THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY D. O'BRIEN, BROWN, COHEN, CREIGHTON, DALLY, DeLUCA, FRANKEL, GINGRICH, KAUFFMAN, KORTZ, MANDERINO, MARSICO, MELIO, MURT, O'NEILL, SIPTROTH, VULAKOVICH, WALKO AND YOUNGBLOOD, FEBRUARY 19, 2009
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, FEBRUARY 19, 2009
Providing for the creation and operation of the Domestic
Relations Court Judges Commission in the Office of General
Counsel; and prescribing its powers and duties.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Domestic
Relations Court Judges Commission Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commission." The Domestic Relations Court Judges Commission
established in section 3.
Section 3. Domestic Relations Court Judges Commission.
(a) Creation.--The Domestic Relations Court Judges
Commission is created in the Office of General Counsel as an
(b) Chief administrative officer.--The General Counsel shall
serve as chief administrative officer of the commission.
(c) Appointment.--The commission shall consist of nine
judges who shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of
judges, serving in domestic relations courts, submitted by the
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania.
(d) Term.--Three of the first nine judges appointed shall
serve for three years, three for two years and three for one
year. Thereafter, the term for all members shall be for three
(e) Chairman.--The commission shall annually select one
member to be chairman and one member to be secretary.
(f) Quorum.--Five members of the commission shall constitute
(g) Meetings.--The commission shall meet at least quarterly
and as the chairman deems necessary. Each commissioner attending
a meeting shall be paid only his necessary expenses incurred for
Section 4. Employees.
The chairman, with the approval of the majority of the
commission, may appoint and fix the compensation of employees as
are necessary to enable the commission to perform the powers and
duties vested in it. The compensation of the employees shall be
fixed within limitations set by the commission and employees
shall be eligible to apply for membership in the State
Employees' Retirement System. No assistant shall engage,
directly or indirectly, in the practice of law in any domestic
relations court of the Commonwealth during the assistant's term
Section 5. Powers and duties.
The commission shall have the power and its duty shall be to:
(1) Advise the domestic relations court judges of the
Commonwealth in all matters pertaining to the proper care and
maintenance of adoption, custody, divorce, domestic
relations, domestic violence and support.
(2) Examine the administrative methods and judicial
procedure used in domestic relations courts throughout the
State, establish standards and make recommendations on the
methods and procedures to the courts.
(3) Collect, compile and publish statistical and other
data as may be needed to accomplish reasonable and efficient
administration of the domestic relations courts.
Section 40. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.