January 1998. Section 3 of Act 2 provided that the first judges elected to those judgeships created under section 1121 shall be elected at the 1999 municipal election.

Cross References.  Section 1121 is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c1122s

§ 1122.  Seat of court.

The regular sessions of the Philadelphia Municipal Court shall be held at such locations within the first judicial district as may be approved by the president judge of the court in compliance with general rules.

42c1123s

§ 1123.  Jurisdiction and venue.

(a)  General rule.--Except as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters), the Philadelphia Municipal Court shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

(1)  Summary offenses, except those arising out of the same episode or transaction involving a delinquent act for which a petition alleging delinquency is filed under Chapter 63 (relating to juvenile matters).

(2)  Criminal offenses by any person (other than a juvenile) for which no prison term may be imposed or which are punishable by imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, including indictable offenses under Title 75 (relating to vehicles). In cases under this paragraph the defendant shall have no right of trial by jury in the municipal court, but shall have the right of appeal for trial de novo, including the right of trial by jury, to the court of common pleas. The judges of the municipal court exercising jurisdiction under this paragraph shall have the same jurisdiction in probation and parole arising out of sentences imposed by them as judges of the court of common pleas.

(3)  Matters arising under the act of April 6, 1951 (P.L.69, No.20), known as The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951. The judges of the Philadelphia Municipal Court shall have the power to enter judgments exceeding $5,000 in matters arising under this subsection. Appeals from a judgment of the municipal court under this subsection shall be to the court of common pleas in accordance with local rules of court established by the administrative judge of the trial division. Those rules shall not be inconsistent with Statewide rules of procedure as established by the Supreme Court.

(4)  Civil actions, except actions by or against a Commonwealth party as defined by section 8501 (relating to definitions), wherein the sum demanded does not exceed $12,000, exclusive of interest and costs, in the following classes of actions:

(i)  In assumpsit.

(ii)  In trespass, including all forms of trespass and trespass on the case.

(iii)  For fines and penalties by any government agency.

A plaintiff may waive a portion of his claim of more than $12,000 so as to bring the matter within the monetary jurisdiction of the municipal court. Such waiver shall be revoked automatically if the defendant appeals the final order of the municipal court. In cases under this paragraph the defendant shall have no right of trial by jury in the municipal court, but shall have the right to appeal for trial de novo, including the right of trial by jury, to the court of common pleas, in accordance with local rules of court established by the administrative judge of the trial division. These rules shall not be inconsistent with Statewide rules of procedure as established by the Supreme Court. It is the purpose of this paragraph to establish an expeditious small claims procedure whereby it shall not be necessary for the litigants to obtain counsel. Judgments by confession shall not be entered in the municipal court.

(5)  As commissioners to preside at arraignments, fix and accept bail, issue warrants and perform duties of a similar nature, including the jurisdiction of a committing magistrate in all criminal proceedings. In addition to the exercise of the powers by the judges set forth in this paragraph, the Philadelphia Municipal Court, through the president judge and a majority of the judges of the court, shall have the power to appoint for four-year terms six arraignment court magistrates, to administer oaths and affirmations, preside at preliminary arraignments, assign counsel in certain cases, issue criminal complaints, fix bail and issue arrest warrants and search and seizure warrants. The arraignment court magistrates shall be employees of the Commonwealth and they shall receive an annual salary equal to the salary of an associate judge of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia. The method of selection and appointment and removal of arraignment court magistrates and establishing standards of conduct and the rights, responsibilities and authority of the arraignment court magistrates and the procedures for appealing from the decisions of the arraignment court magistrates shall be provided by local rules adopted by the municipal court.

(5.1)  In addition to the exercise of the powers by the judges set forth in this section, the President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court may appoint arraignment court magistrates, persons who complete a training program as shall be provided by local rules adopted by the President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court, or attorneys who are in good standing and are admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar as judges pro tempore to accept guilty pleas and impose sentences in accordance with pleas for summary offenses. A judge pro tempore must be an independent contractor hired by the Philadelphia Municipal Court and shall receive such compensation and shall serve at such hours as agreed to between the judge pro tempore and the President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court. The methods of selection, appointment and removal of judges pro tempore and of establishing standards of conduct and the rights, responsibilities and authority of the judges pro tempore and the procedures for appealing decisions of the judges pro tempore shall be provided by local rules adopted by the President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

(6)  Civil actions wherein the sum demanded does not exceed $15,000 in matters involving judgments of real estate taxes and school taxes levied by cities of the first class.

(7)  Actions to enjoin any nuisance caused by the operation of a licensee or occurring on licensed premises subject to the act of April 12, 1951 (P.L.90, No.21), known as the Liquor Code.

(8)  Any action to enjoin a public nuisance. The action to enjoin may be brought by any person who resides or has a place of business within 500 feet of the location of the alleged nuisance.

(9)  Prosecutions for summary offenses arising under:

(i)  Title 75; or

(ii)  an ordinance of a political subdivision enacted pursuant to Title 75.

(a.1)  Appeal from contempt citation or nuisance order.--There shall be a right to appeal to the Superior Court of a contempt citation issued by a municipal court judge, but the appeal shall be limited to a review of the record. There shall be a right of appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County of an order issued by a municipal court judge in any action under subsection (a)(7) or (8), but the appeal shall be limited to a review of the record.

(b)  Concurrent and exclusive jurisdiction.--The jurisdiction of the municipal court under this section shall be concurrent with the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County except with respect to matters specified in subsection (a)(2), as to which the jurisdiction of the municipal court shall be exclusive except as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503.

(c)  Venue and process.--The venue of the municipal court concerning matters over which jurisdiction is conferred by this section shall be as prescribed by general rule. The process of the court shall extend beyond the territorial limits of the City and County of Philadelphia to the extent prescribed by general rule.

42c1123v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days; Oct. 12, 1984, P.L.959, No.187, eff. 60 days; July 11, 1990, P.L.454, No.111, eff. 60 days; Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.574, No.147, eff. 60 days; Apr. 16, 1992, P.L.146, No.25, eff. imd.; July 9, 1992, P.L.689, No.102, eff. imd.; Dec. 14, 1992, P.L.872, No.140, eff. 60 days; Mar. 31, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.983, No.9, eff. 60 days; Nov. 21, 1995, P.L.619, No.65, eff. 60 days; Dec. 15, 1998, P.L.949, No.126, eff. 60 days; Oct. 9, 2008, P.L.1352, No.98, eff. 60 days; Nov. 23, 2010, P.L.1137, No.114, eff. 60 days; June 19, 2013, P.L.55, No.17, eff. imd.)

 

2013 Amendment.  Act 17 amended subsec. (a)(1) and added subsec. (a)(9).

2010 Amendment.  Act 114 amended subsec. (a)(4).

2008 Amendment.  Act 98 amended subsec. (a)(5) and (5.1). Section 10 of Act 98 provided that nothing in Act 98 shall be construed or deemed to provide arraignment court magistrates with retirement benefits or rights different from those available to bail commissioners immediately prior to the effective date of Act 98.

2007 Effectuation of Repeal.  The Legislative Reference Bureau effectuated the 1992 repeal.

1995 Amendments.  Act 9, 1st Sp.Sess., amended subsec. (a)(1) and Act 65 amended subsecs. (a)(3) and (4) and (a.1).

1992 Amendments.  Act 25 reenacted subsecs. (a)(8) and (a.1) and Act 140 amended subsec. (a)(3).

1992 Repeal.  Act 102 repealed Act 147 of 1990 which amended subsecs. (a)(8) and (a.1). Section 1956 of Title 1 provides: "The repeal of an amendatory statute does not revive the corresponding provision or section of the original statute or of any prior amendment." The text of subsecs. (a)(8) and (a.1) has not been changed to give effect to the repeal.

1991 Unconstitutionality.  Act 147 of 1990 was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. In re Act 147 of 1990, 528 Pa. 460, 598 A.2d 985 (1991).

1990 Amendments.  Act 111 added subsec. (a)(7) and (8) and Act 147 amended subsecs. (a)(8) and (a.1).

1984 Amendment.  Act 187 amended subsec. (a) and added subsec. (a.1).

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See section 10 of Act 142 of 1976 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to the exercise of jurisdiction under subsec. (a)(2) by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

Cross References.  Section 1123 is referred to in sections 1121, 1127, 5105, 62A03 of this title; section 6102 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); section 5306 of Title 71 (State Government).

42c1124s

§ 1124.  Lien of judgments.

Judgment recovered in the Philadelphia Municipal Court shall be a lien upon property in the same manner and to the same extent that judgment recovered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County is a lien. All such judgments shall be indexed in the judgment index or indices of Philadelphia County in the same manner as judgments of the court of common pleas are indexed.

42c1125s

§ 1125.  Substitute arraignment court magistrates.

The President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court may appoint qualified attorneys who are court employees to act as substitute arraignment court magistrates during an emergency upon a written finding by the president judge that an emergency exists.

42c1125v

(Apr. 13, 1988, P.L.336, No.47, eff. imd.; Oct. 9, 2008, P.L.1352, No.98, eff. 60 days)

 

2008 Amendment.  Section 10 of Act 98 provided that nothing in Act 98 shall be construed or deemed to provide arraignment court magistrates with retirement benefits or rights different from those available to bail commissioners immediately prior to the effective date of Act 98.

42c1126s

§ 1126.  Masters.

The President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court may appoint attorneys who are members of the Pennsylvania Bar to serve as masters in proceedings under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating to protection from abuse).

42c1126v

(Dec. 19, 1990, P.L.1240, No.206, eff. 90 days)

 

1990 Amendment.  Act 206 added section 1126.

Cross References.  Section 1126 is referred to in section 63A03 of this title; section 6102 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations).

42c1127s

§ 1127.  Hearing officers.

(a)  Appointment.--The President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court may appoint hearing officers in proceedings under section 1123(a)(9) (relating to jurisdiction and venue).

(b)  Code of conduct.--The Supreme Court shall promulgate a code of conduct to govern the conduct of hearing officers and provide for regular audits of the conduct of hearing officers.

(c)  Qualifications.--A hearing officer must:

(1)  be an attorney at law; or

(2)  prior to assuming office, complete a course of training and instruction in the duties of the office and pass an examination.

42c1127v

(June 19, 2013, P.L.55, No.17, eff. imd.)

 

2013 Amendment.  Act 17 added section 1127.

42c1141h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER C

PITTSBURGH MAGISTRATES COURT

 

Sec.

1141.  Pittsburgh Magistrates Court.

1142.  Seat of court.

1143.  Jurisdiction and venue.

1144.  Lien of judgment.

 

Salary and Expenses.  Section 24(b) of Act 142 of 1976 provided that, notwithstanding any other provisions of Act 142, the salary and expenses of the judges of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall be paid by the City of Pittsburgh.

Cross References.  Subchapter C is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c1141s

§ 1141.  Pittsburgh Magistrates Court.

The Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall be a court not of record and shall consist of such a number of judges, not less than five nor more than eight, as shall be specified by ordinance of the City of Pittsburgh. The magistrates court shall be the police magistrates authorized to be continued in existence by section 21, Schedule to Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania adopted April 23, 1968. Judges of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall be deemed magisterial district judges for the purposes of Chapter 33 (relating to discipline, removal and retirement of judicial officers).

42c1141v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1142s

§ 1142.  Seat of court.

The regular sessions of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall be held at such locations within the City of Pittsburgh as may be designated by ordinance of the City of Pittsburgh.

42c1143s

§ 1143.  Jurisdiction and venue.

(a)  General rule.--Except as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters) the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall have jurisdiction of all of the following matters:

(1)  Criminal complaints accusing any person of the commission of any felony or misdemeanor, where such felony or misdemeanor has been committed within the corporate limits of the City of Pittsburgh, and to issue warrants for the arrest of such person so accused, administer oaths and hold preliminary hearings in all such cases, and commit to jail, or bind over for trial or discharge such accused person, as the evidence produced at such hearing may warrant. The court shall have power to admit to bail as prescribed by general rules.

(2)  Arrests upon view, or upon complaint made and warrant issued, by the police of the City of Pittsburgh, of persons who may be found engaged in or be charged with drunkenness, disorderly conduct, selling liquor contrary to law, maintaining a disorderly house or bawdy house, lewd, indecent or lascivious behavior on the streets or elsewhere, gambling, creating riots or disturbances, vagrants, beggars, prostitutes, disturbers of the public peace, known or reputed pickpockets, burglars, thieves, watch stuffers, cheating, swindling, persons who abuse their families, and suspicious persons who can give no reasonable account of themselves, or violating any of the laws or ordinances of such city.

(3)  Civil claims for the recovery of fines and penalties imposed by any ordinance of the City of Pittsburgh, or by any ordinance or regulation relating to housing and health administered and enforced by a county health department where a violation takes place in such city, and cases of summary conviction arising under the laws and ordinances of or applicable to such city and under the laws, ordinances, rules and regulations relating to housing and health administered and enforced by a county department of health where a violation takes place in such city, with full power to hear the said cases, administer oaths or affirmations therein, decide the same, enforce the penalty, collect the fine or commit to prison as the case may be according to the provisions of the law and ordinances applicable thereto.

(4)  Matters within the jurisdiction of the court when sitting as the Traffic Court of Pittsburgh.

(b)  Venue and process.--The venue of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court concerning matters over which jurisdiction is conferred by subsection (a) shall be as prescribed by general rule. The process of the court shall extend beyond the territorial limits of the City of Pittsburgh to the extent prescribed by general rule.

42c1144s

§ 1144.  Lien of judgment.

A judgment of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall not operate as a lien on real property until a transcript of the record showing a final judgment of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court has been filed in the manner prescribed by general rules in the office of the prothonotary of Allegheny County. After entry of the judgment, the judgment shall, from the date of its entry, be a lien upon real property to the same extent that judgment recovered in the court of common pleas is a lien. No transcript of the record shall be filed until 30 days after the entry of final judgment by the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court. No execution against real estate shall be issued by the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court.

42c1144v

(Dec. 21, 1988, P.L.1862, No.179, eff. 60 days)

 

1988 Amendment.  Act 179 added section 1144. Section 3 of Act 179 provided that section 1144 shall apply to final judgments entered by the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court on or after the effective date of Act 179.

42c1301h

 

 

CHAPTER 13

TRAFFIC COURTS

 

Subchapter

A.  General Provisions

B.  Traffic Court of Philadelphia

C.  Traffic Court of Pittsburgh

D.  Optional Traffic Courts

 

Enactment.  Chapter 13 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

Cross References.  Chapter 13 is referred to in section 5505 of Title 53 (Municipalities Generally).

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Sec.

1301.  Seats of traffic courts.

1302.  Jurisdiction and venue.

1303.  Signatures and dockets.

42c1301s

§ 1301.  Seats of traffic courts.

The regular sessions of a traffic court shall be held at such locations within the political subdivision for which the court is established as may be approved in compliance with general rules by the president judge of the court of common pleas of the judicial district embracing such political subdivision.

42c1302s

§ 1302.  Jurisdiction and venue.

(a)  General rule.--Except as set forth in subsection (a.1) or as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters), each traffic court shall have jurisdiction of all prosecutions for summary offenses arising under:

(1)  Title 75 (relating to vehicles).

(2)  Any ordinance of any political subdivision enacted pursuant to Title 75.

(a.1)  Traffic Court of Philadelphia.--

(1)  Except as otherwise prescribed by any general rule adopted pursuant to section 503, each traffic court under Subchapter B (relating to Traffic Court of Philadelphia) shall, at the direction of the President Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court, have jurisdiction of all prosecutions for summary offenses arising under:

(i)  Title 75.

(ii)  Any ordinance of any political subdivision enacted pursuant to Title 75.

(2)  This subsection shall expire on the later of:

(i)  the date of the ratification by the electorate of an amendment to the Constitution of Pennsylvania abolishing the Philadelphia Traffic Court; or

(ii)  January 1, 2018.

(b)  Concurrent and exclusive jurisdiction.--The jurisdiction of a traffic court under this section shall be exclusive of the courts of common pleas and magisterial district judges, except that such jurisdiction shall be concurrent with the magisterial district judges whenever the traffic court is closed.

(c)  Venue and process.--The venue of a traffic court concerning matters over which jurisdiction is conferred by this section shall be as prescribed by general rule. The process of the court shall extend beyond the territorial limits of the political subdivision for which it is established to the extent prescribed by general rule.

42c1302v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days; June 19, 2013, P.L.55, No.17, eff. imd.)

 

2013 Amendment.  Act 17 amended subsec. (a) intro. par. and added subsec. (a.1).

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (b). See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

1978 Amendment.  Act 53 amended subsec. (a).

42c1303s

§ 1303.  Signatures and dockets.

Facsimile signatures of traffic court judges may be used for all purposes in lieu of their original signatures, except on affidavits for warrants of arrest and on the docket of the traffic court. Traffic court dockets shall contain a record of the disposition of every case and where a fine and costs are imposed shall record the amount of said fine and the amount of costs. The docket shall in all cases, where a summons has been issued, as to each case, be signed by the judge making the disposition or in his name by the clerk of the traffic court.

42c1321h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

TRAFFIC COURT OF PHILADELPHIA

 

Sec.

1321.  Traffic Court of Philadelphia.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in section 1302 of this title.

42c1321s

§ 1321.  Traffic Court of Philadelphia.

(a)  Establishment.--The Traffic Court of Philadelphia shall be a court not of record. The court is established for the City and County of Philadelphia.

(b)  Composition.--The court shall consist of two judges:

(1)  who are serving on the court on the effective date of this subsection; and

(2)  whose terms expire on December 31, 2017.

(c)  Expiration.--This section shall expire on the later of:

(1)  the date of the ratification by the electorate of an amendment to the Constitution of Pennsylvania abolishing the Philadelphia Traffic Court; or

(2)  January 1, 2018.

42c1321v

(Feb. 14, 1997, P.L.3, No.2; June 19, 2013, P.L.55, No.17, eff. imd.)

 

1997 Amendment.  Section 4 of Act 2 provided that the amendment shall take effect on the first Monday of January 1998. Section 3 of Act 2 provided that the first judges elected to those judgeships created under section 1321 shall be elected at the 1999 municipal election.

Cross References.  Section 1321 is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c1331h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER C

TRAFFIC COURT OF PITTSBURGH

 

Sec.

1331.  Traffic Court of Pittsburgh.

1332.  Operations of traffic court.

42c1331s

§ 1331.  Traffic Court of Pittsburgh.

The Traffic Court of Pittsburgh shall be a court not of record and shall be held by such of the judges of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court as shall be assigned thereto by the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, one of whom shall be designated by the mayor as the presiding magistrate of the traffic court. The court is established for the City of Pittsburgh.

42c1332s

§ 1332.  Operations of traffic court.

The presiding magistrate shall preside over and supervise the work of the Traffic Court of Pittsburgh. In the absence of the presiding magistrate designated by the mayor, the judge then temporarily presiding shall have such supervision. The traffic court shall be open for the transaction of business at such times as shall be designated by ordinance of the City of Pittsburgh or prescribed by general rule.

42c1341h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER D

OPTIONAL TRAFFIC COURTS

 

Sec.

1341.  Third class city traffic courts authorized.

1342.  Operations of optional traffic courts.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter D was added November 26, 1978, P.L.1264, No.301, effective immediately.

42c1341s

§ 1341.  Third class city traffic courts authorized.

Any city of the third class may establish by ordinance a traffic court which shall be a court not of record. The court shall be held by such of the magisterial district judges of the city as shall be designated by the president judge of the court of common pleas upon petition by the city. If established, the court shall be for the city so establishing it.

42c1341v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1342s

§ 1342.  Operations of optional traffic courts.

The magisterial district judge designated by the president judge shall preside over and supervise the work of the traffic court. The traffic court shall be open for business at such times as shall be designated by city ordinance or prescribed by general rule.

42c1342v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1501h

 

 

ARTICLE E

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGES

 

Chapter

15.  Magisterial District Judges

 

Article Heading.  The heading of Article E was amended August 11, 2009, P.L.147, No.33, effective in 60 days.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 15

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGES

 

Subchapter

A.  Magisterial Districts

B.  Magisterial District Judges

 

Enactment.  Chapter 15 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

Chapter Heading.  The heading of Chapter 15 was amended August 11, 2009, P.L.147, No.33, effective in 60 days.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICTS

 

Sec.

1501.  Definitions.

1502.  Classification of districts.

1503.  Reestablishment of districts.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter A is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c1501s

§ 1501.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

"Court."  The Supreme Court or the court of common pleas of each judicial district under the direction of the Supreme Court.

"Political subdivision."  Any municipality except the City and County of Philadelphia.

"Population."  The number of persons residing within a political subdivision or part thereof as determined by the then current Federal decennial or Federal special census.

"Population density."  The number of persons residing within a political subdivision or part thereof as determined by dividing such number by the land area expressed in square miles as determined in the official publication of the Bureau of Statistics of the Department of Commerce.

42c1501v

 

References in Text.  The Department of Commerce, referred to in the def. of "population density," was renamed the Department of Community and Economic Development by Act 58 of 1996.

42c1502s

§ 1502.  Classification of districts.

(a)  Second class counties.--The classes of magisterial districts in judicial districts coextensive with counties of the second class shall be determined as follows:

(1)  Magisterial districts of the first class shall have a population density of more than 5,000 persons per square mile and a population of not less than 65,000 persons.

(2)  Magisterial districts of the second class shall have a population density of more than 500 persons per square mile and a population of between 22,500 and 65,000 persons.

(3)  Magisterial districts of the third class shall have a population density of more than 200 persons per square mile and a population of between 12,000 and 22,500 persons.

(4)  Magisterial districts of the fourth class shall have a population density of more than 70 persons per square mile and a population of between 7,500 and 12,000 persons.

(5)  Magisterial districts of the fifth class shall have a population density of less than 70 persons per square mile and a population of between 4,000 and 7,500 persons.

(b)  Other counties.--The classes of magisterial districts in judicial districts not coextensive with counties of the first class or counties of the second class shall be determined as follows:

(1)  Magisterial districts of the first class shall have a population density of more than 1,000 persons per square mile and a population of not less than 15,000 persons.

(2)  Magisterial districts of the second class shall have a population density of more than 400 persons per square mile and a population of not less than 4,000 persons.

(3)  Magisterial districts of the third class shall have a population density of less than 400 persons per square mile and a population of not less than 4,000 persons.

(4)  Magisterial districts of the fourth class shall have a population density of less than 400 persons per square mile and a population of between 2,000 and 4,000 persons. The number of magisterial districts of the fourth class within a judicial district shall not be increased.

42c1503s

§ 1503.  Reestablishment of districts.

(a)  General rule.--In each year following that in which the Federal decennial census is officially reported as required by Federal law the court shall reestablish the number, boundaries and classes of magisterial districts within each judicial district except:

(1)  The first judicial district.

(2)  Any judicial district where a community court has been established and not discontinued.

The number, boundaries and classes of magisterial districts within each judicial district may be revised from time to time as required for the efficient administration of justice within each magisterial district.

(b)  Discontinuance of community court.--The court upon the discontinuance of a community court shall establish the number, boundaries and classes of magisterial districts within the judicial district embracing such discontinued community court. Such action shall be completed prior to the first Monday of January of the odd-numbered year next following the primary election at which the discontinuance of the community court is approved.

(c)  Standards for establishment of magisterial districts.--In the case of a political subdivision containing within its boundaries two or more magisterial districts, the court shall divide the political subdivision into magisterial districts as nearly equal as possible in population and area, and the court may presume that the population density of each part of a political subdivision is the same population density as for the whole political subdivision. The court in establishing the number and boundaries of magisterial districts shall not subdivide political subdivisions unless either:

(1)  the political subdivision contains two or more noncontiguous parts; or

(2)  the political subdivision contains within its boundaries two or more magisterial districts, in which case wards or other election districts of the political subdivision shall not be subdivided.

(d)  Compensation of magisterial district judge.--When a magisterial district is reestablished the compensation of a magisterial district judge serving therein shall not be diminished for any reason during the magisterial district judge's term or during any term to which the magisterial district judge is reelected while serving in such reestablished district.

42c1503v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Dec. 5, 1980, P.L.1104, No.189, eff. imd.; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (d). See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

1978 Amendment.  Act 53 amended subsec. (a).

Cross References.  Section 1503 is referred to in sections 1102, 3152 of this title.

42c1511h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGES

 

Sec.

1511.  Magisterial district judges.

1512.  Seal.

1513.  Powers of magisterial district judges.

1514.  Offices.

1515.  Jurisdiction and venue.

1516.  Lien of judgment.

1517.  Salary (Repealed).

1518.  Philadelphia Municipal Court (Repealed).

1519.  Philadelphia Traffic Court (Repealed).

1520.  Adjudication alternative program.

1521.  Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for summary offenders (Repealed).

1522.  Notice of summary cases involving juveniles.

1523.  Parental or legal guardian attendance required at juvenile hearings.

 

Subchapter Heading.  The heading of Subchapter B was amended November 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in section 102 of this title.

42c1511s

§ 1511.  Magisterial district judges.

There shall be one magisterial district judge in each magisterial district.

42c1511v

(Aug. 11, 2009, P.L.147, No.33, eff. 60 days)

42c1512s

§ 1512.  Seal.

Each magisterial district shall have a seal, which shall be in the custody of the magisterial district judge elected or appointed for such district. The official acts of the magisterial district judge shall be authenticated therewith. There shall be engraved on the seal such inscription as may be specified by general rule. A facsimile or preprinted seal may be used for all purposes in lieu of the original seal.

42c1512v

(June 28, 2002, P.L.518, No.86, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1513s

§ 1513.  Powers of magisterial district judges.

Every magisterial district judge shall have power to issue every lawful process to or to be served or enforced by system and related personnel and to make such lawful orders as his official business may require. A magisterial district judge may take affidavits and acknowledgments outside his magisterial district but within this Commonwealth.

42c1513v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1514s

§ 1514.  Offices.

The governing body of the county shall establish an office or offices for each magisterial district judge at such locations within the county as may be approved by the president judge of the court of common pleas of the judicial district in compliance with general rules.

42c1514v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

42c1515s

§ 1515.  Jurisdiction and venue.

(a)  Jurisdiction.--Except as otherwise prescribed by general rule adopted pursuant to section 503 (relating to reassignment of matters), magisterial district judges shall, under procedures prescribed by general rule, have jurisdiction of all of the following matters:

(1)  Summary offenses, except those arising out of the same episode or transaction involving a delinquent act for which a petition alleging delinquency is filed under Chapter 63 (relating to juvenile matters).

(2)  Matters arising under the act of April 6, 1951 (P.L.69, No.20), known as The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951, which are stated therein to be within the jurisdiction of a magisterial district judge.

(3)  Civil claims, except claims against a Commonwealth party as defined by section 8501 (relating to definitions), wherein the sum demanded does not exceed $12,000, exclusive of interest and costs, in the following classes of actions:

(i)  In assumpsit, except cases of real contract where the title to real estate may be in question.

(ii)  In trespass, including all forms of trespass and trespass on the case.

(iii)  For fines and penalties by any government agency.

A plaintiff may waive a portion of his claim of more than $12,000 so as to bring the matter within the monetary jurisdiction of a magiste