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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 06-136


Title 225--RULES

[225 PA. CODE ART. I]

Order Revising Comment to Rule 101; No. 382 Supreme Court Rules; Doc. No. 1

[36 Pa.B. 384]


Per Curiam:

   Now, this 30th day of December, 2005, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Rules of Evidence, and having been published for comment in Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 31, page 4179, and with a Final Report to be published with this Order:

   It Is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that the revision of comment is hereby revised in the following form.

   This Order shall be processed immediately in accordance with Pa. R.J.A. 103(b), and shall be effective February 1, 2006.

Annex A



Rule 101. Scope and Citation of the Rules.


   A principal goal of these rules is to construct a comprehensive code of evidence governing court proceedings in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However, these rules cannot be all-inclusive. Some of our law of evidence is governed by the Constitutions of the United States and of Pennsylvania. Some is governed by statute. Some evidentiary rules are contained in the Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure and the rules governing proceedings before courts of limited jurisdiction. Traditionally, our courts have not applied the law of evidence in its full rigor in proceedings such as preliminary hearings, bail hearings, grand jury proceedings, sentencing hearings, parole and probation hearings, extradition or rendition hearings, and others. Traditional rules of evidence have also been relaxed to some extent in custody matters, see, e.g., Pa.R.C.P. 1915.11(b) (court interrogation of a child), and other domestic relations matters, see, e.g., Pa.R.C.P. 1930.3 ([telephone testimony] testimony by electronic means). The Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence are not intended to supersede these other provisions of law unless they do so expressly or by necessary implication.

   These rules are applicable [only to] in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's unified judicial system. [They are applicable in all divisions of the Courts of Common Pleas including the Civil Division, Criminal Division, Trial Division, Orphans' Court Division and Family Division. They are not applicable to other tribunals, such as administrative agencies and arbitration panels, except as provided by law or unless the tribunal chooses to apply them.] In some respects, these rules are applicable in administrative proceedings. See, e.g., Gibson v. W.C.A.B., 580 Pa. 470, 861 A.2d 938 (2004)(evidentiary rules 602, 701 and 702 applicable in agency proceedings in general, including workers' compensation proceedings). These rules are also applicable in compulsory arbitration hearings, with specific exceptions relating to the admissibility of certain written evidence and official documents. Pa.R.C.P. 1305 [(rules of evidence shall be followed in compulsory arbitration hearings, with specific provisions relating to the admissibility of certain written evidence and official documents)].


Rule 101. Scope and Citation of the Rules

Comment Changes

   The Comment to Pa.R.E. 101 is being revised to reflect the opinion of the Supreme Court in Gibson v. W.C.A.B., 861 A.2d 938 (Pa. 2004). As a result of the Gibson opinion, Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence 602, 701 and 702 are applicable in administrative agency proceedings. The revised Comment also calls attention to Pa.R.C.P. 1305 concerning the applicability of the rules of evidence to compulsory arbitration hearings.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-136. Filed for public inspection January 27, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]

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