Local Rules of Court; Case No. 2014-2774
[44 Pa.B. 6091]
[Saturday, September 27, 2014]
And Now, this 8th day of September, 2014, The Court Hereby Approves, Adopts and Promulgates Mercer County Local Rules of Court L-317; L-319; L-320 and L-1920.60, and Amendments to Local Rules L-208.3(a), and L-309. L-317; L-319; L-320 and L-1920.60 shall become effective thirty (30) days after the date of publication of these orders in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, pursuant to Rule 103(c) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Judicial Procedure, and Rule 239 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. L-208.3(a) shall become effective upon publication on the UJS Portal, pursuant to Rule 239.8 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
It is further Ordered and Directed that the Court Administrator of Mercer County shall file one (1) certified copy each of these orders with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, furnish two (2) certified copies each to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, and file one certified copy each with the Civil Procedural Rules Committee and one copy of Local Rule L-1920.60 with the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee.
It is further Ordered and Directed that these Local Rules shall be kept continuously available for public inspection and copying in the Offices of the Prothonotary of Mercer County. Upon request and payment of reasonable costs of reproduction and mailing, these offices shall furnish to any person a copy of these Local Rules.
These Rules and Amendments shall be published in the Mercer County Law Journal.
By the Court
THOMAS R. DOBSON,
Amendment to Mercer County Local Rule of Civil Procedure L-208.3(a)
2(b) shall be amended to read:
Matters placed on Motions Court must be filed no later than 4:30 p.m. on the preceding Tuesday with the Court Administrator.
Amendment to Local Rule of Civil Procedure L-309
(c) add ''this subsection shall only apply to cases filed on or before December 31, 2014, so that it reads:(c) Unless an extension of time is agreed to in writing by all parties or allowed by the court upon cause shown, all discovery shall be completed within sixty (60) days after any party has given notice to do so. Such notice may be given at any time after a case is at issue, shall specifically refer to the time limitation provided herein, and shall be filed in the office of the Prothonotary with copies served upon all other parties. This subsection shall only apply to cases filed on or before December 31, 2014.
Proposed Local Rule of Civil Procedure L-317
(A) The Prothonotary of Mercer County shall notify the Mercer County Court Administrator within five (5) days of the filing of every new civil complaint.
(B) The Mercer County Court Administrator shall assign the case to a judge on a rotating basis.
(C) A status conference shall be held no sooner than 60 days after the filing of the complaint nor later than 90 days.
(1) At said conference, the Court shall, after consultation with the parties, designate whether the matter is an arbitration case, regular case or a complex case. Each party shall present to the Court at said conference a summary of their case. Said summary shall be no longer than 3 pages in length (double spaced).
(2) If the matter is designated an arbitration case, the Court shall enter a case management order requiring that all discovery be completed within three (3) months of the order and the matter listed for an arbitration hearing within 60 days of the end of discovery. The parties may agree to forego discovery prior to the arbitration hearing and do discovery only if there is an appeal from the Board of Arbitrator's decision. If this option is chosen, the Court shall immediately refer the case to arbitration.
(i) The parties shall notify the assigned judge no later than one (1) month whether or not the parties have settled their dispute. If the dispute is not settled, the court will enter an order requiring a Board of Arbitrators be appointed.
(ii) If an appeal is taken from the decision of the Board of Arbitration, the Prothonotary shall notify the assigned judge who will enter an order placing the matter on the next available trial term.
(3) If the matter is designated a regular case, the court shall enter a case management order requiring that all discovery be completed within six (6) months of the order, that all summary judgment motions be filed within seven (7) months of the date of the order and placing the matter on the trial list for a month no sooner than eight (8) months nor more than ten (10) months from the date of the order.
(i) A review conference shall be held before the assigned judge no sooner than four (4) months nor more than five (5) months of the initial conference, or earlier if a party requests.
(ii) If a summary judgment is filed, the court shall enter an order resolving the motion within thirty (30) days of argument on said motion.
(4) If the matter is designated a complex case, the court shall enter a case management order requiring that all discovery be completed within fifteen (15) months of the date of the order; that all summary judgments be filed within seventeen (17) months of the date of that order and placing the matter on the trial list for a month no sooner than nineteen (19) months nor more than twenty-one (21) months from the date of the order.
(i) Review conferences shall be held every five (5) months before the assigned judge, or earlier if a party requests.
(ii) If a summary judgment motion is filed, the court shall enter an order resolving the motion within forty-five (45) days of oral argument on said motion.
(D) Case designations shall be in accordance with the following:
(1) Arbitration case—a case shall be designated as an arbitration case where the demand for relief is $25,000.00 or less;
(2) Complex case—a case shall be any case involving a mass tort, professional malpractice, more than four (4) parties, any case where the demand for relief exceeds $500,000.00 or any case the parties and the court agree should be designated a complex case;
(3) Regular case—any case that is not designated either an arbitration case or a complex case.
(E) All times for discovery, filing summary judgment motions or placing the matter on the trial list may only be modified by court order.
(F) All expert reports shall be provided to opposing counsel no later than the time set for the end of discovery under the terms of this Rule.
(G) All motions filed in the case shall be heard by the assigned judge unless that judge is not available and need not be heard at Motion's Court.
Proposed Local Rule of Civil Procedure L-319
(A) On or before the 31st day of January each year, the Prothonotary shall provide to the President Judge a list of all cases filed on or before December 31, 2014, that are over 12 months old as of that date and that are still active.
(B) A review conference shall be held before the President Judge or his designee on or before the 30th day of September of that year. The conference shall be used to determine whether or not to dismiss the matter for lack of prosecution and enter a case management order or amend an existing case management order.
Proposed Local Rule of Civil Procedure L-320
On or before March 31 of each year starting March 31, 2015, the Prothonotary of Mercer County shall send out notices pursuant to Pa.R.J.A. 1901 in the form herein set below to each party in all cases over 2 years old as of December 31 of the preceding year.
Where a hearing is requested, it shall be scheduled in due course.
Proposed Local Rule of Court L-1920.60
On or before the 31st day of January of each year, the Prothonotary of Mercer County shall provide a list of all pending divorce cases as of December 31st of the prior year and that were filed more than 18 months prior to said December 31st to the President Judge. The President Judge or his designee shall hold a review conference for each case on or before October 31st of each year.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 14-1994. Filed for public inspection September 26, 2014, 9:00 a.m.]
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