Rule 1028. Preliminary Objections.
(a) Preliminary objections may be filed by any party to any pleading and are limited to the following grounds:
(1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action or the person of the defendant, improper venue or improper form or service of a writ of summons or a complaint:
Of the three grounds available to challenge venue, only improper venue may be raised by preliminary objection as provided by Rule 1006(e). Forum non conveniens and inability to hold a fair and impartial trial are raised by petition as provided by Rule 1006(d)(1) and (2).
See Rule of Appellate Procedure 311(b) for interlocutory appeals as of right from orders sustaining jurisdiction and venue.
(2) failure of a pleading to conform to law or rule of court or inclusion of scandalous or impertinent matter;
(3) insufficient specificity in a pleading;
(4) legal insufficiency of a pleading (demurrer);
The defense of the bar of a statute of frauds or statute of limitations can be asserted only in a responsive pleading as new matter under Rule 1030.
(5) lack of capacity to sue, nonjoinder of a necessary party or misjoinder of a cause of action;
(6) pendency of a prior action or agreement for alternative dispute resolution;
An agreement to arbitrate may be asserted by preliminary objection or by petition to compel arbitration pursuant to the Uniform Arbitration Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § 7304, or the common law, 42 Pa.C.S. § 7342(a).
(7) failure to exercise or exhaust a statutory remedy, and
(8) full, complete and adequate non-statutory remedy at law.
(b) All preliminary objections shall be raised at one time. They shall state specifically the grounds relied upon and may be inconsistent. Two or more preliminary objections may be raised in one pleading.
(c)(1) A party may file an amended pleading as of course within twenty days after service of a copy of preliminary objections. If a party has filed an amended pleading as of course, the preliminary objections to the original pleading shall be deemed moot.
(2) The court shall determine promptly all preliminary objections. If an issue of fact is raised, the court shall consider evidence by depositions or otherwise.
Preliminary objections raising an issue under subdivision (a)(1), (5), (6), (7) or (8) cannot be determined from facts of record. In such a case, the preliminary objections must be endorsed with a notice to plead or no response will be required under Rule 1029(d).
However, preliminary objections raising an issue under subdivision (a)(2), (3) or (4) may be determined from facts of record so that further evidence is not required.
Rule 239.5 requires every court to promulgate Local Rule 1028(c) describing the local court procedure governing preliminary objections. Local Rule 1028(c) shall be published on the Pennsylvania Judiciarys Web Application Portal (http://ujsportal.pacourts.us).
(d) If the preliminary objections are overruled, the objecting party shall have the right to plead over within twenty days after notice of the order or within such other time as the court shall fix.
(e) If the filing of an amendment, an amended pleading or a new pleading is allowed or required, it shall be filed within twenty days after notice of the order or within such other time as the court shall fix.
(f) Objections to any amended pleading shall be made by filing new preliminary objections.
The provisions of this Rule 1028 adopted June 25, 1946, effective January 1, 1947; amended March 28, 1973, effective July 1, 1973; amended July 18, 1991, effective January 1, 1992, 21 Pa.B. 3400; amended October 24, 2003, effective 9 months after the date of the Order, 33 Pa.B. 5506; amended December 16, 2003, effective July 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 9; amended November 2, 2005, effective immediately, 35 Pa.B. 6318. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (307556) and (315129).
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