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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 08-563



Rules of Criminal Procedure Nos. 106, 117, 310, 541, 570, 571, 590 and 600; No. AD-16-08

[38 Pa.B. 1466]
[Saturday, March 29, 2008]


   And Now, To-Wit, this 6th day of March, 2008, the following Local Rules of Criminal Procedure having been consented to by the Criminal Practice Section and approved by the Court are hereby Ordered adopted and effective as to Erie County 30 days after publication of same in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

By the Court

President Judge

RULE 106--Continuances

   A deadline shall exist for the filing of continuances by either the Commonwealth or a defendant for cases listed for a particular trial term. This deadline shall be the second business day of the week immediately preceding the trial term. The deadline may be extended by the Court. Any motions for continuance filed prior to the deadline shall be considered by the pre-assigned judge. After the deadline, all motions for continuance must be considered by the judge who will preside over the case at trial. Notice as to the last date for continuances shall be published by the court in its annual schedule.

RULE 117--Magisterial District Judge Coverage for Issuing Warrants; Preliminary Arraignments and Summary Trials; and Setting and Accepting Bail

   A.  To the extent required by Pa.R.Crim.P. 117, Magisterial District Judges shall be available to provide continuous coverage for the issuance of search warrants, the issuance of arrest warrants, to accept and set bail, to conduct summary trials, and to conduct preliminary arraignments.

   1.  The provision of continuous coverage shall be by the traditional on-call system as presently established and exercised in Erie County. Specifically, the Magisterial District Judges shall remain on-call during non-regular business hours on a rotating basis. The Assistant Court Administrator shall maintain a copy of said rotating schedule.

   2.  The hours of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. for conducting a summary trial or bench warrant hearing pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 431 shall not be extended.

   B.  Magisterial District Judges, the Clerk of Courts and the Warden of the Erie County Prison shall be authorized to accept bail pursuant to, and subject to the limitations of, the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Warden's authority is limited to accepting the bail deposit, delivering the bail to the issuing authority or Clerk of Courts and, under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 525, releasing the defendant upon execution of the bail bond.

   C.  Regular business hours for each Magisterial District Judge Office shall be Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

RULE 310--A.R.D.

   A.  An original application for entry into the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (A.R.D.) program shall be filed with the Commonwealth, and a copy shall be filed at the Office of the Criminal Court Administrator. The Criminal Court Administrator shall mark the date of filing on the copy. The application shall include language that waives Pa.R.Crim.P. 600.

   B.  The filing deadlines imposed by Pa.R.Crim.P. 567, 568, 572, 573, 578 and 579 shall be specially calculated in those instances where a defendant applies for, is refused entry into, or is revoked from the A.R.D. program as follows:

   1.  When the application is made BEFORE arraignment, all filing deadlines are preserved and calculations shall commence upon date of refusal or revocation.

   2.  When the application is made AFTER arraignment, filing of the application shall toll the running of the deadlines. Any number of days remaining shall remain and calculations will recommence upon date of refusal or revocation.

   3.  When any filing deadline has passed before the filing of the A.R.D. application, that deadline shall be deemed missed and unavailable except upon motion and order of the court.

   C.  The procedure for the expedited A.R.D. process is set forth in Erie L.R. 541A.

RULE 541--Waiver of Preliminary Hearing: Filing for Expedited A.R.D.

   A.  Expedited A.R.D. An original application for entry into the Expedited Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (''Expedited A.R.D.'') program may be filed with the Magisterial District Judge who is assigned to preside over the preliminary hearing. The Magisterial District Judge shall forward the application to the Clerk of Courts and the Criminal Court Administrator.

   Note--Expedited A.R.D. applies only to DUI cases that meet the following minimum criteria: (1) the BAC must be no greater that .30%; (2) the defendant must have no criminal history exclusive of summary offenses; and (3) the case must not involve a motor vehicle accident.

RULE 570--Pretrial Conference

   A.  Treatment Court. After the filing of a criminal information, an original application for entry into the Drug Court or Mental Health Court programs shall be filed with the Commonwealth, and a copy shall be filed with the Criminal Court Administrator. The Criminal Court Administrator shall mark the date of filing on the copy.

   B.  Case Assignments. All cases bound to Court will be assigned to one of the Judges in the Trial Division by the Court Administrator at or about the time of the arraignment or waiver thereof. The assigned judge will hear and resolve all pretrial matters pertaining to the case. If a case proceeds to trial before a judge other than the assigned judge, the trial judge shall entertain motions in limine and any other pretrial motions.

RULE 571--Arraignment

   The defendant and counsel (or a representative of counsel) shall be required to appear at the scheduled time of arraignment unless a waiver is filed. The defendant and counsel may waive appearance at arraignment by the filing of a signed ''Waiver of Arraignment and Entry of Appearance'' prior to the scheduled date of arraignment.

RULE 590--Pleas and Plea Agreements

   A.  In all cases disposed of by plea (except post-arraignment pleas), the assigned judge shall be the sentencing judge. However, in any case where the assigned judge is unavailable for sentencing, another judge designated by the President Judge shall conduct the sentencing. A sentencing date shall be set for all cases at the time of plea. Any change requested in this date must be made directly with the assigned sentencing judge and subject to his or her discretion.

   1.  Post-Arraignment Pleas. If a defendant enters a plea before the Court no later than ten (10) days after arraignment or refusal from the ARD/PWOV or Treatment Court programs, the defendant may have the option of assignment to another judge of the trial division, other than the original assigned judge, for purposes of sentencing. The assignment of alternative sentencing judges under this section shall be determined by the President Judge.

   B.  Plea Agreements. A deadline shall exist, after which the Court should not accept a plea to lesser or reduced offenses. This deadline shall be the second business day of the week immediately preceding the first day of the trial term. Said deadline may be extended by the Court upon good cause shown. If a case is called to trial by the Court Administrator after that date, the Commonwealth and defendant shall (1) proceed to trial; (2) enter a plea as charged (summary offenses may be withdrawn at any time); or (3) the Court shall dismiss the case.

RULE 600--Trial Terms

   A.  Criminal Trial Terms. Criminal cases (excluding those listed in paragraph B) shall be tried during a two-week period in the months of January, March, May, July, September and November.

   B.  Separate Trial List. All DUI cases and other cases where the most serious offense involves simple assault, (including cases involving alleged domestic abuse), bad checks or cases requiring expedited handling due to speedy trial concerns shall be tried during a two-week period in the months of February, April, June and October.

   C.  Notice. All cases listed for a trial session shall be subpoenaed by the Court Administrator at least one (1) month prior to the start of the trial term when time permits. The Court may direct the listing of any case for any term as it deems necessary or appropriate.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-563. Filed for public inspection March 28, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]

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