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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 06-2309



Rules W212.1, W1301, W1301.1, W1308; No. 3 of 2006

[36 Pa.B. 7134]
[Saturday, November 25, 2006]

   And Now this 2nd day of November 2006, it is Hereby Ordered that Westmoreland County Rules of Civil Procedure W212.l, Wl301, and W1308 are rescinded. New Rules W212.l, W1301, and W1301.l are adopted. The effective date of these changes is January 1,2007.

President Judge


   (a)  Any party may file a certification with the prothonotary that the case is ready for trial. A copy of the certification found in the Forms section of these rules shall be served on the judge assigned to the case, on the Court Administrator and on all other parties or their counsel.

   (b)  The term ''ready for trial'' means that:

   (1)  the pleadings are closed;

   (2)  witnesses are presently available to appear at trial; and

   (3)  discovery is complete, except for those depositions to be taken solely for the purpose of being presented at trial, such as the depositions of expert witnesses.

   (c)  Upon receipt of the certification of readiness, the judge assigned to the case shall issue an Order addressing the following matters:

   (1)  When Pre-Trial Statements shall be due pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 212.I(c) (2), which dates shall be set prior to the Pre-Trial Conference.

   (2)  The date of the Pre-Trial Conference pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 212.3.

   (3)  Such other matters that may aid in the disposition of the case.


   (a)  All civil cases, except those involving title to real estate or actions in equity, wherein the amount in controversy (exclusive of interest and costs) is $30,000 or less, shall be heard and decided by a board of arbitration consisting of three members of the bar. The prothonotary shall, at the time the complaint is filed, assign a trial judge.

Cases Submitted By the Parties

   (b)  Any civil case with an amount in controversy exceeding $30,000 may be referred to a board of arbitration by agreement signed by all parties or their counsel.

   (c)  The plaintiff shall, at the time of filing a case subject to arbitration, provide the court administrator a copy of the Complaint. The party who files an appeal of a magisterial district judge's decision shall, at the time of filing the Notice of Appeal, provide the court administrator a copy of the Notice of Appeal. Any party filing a reinstatement of any case subject to arbitration as provided in subsection (a), shall, at the time of filing the Reinstatement, serve a copy of the Reinstatement on the court administrator.

   (d)  The court administrator shall schedule the case for arbitration on the first available arbitration date but not sooner than 120 days from the date of filing of the Complaint, Notice of Appeal, or the Reinstatement thereof. The court administrator shall, 30 days prior to the arbitration date, provide notice of the date to the parties.

Cases Submitted By the Court

   (e)  The court, on its own motion or on motion of either party, may by depositions, settlement conference, hearing or otherwise, determine that the amount actually in controversy does not exceed $30,000 (exclusive of interest and costs) and enter an order referring the case to arbitration.


   (a)  A party to compulsory arbitration proceedings shall be limited, prior to the arbitration hearing, to the discovery hereinafter set forth, unless additional discovery is deemed necessary by counsel and is permitted by the court upon cause shown.

   (b)  Depositions may be taken only in the following instances:

   (1)  Where the party or person to be examined is

   (i)  aged or infirm, or

   (ii)  about to leave this county for a place outside the Commonwealth or a place more than one hundred miles from the Westmoreland County Courthouse, or

   (2)  Upon other good cause shown.

   (c)  Discovery 'must be completed no later than 10 days prior to the arbitration hearing. Failure to complete discovery within this period shall be deemed a waiver of discovery prior to the hearing. Responses shall be made within the periods prescribed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.

   (d)  Discovery to any party shall be limited to the following, applicable fourteen interrogatories and requests for production of documents.

Discovery Directed To Any Party

TO THE [PLAINTIFF (s) ______]
[DEFENDANT(s) _________________]

   (1)  State your full name and address.

   (2)  State the full names, present addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses to the incident described in the complaint and the names, present addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses who will be called to testify at the hearing.

   (3)  It is requested that you produce any written statements, not subject to the attorney-client privilege, signed, adopted or approved by any witness; a written summary of any other statements (including oral statements), and identify any witness who has given a stenographic, mechanical, electrical or other recording that has not yet been transcribed.

   (4)  It is requested that you produce all photographs, maps, drawings, diagrams, or other demonstrative evidence that may be introduced at the hearing or that may otherwise pertain to the lawsuit.

   (5)  If this action arises from an accident involving your operation of a motor vehicle, state whether you were in any way impaired in the operation of the vehicle and produce a copy of your driver's license and the police accident report.

Discovery Directed To A Party-Defendant

   (6)  State whether there is any insurance covering any defendant for the incident or matter described in the complaint. If so, list the name of each company providing coverage, together with the amount of coverage provided, and produce a copy of each declaration page.

Discovery Directed To A Party-Plaintiff Claiming Personal Injuries

   (7)  Produce all medical documents, including hospital records, treating physician and chiropractic records, or authorizations concerning your injuries.

   (8)  Disclose the name and address of each physician who treated you during the period from five (5) years prior to the incident to the present date.

   (9)  Did you sustain injuries that resulted in work loss during the period from five (5) years prior to the incident to the present date? Answer ''Yes'' or ''No.''

   (10)  If the answer to Interrogatory 9 is ''Yes,'' state the date of the injury, the nature of the injury, and the dates of lost work.

   (11)  If a claim is being made for lost income, state the name and address of your employer at the time of the incident, the name and address of your immediate supervisor at the time of the incident, your rate of pay, the dates of work loss due to the injuries from this accident, and the total amount of your work loss claim.

Interrogatories That Apply Only To Personal Injury Claims Arising Out Of A Motor Vehicle Accident

   (12)  If you are making a claim for medical benefits or lost income, have you received or are you eligible to receive benefits from Workers' Compensation or any program, group contract, or other arrangement for payment of benefits as defined by Title 75 P. S. § 1719(b)? Answer ''Yes'' or ''No.''

   (13)  If the answer to Interrogatory 12 is ''Yes,'' set forth the type and amount of these benefits.

   (14)  Are you subject to the ''Limited Tort Option'' or the ''Full Tort Option'' of automobile insurance coverage, as defined in Title 75 P 5 § 1705(a) and (b)?

   ____ Limited Tort Option (no claim can be made for non-monetary damages)

   ____ Limited Tort Option (claim can be made for non-monetary damages because the injuries fall within the definition of serious injury or because one of the exceptions set forth in 75 P. S. § 1705(d)(1)--(3) applies)

   ____ Full Tort Option

   Note:  This rule does not affect the provisions or requirements of Pa.R.Civ.P. 1305.

   Note:  This rule does not preclude additional discovery under the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure in cases appealed pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. § 1308.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-2309. Filed for public inspection November 22, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]


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