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A06831
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
976
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY REGAN, MASTRIANO, ARGALL, BAKER, BARTOLOTTA,
BREWSTER, BROWNE, COSTA, DINNIMAN, KILLION, MARTIN, MENSCH,
PHILLIPS-HILL, STEFANO, J. WARD, K. WARD, YUDICHAK AND
AUMENT, DECEMBER 12, 2019
SENATOR BAKER, JUDICIARY, AS AMENDED, JANUARY 29, 2020
AN ACT
Amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in jurisdiction of
appellate courts, providing for commerce court program; and,
in organization and jurisdiction of courts of common pleas,
further providing for problem-solving courts and providing
for commerce courts.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 916(a) of Title 42 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended and the section is amended by
adding subsections to read:
Section 1. Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 743. Commerce court program.
(a) Appeals.--The Superior Court may establish from
available funds a commerce court program that shall have
specialized jurisdiction. In a commerce court program
established under this section, the specialized jurisdiction of
appeals relating to the following matters may be vested in the
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program:
(1) The internal affairs, governance, dissolution,
liquidation, rights or obligations between or among owners
and liability or indemnity of managers of business
corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited
liability partnerships, professional associations, business
trusts, joint ventures or other business enterprises,
including any actions involving the interpretation of the
rights or obligations under the organic law, articles of
incorporation, bylaws or agreements governing these
enterprises.
(2) Disputes between or among two or more business
enterprises relating to a transaction, business relationship
or a contract.
(b) Rules.--The court may adopt rules for the administration
of the program established under this section. The rules may not
be inconsistent with this section or any rule established by the
Supreme Court.
(c) Jurisdiction.--Nothing under this section shall be
construed to affect the jurisdiction of an appellate court as
provided by law other than this section.
Section 2. Section 916(a) of Title 42 is amended and the
section is amended by adding subsections to read:
§ 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,
veterans courts, drug courts, mental health courts and driving
under the influence courts, whereby defendants are admitted to a
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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.
* * *
(d) Veterans courts.--
(1) If a court of common pleas OF A JUDICIAL DISTRICT or
the Municipal Court of Philadelphia has established a
veterans court under subsection (a), the court may provide
for participation by defendants from adjacent counties
ANOTHER COUNTY OR COUNTIES .
(2) A court of common pleas OF A JUDICIAL DISTRICT or
the Municipal Court of Philadelphia may join with courts in
adjacent counties THE COURT IN ANOTHER COUNTY OR COUNTIES to
establish a multicounty veterans court.
(e) Veterans track.--If a court of common pleas OF A
JUDICIAL DISTRICT or the Municipal Court of Philadelphia
established a problem-solving court under subsection (a), except
for a veterans court, the court may establish a veterans track
within the problem-solving court. As used in this subsection,
the term "veterans track" means a program that utilizes some
components of a veterans court, including, but not limited to,
treatment resources and veteran mentors and does not have the
population and judicial resources to sustain o f a full veterans
court.
(f) Local rules.--A court of common pleas OF A JUDICIAL
DISTRICT or the Municipal Court of Philadelphia that established
a veterans court, multicounty veterans court or veterans track
under this section may adopt local rules for the administration
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of the courts and their related treatment services. The local
rules may not be inconsistent with this section or any rules
established by the Supreme Court.
Section 3. Title 42 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 916.1. Commerce courts.
(a) Establishment.--The court of common pleas of a judicial
district may establish from available funds a commerce court
that shall have specialized jurisdiction. In a court of common
pleas that has established a commerce court under this section,
the exclusive jurisdiction of cases relating to the following
matters may be vested in the commerce court:
(1) The internal affairs, governance, dissolution,
liquidation, rights or obligations between or among owners
and liability or indemnity of managers of business
corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited
liability partnerships, professional associations, business
trusts, joint ventures or other business enterprises,
including any actions involving the interpretation of the
rights or obligations under the organic law, articles of
incorporation, bylaws or agreements governing these
enterprises.
(2) Disputes between or among two or more business
enterprises relating to a transaction, business relationship
or a contract.
(b) Rules.--The court may adopt local rules for the
administration of commerce courts established under this
section. The local rules may not be inconsistent with this
section or any rule established by the Supreme Court.
(c) Statewide commerce courts coordinator.--To the extent
that funds are available, the Supreme Court may appoint a
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Statewide commerce court coordinator. The coordinator may:
(1) Encourage and assist in the establishment of
commerce courts in each judicial district.
(2) Develop model guidelines for the administration of
commerce courts and their related services.
(3) Establish procedures for monitoring commerce courts
and for evaluating the effectiveness of commerce courts.
(d) Advisory committee.--The Supreme Court may establish,
from available funds, an interdisciplinary and interbranch
advisory committee to advise and assist the Statewide commerce
courts coordinator in monitoring and administrating commerce
courts Statewide.
Section 2 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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