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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 23-928




Order Amending Rule of Civil Procedure No. 4019(g)(1)(c); Administrative Order No. 61

[53 Pa.B. 3702]
[Saturday, July 15, 2023]

Order of Court

And Now, this 27th day of June 2023, Bucks County Rule of Civil Procedure No. 4019(g)(1)(c), promulgated by Administrative Order No. 61, is amended to read in its entirety as follows:

Rule 4019(g)(1)(c). Discovery Motions Court.

 (1) In lieu of the procedure set forth in B.C.R.C.P. No. 4019(g)(1)(a), counsel in any civil action, excluding Family Court matters, may present any motion regarding discovery in Discovery Motions Court. The motion must comply with the requirements of Pa.R.C.P. No. 208.2, but need not include the alternative language set forth in B.C.R.C.P. No. 4019(g)(1)(a) in its proposed order.

Note: All actions filed in the Criminal and Orphans' Court divisions are specifically excluded from the procedures set forth by the rule. For the purpose of this rule, ''Family Court matters'' are actions before the Domestic Relations Section [actions for Support (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.1 et seq.)] and family court matters such as actions pursuant to the Protection from Abuse Act (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1901 et seq.), actions for Custody (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.1 et seq.), and actions for Divorce (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.1 et seq.).

 (2) Discovery Motions Court shall be held each Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. Discovery motions may be presented to the motions judge only after a copy of the motion and the proposed order of court have been served on all counsel of record and any unrepresented party not later than the Friday preceding the intended date of presentation.

Note: Motions shall be filed in the Prothonotary's office immediately prior to presentation. Counsel shall appear in the designated courtroom no later than 9:00 a.m. to check in with Court Administration staff.

 (3) Notice of the date, time and place of presentation must accompany the copy of the motion and the proposed order of court. Service may be made in any manner as authorized by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, including facsimile transmission pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 440(a)(1)(ii) and/or e-mail pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 205.4(g)(1), with service of the required documents to be completed no later than the Friday preceding the date of presentation. Motions seeking sanctions in the form of dismissal of an action or any claim therein, or for a financial penalty levied against a party, must be served upon the party as well as upon his or her counsel.

 (4) The presenting party must attach to the motion a certification of compliance with this rule setting forth the date on which the motion was served on counsel, unrepresented parties, and represented parties against whom sanctions are sought, the manner of service, and that such service was made in compliance with the Rule of Civil Procedure under which it was effected.

 (5) Prior to serving a motion and proposed order of court, the parties have an obligation to make a good faith effort to resolve their discovery dispute. At least one writing evidencing such a good faith effort shall be sent by the movant to the respondent prior to filing a motion pursuant to this rule. The motion shall further specifically identify what good faith efforts were made in an attempt to resolve the discovery dispute without court action, and shall include as attachments:

 a. copies of any and all writings sent to respondent(s) which evidence good faith efforts to resolve the dispute; and

 b. an affidavit pursuant to B.C.R.C.P. No. 208.2(e).

EXPLANATORY COMMENT: The purpose of this rule is to foster the use of Discovery Motions Court practice. At the hearing, the Motions Court Judge may in the judge's discretion determine that the matter is too complex to handle during Motions Court and refer the matter to the judge assigned to the said case. Sufficient notice and receipt of the motion or petition and proposed order of court is required by law and fundamental fairness. Counsel desiring to take advantage of Discovery Motions Court practice must be diligent in complying with the notice requirement.

 This Order shall become effective 30 days from the date of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

By the Court

President Judge

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 23-928. Filed for public inspection July 14, 2023, 9:00 a.m.]

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