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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 14-1193




Office of Judicial Records, Philadelphia Civil Rules *204.1, *206.1(a), *1302, *1303, *1304, *1305 and *1308; President Judge General Court Regulation No. 2014-02

[44 Pa.B. 3311]
[Saturday, June 7, 2014]


And Now, this 23rd day of May, 2014, the Board of Judges of Philadelphia County having voted at the Board of Judges' meeting held on May 15, 2014 to amend all Philadelphia Local Civil Rules to reflect the name change of the Office of the Prothonotary to the ''Office of Judicial Records'' and to further amend the following Philadelphia local civil rules: *204.1; *206.1(a); *1302; *1303; *1304; *1305; and *1308,

It Is Hereby Ordered that any reference to the ''Prothonotary'' in any Philadelphia local civil rule shall be changed to the ''Office of Judicial Records'' and that Philadelphia local civil rules *204.1; *206.1(a); *1302; *1303; *1304; *1305; and *1308 are amended as follows.

 This General Court Regulation is issued in accordance with Pa.R.C.P. No. 239 and shall be filed with the Office of Judicial Records in a Docket maintained for General Court Regulations issued by the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. As required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 239(c), two certified copies of this General Court Regulation and amended local rules, as well as a copy on a computer diskette, shall be distributed to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, one certified copy shall be submitted to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, and one certified copy to the Supreme Court Civil Procedural Rules Committee. The previously-referenced rule changes shall become effective thirty (30) days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Copies of the General Court Regulation and rules shall also be submitted to American Lawyer Media, The Legal Intelligencer, Jenkins Memorial Law Library, and the Law Library for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, and shall be posted on the website of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania:

By the Court

President Judge
Court of Common Pleas

Adopted by the Board of Judges on 5-15-14

The Rules as Follows Contain the Amended Language
Change the reference to ''Prothonotary'' in all Civil Rules to ''Office of Judicial Records.''

Rule No. *204.1. Pleadings and other Legal Papers. Format.

 (a) In order to accommodate the filing of documents in an electronic format as authorized by Philadelphia Civil Rule *205.4, all ''legal papers,'' as defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 205.4(a)(2), must conform to the following requirements:

 (1) All files must be no larger than 5MB each. . . .

*  *  *  *  *

Rule No. *206.1(a). Designation of Petitions.

 (1) In addition to petitions to open default judgment and petitions to open judgment of non pros, the following applications are designated ''petitions'' and are governed by the procedures set forth in Pa.R.C.P. 206.1 et seq.:

 (i) Petition to Appoint Arbitrator;

 (ii) Petition to Appoint A Receiver;

 (iii) Petition to Compel Arbitration;

 (iv) Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award;

 (v) Petition to Confirm Settlement;

 (vi) Petition for Contempt;

 (vii) Petition to Set Aside Arbitration Award;

 (viii) Statutory Petitions; and

 (ix) Petition to Appoint a Sequestrator.

Rule *1302. Appointment of Arbitrators.

 (a) The Director of the Arbitration Center shall maintain an Arbitrator List of attorneys who have been deemed to be qualified to sit as Arbitrators in the Compulsory Arbitration Program of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

 (b) Minimum criteria for qualification includes membership of the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, active practice of law for a minimum of one year subsequent to admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for panelists and five years for Chairpersons, maintenance of a principal office in Philadelphia County, attendance of a court-approved arbitration seminar and trial of a civil case in any forum in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Director of the Arbitration Program shall make available an Application for Initial Certification as Arbitration Panelist form, substantially in the form set forth hereunder, requiring the necessary information for determination of qualifications.

 (c) Attorneys not currently enrolled on the Arbitration List may request to be included thereon by completing the Court supplied Application Form.

 (d) The Director of the Arbitration Center from the Court-approved Arbitration List panelists and chairperson for assignment.

 (e) Arbitrators no longer maintaining their principal office in Philadelphia County are required to promptly advise the Director of the Arbitration Center in writing.

 (f) The Director of the Arbitration Center may, from time to time, strike the name of an attorney from the Arbitrator List in accordance with this rule.

 (g) An issue concerning disqualification of an Arbitrator from a particular case shall first be raised with the Arbitration Panel and, if appropriate, with the Director of the Arbitration Center.

Rule *1303. Scheduling of Arbitration Hearings. Relistings. Consolidations.

*  *  *  *  *

 (b) Deferred Status.

 (1) To Obtain Deferred Status.

*  *  *  *  *

 (ii) Other Than Initial Filing. Any party may seek deferral of a case by filing a Miscellaneous Arbitration Application substantially in the form set forth hereunder, setting forth the reasons for the Deferral. Before filing the Miscellaneous Arbitration Application with the Arbitration Center, counsel shall comply with the instructions set forth on said Form.

*  *  *  *  *

 (2) Compulsory Arbitration Hearing Order

*  *  *  *  *

 (ii) Other Deferred Cases. When any party advises the Director of the Arbitration Center that the reasons for the deferral are no longer applicable, or upon Order of Court, the case shall be removed from Deferred Status and appropriate action shall be taken.

 (c) Continuances. All requests for continuances shall be made as provided herein.

*  *  *  *  *

 (2) Written Request. All requests for continuance of Arbitration Hearings shall be in writing on a Continuance & Deferral Application substantially in the form set forth hereunder and shall be filed in accordance with President Judge Administrative Order No. 2009-02. The Continuance & Deferral Application shall set forth the specific reasons for the continuance and the legal basis for the continuance, as provided in Pa.R.C.P. 216 and this rule, the position of all other counsel or unrepresented parties and the date and time mutually convenient to all parties, for the relisting of the Arbitration Hearing.

 (3) Procedure for Obtaining Continuance. A Continuance & Deferral Application shall be filed with the Arbitration Center and as may otherwise be provided in the Application. A copy of the Continuance & Deferral Application must be served, as required, on opposing counsel and unrepresented parties contemporaneously with its filing with the Arbitration Center. Upon receipt of the Continuance & Deferral Application, the Director of the Arbitration Center, or his/her designee, shall rule on the request, and, in appropriate cases, may consult with the Administrative Judge of the Trial Division or his/her designee. There shall be no hearing or oral argument on the request for continuance or a ruling thereon, and the ruling is not subject to judicial scrutiny at the request of any party.

*  *  *  *  *

 (d) Advancement. A hearing date may be advanced by filing a Continuance & Deferral Application with the Director of the Arbitration Program which shall allege that all parties agree to the advancement to a specific date.

*  *  *  *  *

 (i) Settlement Prior to Hearing Date. Counsel shall give written notification to the Director of the Arbitration Center of any settlement prior to the Arbitration Hearing date and an appropriate Order will be issued. Failure to provide written notice prior to the Arbitration Hearing date will result in the entry of a judgment of non pros if the parties fail to appear for the Call of the List and hearing.

*  *  *  *  *

Rule *1304. Arbitration Facilities. Call of the List.

*  *  *  *  *

 (b) Call of the List. There shall be a call of the list of all cases scheduled for the same time. If all parties fail to appear, without having previously obtained a continuance or advised the Director of the Arbitration Center in writing that the case has settled, the case shall be non-prossed.

Rule *1305. Conduct of Arbitration Hearings.

 (a) Rules of Evidence. Supervisory Authority. Hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the established rules of evidence, liberally construed to promote justice. The Arbitration panel, which may seek the assistance of the Director of the Arbitration Center, shall have the general powers of a court including the power to determine the admissibility of evidence, to permit testimony to be offered by depositions and to decide the law and the facts of the case submitted to them. Provided, however, that the Arbitration panel may not continue any case assigned to it.

*  *  *  *  *

Rule *1308. Compensation of Arbitrators.

 All arbitrators, whether panel members or chairpersons, shall be compensated at a rate of $225.00 per day or $125.00 for one-half day of service, or as may otherwise be established by the Administrative Judge of the Trial Division.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 14-1193. Filed for public inspection June 6, 2014, 9:00 a.m.]

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