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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 24-640




Adoption of Local Rule of Criminal Procedure L-107; No. 2024-1

[54 Pa.B. 2489]
[Saturday, May 11, 2024]

Administrative Order

And Now, this 22nd day of April, 2024, having received approval from the appropriate statewide rules committee in accordance with Pennsylvania Rule of Judicial Administration 103(d)(4), it is hereby Ordered, Adjudged, and Decreed that Washington County Local Rule of Criminal Procedure L-107 is adopted as follows:

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Rule L-107. Subpoena.

 A subpoena is an order of court and may only be issued attendant to a proceeding at a specified date and time before the court. The subpoena must state the name of the party seeking the order and the identity, address, and phone number of the attorney, if any, who requested the issuance of the subpoena.

 (A) Issuance by Minor Judiciary. Upon the request of a party, the issuing authority may issue a subpoena.

 (1) The individual requesting the subpoena shall provide the issuing authority with the information required in paragraph (C)(1).

 (2) If the subpoena is to be issued, the issuing authority shall fill in the information provided.

 (3) The subpoena shall be signed by and under the seal of the issuing authority.

 (4) Nothing herein shall prohibit a judge of the court of common pleas from issuing a subpoena for a case before an issuing authority.

 (B) Service.

 (1) A subpoena shall be served by:

 (a) a competent adult personally delivering the subpoena to a witness;

 (b) certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, or by first-class mail, to a witness; or

 (c) carrier service delivering the subpoena to a witness.

 (2) If a subpoenaed witness is under the age of majority, a parent or guardian of the witness shall be served a copy of the subpoena, unless otherwise ordered by the court for good cause shown.

 (3) All subpoenas directed to the 27th Judicial District or any of its judicial officers or employees shall be served on the District Court Administrator, who has been designated as the agent for acceptance of service of subpoenas. Subpoenas directed to a magisterial district court or a court-related filing office for certified copies of official case records are not subject to this provision.

 (4) Service of a subpoena shall be the responsibility of the requesting party.

 (C) Contents.

 (1) The subpoena shall:

 (a) order the witness named to appear before the court at the date, time, and place specified to give testimony and to bring any records, books, papers, documents, data, or other items identified or described in the subpoena;

 (b) state on whose behalf the witness is being ordered to testify;

 (c) state the name, address, and phone number of the individual who applies for the subpoena; and

 (d) inform the witness that the failure to comply with the subpoena may be considered by the court as grounds for contempt and that a bench warrant may be issued for the arrest of the witness.

 (2) Prior to the issuance of a bench warrant for failure to obey the subpoena, the judge or issuing authority must ensure that the individual has received sufficient notice of the proceeding and a reasonable amount of time to comply. The requesting party has the burden of presenting and proving proof of service.

 (3) The entire contents of a subpoena, including the identity of the subpoenaed person and to whom the subpoena was issued, are not public records.

Note: Concerning subpoenas for medical records, see 42 Pa.Con.Stat.Ann. §§ 6151—6160.

 (D) Notice.

 (1) Notice to parties of the issuance of a subpoena is not required.

 (2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this rule, a subpoena may only be issued to the following individuals or entities with notice of at least seven (7) business days prior to the proceeding, unless waived by the individual or entity.

 (a) judicial officers and employees of the 27th Judicial District;

 (b) the District Attorney and his or her employees; or

 (c) the Public Defender and his or her employees.

 (3) The court upon ex parte motion may excuse compliance with the notice requirements of this rule for good cause shown; any order, along with a copy of the subpoena for which notice is excused, may be filed under seal until further order of court.

 (E) Protection of Persons or Entities. Upon motion or sua sponte, the court may quash, vacate, or modify a subpoena, enter a protective order, deny a request, or otherwise issue any appropriate order as justice requires, if the subpoena:

 (1) lacks service;

 (2) fails to allow reasonable time for compliance;

 (3) requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter and no exception or waiver applies;

 (4) is unreasonable, oppressive, or unduly burdensome;

 (5) exceeds the scope of discovery otherwise permitted under the rules of criminal procedure; or

 (6) is contrary to statute, regulation, or rule of court.

 (F) Automation. The District Attorney, Public Defender, and/or employed Conflict Counsel may, if having adopted an automation program for case management which will create and track subpoenas, affix an electronic signature of the President Judge if he or she so approves for its use. The electronic signature shall have the same force and effect as a subpoena containing an original ink signature and pressed seal.

 (1) Records of subpoenas issued in this fashion must be produced upon direction of the court, and may be filed if so ordered. The records shall be maintained for the same period as the case record for the underlying criminal matter is required to be retained by the custodian of the record.

 (G) Signature. Subpoenas may only be issued or authorized by the court. The President Judge may issue an administrative order permitting another to sign subpoenas in accordance with Pa.R.Crim.P. 103. Absent such authorization, the clerk of courts is specifically prohibited from issuing a subpoena on behalf of the court.

 (1) The signature on a subpoena may be electronically affixed or stamped. The electronic signature or stamp shall have the same force and effect as a subpoena containing an original ink signature and pressed seal.

 (H) Docketing. The docketing of subpoenas shall be in a manner prescribed by the President Judge or his or her designee.

 (I) Fees. A fee for the issuance of a subpoena in the court of common pleas may be charged and collected in such manner as ordered by the President Judge.

 (J) Grand Jury. This rule shall not apply to any subpoena issued by a county-wide investigating grand jury pursuant to 42 Pa.Con.Stat.Ann. § 4548.

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 It is further Ordered that the form of the subpoena is as follows and shall be made available on the website of the Court at Requests for subpoena shall be made to the judge of the term for Protection from Abuse cases as designated in the Administrative Regulations, based on the date of the request. The Clerk of Courts is directed to cease collection of a fee for subpoenas until further order of court.

 The local rule of criminal procedure shall be effective thirty (30) days following publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin pursuant to Pa.R.J.A. 103(c)(5). The District Court Administrator is directed to:

 1. File copies of this Administrative Order and the adopted local rules with the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;

 2. File one (1) electronic copy of this Administrative Order and the adopted local rules with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts;

 3. Arrange for the publication of the local rules on the website for the Twenty-seventh Judicial District, www., within thirty (30) days of the effective date; and

 4. Cause a copy hereof to be published in the Washington County Reports once a week for two (2) successive weeks at the expense of the County of Washington.

By the Court

President Judge

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 24-640. Filed for public inspection May 10, 2024, 9:00 a.m.]

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