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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 00-881



Exhaustion of State Remedies in Criminal and Post-Conviction Relief Cases; No. 218; Judicial Administration Docket No. 1

[30 Pa.B. 2582]


Per Curiam:

   And Now, this 9th day of May, 2000, we hereby recognize that the Superior Court of Pennsylvania reviews criminal as well as civil appeals. Further, review of a final order of the Superior Court is not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion, and an appeal to this Court will only be allowed when there are special and important reasons therefor. Pa.R.A.P. 1114. Further, we hereby recognize that criminal and post-conviction relief litigants have petitioned and do routinely petition this Court for allowance of appeal upon the Superior Court's denial of relief in order to exhaust all available state remedies for purposes of federal habeas corpus relief.

   In recognition of the above, we hereby declare that in all appeals from criminal convictions or post-conviction relief matters, a litigant shall not be required to petition for rehearing or allowance of appeal following an adverse decision by the Superior Court in order to be deemed to have exhausted all available state remedies respecting a claim of error. When a claim has been presented to the Superior Court, or to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and relief has been denied in a final order, the litigant shall be deemed to have exhausted all available state remedies for purposes of federal habeas corpus relief. This Order shall be effective immediately.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 00-881. Filed for public inspection May 26, 2000, 9:00 a.m.]

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