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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 96-1428


Title 231--RULES OF


[231 PA. CODE CH. 1000]

Promulgation of New Rules Governing Case Submitted Upon Stipulated Facts and Abolishing Case Stated; No. 264; Doc. No. 5

[26 Pa.B. 4216]


Per Curiam:

   And Now, this 9th day of August, 1996, new Rules of Civil Procedure 1038.1 governing case submitted upon stipulated facts and 1038.2 governing the abolition of case stated are promulgated to read as follows.

   This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. 103(b) and shall be effective January 1, 1997.

Annex A




Subchapter A.  CIVIL ACTION


Rule 1038.1.  Case Submitted on Stipulated Facts.

   A case may be submitted on stipulated facts for decision by a judge without a jury. The practice and procedure as far as practicable shall be in accordance with the rules governing a trial without jury.

   Official Note:  See Rules 1038 governing trial without jury and 227.1 et seq. governing post-trial practice.

Rule 1038.2.  Abolition of Case Stated.

   The common law procedure of a case stated is abolished.

   Official Note: The common law procedure of a case stated is no longer required in view of the practice of submitting a case on stipulated facts for decision by a judge without a jury. See Rule 1038.1.

Explanatory Comment

   The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has abolished the procedural device of the case stated and provided for the submission of a case on stipulated facts.

   The distinction between the case stated and submission of a case upon stipulated facts has been described as follows:

    . . . In a case stated, the parties submit an agreed statement of facts and request entry of judgment by the court upon the facts stated. . . . The judgment entered is final, and no exceptions are necessary prior to the taking of an appeal. . . . A case stated is distinguished from a trial without jury upon a stipulation of facts in that, in a trial without jury, the parties submit an agreed statement of facts. The court then renders a decision, which is subject to exceptions and review by the court before any judgment is entered. . . . 1

   New Rule 1038.1 adds to the rules of civil procedure a specific provision governing the submission of a case for decision upon stipulated facts. The procedure under the new rule conforms to that quoted above. The parties may submit a stipulation of facts to the court for its decision. The procedure then follows an existing model, that of a nonjury trial with respect to the decision, post-trial practice and appeal.

   New Rule 1038.2 abolishes the case stated, a device which has been described as ''a misunderstood procedure'' and ''a trap for the unwary.'' The abolition eliminates confusion as ''parties often call something a 'case stated' when they really mean a stipulation.''2

   There were two traps in the procedure for a case stated. First, there was the necessity to reserve the right to appeal in the agreement. Second, however, even where an agreement reserved the right to appeal, if the aggrieved party erroneously filed a motion for post-trial relief, the thirty-day period in which to appeal the judgment would be lost. With the abolition of case stated, these traps no longer exist.

By the Civil Procedural Rules Committee


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-1428. Filed for public inspection August 30, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]


1  County of Allegheny et al. v. Allegheny County Prison Employees' Independent Union, 53 Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. 350, 417 A.2d 864, 866 (1980).

2  See the dissenting opinion in McCarron v. Upper Gwynedd Township et al., 139 Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. 528, 591 A.2d 1151, 1159 (1990).

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