Subchapter A. GENERAL
29.1. Continuation of Pre-1969 Statutes and Rules.
29.2. Certification to the State Treasurer.
29.4. Appointment of Masters under Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act.
29.5. Certification of District Justice Election Data.
29.6. Duties and Responsibilities of a District Court Administrator.
29.8. Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.
29.9. Senior Judge Health Benefit Program.
29.10. Supreme Court Review of Cases of Murder of the First Degree Pursuant to the Sentencing Code, 42 Pa.C.S. § 9711(h).
29.11. Administrative Judges Appointed by the Supreme Court.
§ 29.1. Continuation of Pre-1969 Statutes and Rules.
All statutes and rules governing practice and procedure in actions and proceedings in the Courts of record and Courts not of record of this Commonwealth in force on December 31, 1968, shall continue in force until suspended, revoked or modified, pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
The provisions of this § 29.1 adopted December 31, 1968, effective January 1, 1969, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Order No. 24, Civil Procedure Rules Docket No. 4.
§ 29.2. Certification to the State Treasurer.
Pursuant to the authority granted by Acts 352 and 359 of the 1968 Session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Court of Common Pleas of each Judicial District numbered 2 through 59 is hereby directed to certify promptly to the State Treasurer the number of persons residing within each magisterial district within said Courts Judicial District for salary purposes only, under Section 5(b) of said Acts of Assembly. For determining population for said purpose, said Courts are hereby authorized to utilize 1960 Federal Census or subsequent Federal Census population figures, and make certification without further approval from this Court. If any of said Courts desire or need to use state or local agency population figures or estimates, or other than Federal Census figures, said population figures or estimates, along with the source of said figures or estimates, shall first be submitted to this Court for approval before certification to the State Treasurer. Copies of the final certification shall be sent to the State Court Administrator.
The provisions of this § 29.2 adopted February 8, 1969, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Order No. 502, Miscellaneous Docket No. 16.
§ 29.3. [Rescinded].
The Order of March 15, 1972 of Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Order No. 27, Court Administrator Docket No. 1 provides: 8. The Order of this Court at No. 26 in this Docket entered May 26, 1970 shall continue in effect until supplied by an order of the Judicial Council under Rule 313 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Judicial Administration.
The provision of this § 29.3 adopted May 26, 1970, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Order No. 26, Court Administrator Docket No. 1; rescinded May 17, 1990, effective May 17, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 3157. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (136770).
§ 29.4. Appointment of Masters under Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act.
1. The President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of each Judicial District shall have the power to appoint one or more Special Masters, who are members of the Bar of the Supreme Court, to hear petitions filed under Section 406 of the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966.
2. The President Judge shall prescribe the necessary procedures to be followed by such Masters in scheduling hearings, filing fees, notices of hearings, presence of necessary parties, right of patient to be represented by counsel, taking of testimony, securing files and all other related and pertinent matters.
3. Upon conclusion of the hearing the Masters shall make a written report, findings of fact and recommendations to the President Judge in the manner prescribed by the Court.
4. This order is made effective as of July 30, 1971.
The provisions of this § 29.4 adopted August 10, 1971, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Order No. 78, Miscellaneous Docket No. 19.
§ 29.5. Certification of District Justice Election Data.
(1) On or before the 15th Tuesday before the primary election in each odd-numbered year the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania shall certify to the Secretary of the Commonwealth such information as may be necessary to specify the magisterial districts in which district justices will be elected at the municipal election in such year.
(2) Except as otherwise expressly ordered by the Supreme Court with respect to any particular magisterial districts, orders establishing or modifying magisterial districts entered after the 19th Tuesday before the primary election in an odd-numbered year shall not affect the number and boundaries of magisterial districts certified to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for the purposes of such primary election and the ensuing municipal election.
(3) Should any political subdivision or part thereof (other than the City and County of Philadelphia) be omitted in the description of the magisterial districts so certified, such political subdivision or part thereof shall be included as a part of the magisterial district which completely surrounds it, or if such omitted political subdivision or part thereof is not completely surrounded by one magisterial district it shall become a part of that magisterial district to which it is contiguous within the same county, or if there are two or more such contiguous magisterial districts, it shall become a part of that magisterial district contiguous thereto which is located within the same county and which has the least population as last officially determined for the purpose of establishing magisterial districts.
(4) Any city, borough, township or ward created since the affected magisterial districts were last established, and not specifically provided for in the order establishing the affected magisterial districts, shall form a part of the magisterial district or districts to which the territory comprised within the city, borough, township or ward is allotted by the provisions of the most recent order establishing the affected magisterial districts, according to the political division existing at the date of such order; and any city, borough, township or ward, or any portion thereof, annexed to any other city, borough, township or ward since the date of such order, shall form a part of the magisterial district to which the territory comprised within such city, borough, township or ward, or portion thereof, is allotted by such order, according to the political division existing at the time of such order.
Section 905 of the Pennsylvania Election Code, Act of June 3, 1937 (P. L. 1333, No. 320) (25 P. S. § 2865) requires that the Secretary of the Commonwealth on or before the thirteenth Tuesday preceding the primary at which district justices are to be nominated shall send to each county board of election a written notice designating the offices of district justice for which candidates are to be nominated.
The provisions of this § 29.5 adopted November 19, 1974, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Magisterial Docket No. 1-K, 5 Pa. B. 177.
§ 29.6. Duties and Responsibilities of a District Court Administrator.
Pursuant to Article V, § 10, of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, that, effective as of this date, the duties and responsibilities of a District Court Administrator should be, but not be limited to, those set forth below:
1. Implementation of policies set by the State Court Administrator.
2. Assistance to the State Court Administrator in setting statewide policies.
3. Preparation, submission and management of the budget for his court or courts.
4. Recruiting, hiring, training, evaluating and monitoring personnel of his court or courts.
5. Management of space, equipment and facilities of his court or courts.
6. Dissemination of information concerning, or of interest to, his court or courts.
7. Procurement of supplies and services for his court or courts.
8. Custody and disbursement of funds for his court or courts.
9. Preparation of reports concerning his court or courts.
10. Jury management.
11. Study and improvement of caseflow, time standards, and calendaring.
12. Research and development of effective methods of court functioning, including in districts where feasible the mechanization and computerization of court operations.
13. Preparation and administration of trial calendars for all civil and criminal cases, including daily trial lists.
14. Responsibility for the assignment, listing and disposition of all arbitration matters.
15. General supervision of the minor judiciary system of the Judicial District.
Where control and supervision of the minor judiciary from an administrative standpoint is vested in the same person serving as court administrator, it is expected that the District Court Administrator give adequate time in pursuance of his duties with the court.
The provisions of this § 29.6 adopted December 9, 1975, 5 Pa. B. 3256.
§ 29.7. [Reserved].
§ 29.8. Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.
The Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges is hereby designated as the recognized conference representing the judges of the Courts of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 1728.
The provisions of this § 29.8 adopted July 18, 1980, effective July 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 3034.
§ 29.9. Senior Judge Health Benefit Program.
(a) A senior judge or district justice (hereinafter referred to collectively as senior judge) who has worked, either as an active judge or senior judge, for at least seventy-five (75) days on any court during calendar year 1983 shall receive health benefits similar to those available to active judges, commencing January 1, 1984, or thereafter upon the attainment of senior judge status, subject to the following conditions:
(1) That the said senior judge shall indicate his/her availability to serve as a judge during the 1984 calendar year for a period of at least ninety (90) days, the periods during the calendar year when he/she will be available for assignment, and his/her willingness to accept assignments. The senior judge shall submit, on forms prepared by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, notice of his/her availability not later than December 15, 1983, or thirty (30) days prior to reaching senior judge status, whichever is later.
(2) Upon certification as a senior judge, the right of the senior judge to continued health benefits shall not terminate if he/she should become unable to serve by reason of intervening illness arising during the year of such certification. Any senior judge shall be entitled to receive continued health benefits for a period of one year following such inability to serve by reason of illness, provided that notice is given to the Administrative Office within thirty (30) days of such inability.
(b) The continuation of the aforesaid benefits following July 1, 1984, is contingent upon the authorization of such expenditure.
The provisions of this § 29.9 adopted December 16, 1983, effective December 1, 1983, 13 Pa. B. 3876.
§ 29.10. Supreme Court Review of Cases of Murder of the First Degree Pursuant to the Sentencing Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 9711(h).
(a) The President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of each county of this Commonwealth is hereby directed to transmit a completed Murder of the First Degree Review Form for each defendant in his judicial district who has been found guilty of murder of the first degree subsequent to the enactment of the Act of September 13, 1978, P. L. 756, No. 141, § 1, 42 Pa. C.S. § 9711, to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts within thirty (30) days of the date of this order.
(b) It is further directed that the President Judge shall transmit a completed Review Form for each defendant found guilty of murder of the first degree in his judicial district from this date forward to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts within thirty (30) days of the formal imposition of sentence. In addition, the President Judge shall transmit an amended Review Form for each such defendant whose sentence has been modified, within thirty (30) days of such modification.
The provisions of this § 29.10 adopted and effective December 6, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 3931; amended and effective January 4, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 214.
§ 29.11. Administrative Judges Appointed by the Supreme Court.
Under 201 Pa. Code Rule 706(d), the authority of each Administrative Judge who presides over and administers a division of a court, which division has three or more judges, shall include, but not be limited by, the following papers:
(1) The Administrative Judge for each division of a Court of Common Pleas shall be appointed by the Supreme Court and shall serve as such at the pleasure of the Court.
(2) The Administrative Judge shall have administrative supervision over the Judges of the division in the exercise of their jurisdiction.
(3) In exercising the administrative supervision prescribed, the Administrative Judge shall have the following general powers for facilitating the speedy and proper administration of justice in those divisions.
(i) To assign individual judges (including visiting judges and available judges from other divisions) to preside in cases, in designated court rooms and, from time to time to reassign the individual judges therein. Such assignments shall be for a reasonable period of time and no judge shall, without his consent, be assigned for any unreasonable or indefinite term to any specified duty.
(ii) The Administrative Judge shall appoint and assign all personnel of the division. However, each judge shall have power of appointment and assignment of a secretary, a tipstaff, and a law clerk, which comprise the personal staff of the appointing judge.
(iii) The Administrative Judge shall have the duty and authority to designate and use of all rooms assigned to the division for judicial uses, excepting chambers of each judge.
(iv) To provide for, establish and maintain consolidated lists (i.e., motions, jury trial, nonjury trial, equity, arraignment, etc.), and to provide and establish procedures necessary and proper to implement these practices.
(v) To formulate, establish and maintain such procedures as are necessary to promote, encourage and implement waivers of civil jury trials.
(vi) To require that sessions of the division shall be of such nature and duration that there may be maximum dispositions of business consistent with the number of judges and rooms available and the proper administration of justice in the causes concerned.
(vii) To report periodically to the President Judge and the Supreme Court facts and statistics concerning the dispatch of business under this program and to make such additional recommendations for changes or improvements in rules and procedures as may further expedite the proper administration of justice.
(viii) To make rules and regulations and do any and all things necessary and proper to carry out the purposes and intent of the general powers granted to the Administrative Judge herein.
(4) The Administrative Judge shall have power to assign one or more judges to sit variously to screen, pre-try, conciliate and settle such cases as may be allottedwhich assignments shall be subject to the same limitations as any other assignments made by the Administrative Judge to the extent provided in these Rules.
Any judge so assigned may appoint, with the approval of the Administrative Judge, a Special Master or Masters to assist in the performance of these various functions and shall have power, with the approval of the Administrative Judge, to issue rules and regulations governing the conduct of the phases of work herein recited.
(5) The Administrative Judge shall maintain monthly work records covering the performance of each judge within the division. These records shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(i) The number of days the judge is physically present in the court.
(ii) The number of days the judge is absent from the court.
(iii) The reason for absences.
(iv) The number of cases assigned to the judge.
(v) The number of cases completed by the judge.
(vi) The number of jury trials presided over by the judge.
(vii) The number of non-jury trials presided over by the judge.
(The number of days required for each of the aforementioned cases.)
(viii) The number of motions and/or petitions received by the judge.
(ix) The number of opinions filed by the judge.
(x) The number of opinions due and unfiled.
(xi) Age of the oldest opinion due and unfiled.
These work records shall be maintained permanently by the Administrative Judge but copies thereof shall be circulated among all judges of the division, to the President Judge, and to the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania Courts.
(6) This directive, which further defines the previously promulgated Rule of Judicial Administration, is promulgated pursuant to Article V, Section 10(c) of the Pennsylvania Constitution which empowers this Court to prescribe lawfully for the administration of all courts and supervision of all officers of the Judicial Branch. . . . and 42 Pa.C.S. § 325(e) defining the powers of president judges, and authorizing change in those powers by general rule or order of this Court as governing authority.
The provisions of this § 29.11 adopted April 11, 1986, effective April 11, 1986, 16 Pa.B. 1484.
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