PART B(2). Summons Procedures


Rule 510. Contents of Summons; Notice of Preliminary Hearing.

 (A)  Every summons in a court case shall command the defendant to appear before the issuing authority for a preliminary hearing at the place and on the date and at the time stated on the summons. The date set for the preliminary hearing shall be not less than 20 days from the date of mailing the summons unless the issuing authority fixes an earlier date upon the request of the defendant or the defendant’s attorney with the consent of the affiant.

 (B)  The summons shall give notice to the defendant:

   (1)  of the right to secure counsel of the defendant’s choice and, for those who are without financial resources, of the right to assigned counsel in accordance with Rule 122;

   (2)  that bail will be set at the preliminary hearing;

   (3)  that if the defendant fails to appear on the date, and at the time and place specified on the summons, the case will proceed in the defendant’s absence, and a bench warrant will be issued for the defendant’s arrest; and

   (4)  if the case is held for court and if the defendant fails to appear without cause at any proceeding for which the defendant’s presence is required, including the trial, that the defendant’s absence may be deemed a waiver of the right to be present, and the proceeding, including the trial, may be conducted in the defendant’s absence.

 (C)  The following items shall be attached to the summons:

   (1)  a copy of the complaint; and

   (2)  an order directing the defendant to submit to fingerprinting in all cases in which the defendant has not been fingerprinted, except cases initiated by private complaint.

Comment

   For the summons procedures in non-summary cases in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia, see Rule 1003(C).

   When a case proceeds by summons, the issuing authority also must issue an order requiring the defendant to submit to the administrative processing and identification procedures as authorized by law (such as fingerprinting) that ordinarily occur following an arrest.

   Paragraph (B)(4) requires that the defendant be advised of the consequences of failing to appear for any court proceeding. See Rule 602 concerning a defendant’s failure to appear for trial; see also Commonwealth v. Bond, 693 A.2d 220, 223 (Pa. Super. 1997) (‘‘[A] defendant who is unaware of the charges against him, unaware of the establishment of his trial date or is absent involuntarily is not absent ‘without cause.’’’).

   Paragraph (C)(2), added in 2008, requires that the fingerprint order be sent to the defendant with the summons. The purpose of this change is to ensure that the fingerprinting process in summons cases is completed. See the Criminal History Record Information Act, 18 Pa.C.S. §  9112.

   The requirement in paragraph (C)(2) that a fingerprint order be attached to the summons does not apply to cases that have been initiated by private complaint or cases in which the defendant has been processed for fingerprinting and other identification procedures prior to being released pursuant to Rule 519.

   If a defendant has not complied with the fingerprint order by the time of the preliminary hearing, the issuing authority must make compliance a condition of release on bail.

   See Rule 511 for service of the summons and proof of service.

   See Rule 543(D) for the procedures when a defendant fails to appear for the preliminary hearing.

   For the consequences of defects in a summons in a court case, see Rule 109.

   Official Note

   Original Rule 109 adopted June 30, 1964, effective January 1, 1965; suspended January 31, 1970, effective May 1, 1970. New Rule 109 adopted January 31, 1970, effective May 1, 1970; renumbered Rule 110 and amended September 18, 1973, effective January 1, 1974; amended October 22, 1981, effective January 1, 1982; amended November 9, 1984, effective January 2, 1985; amended August 9, 1994, effective January 1, 1995; renumbered Rule 510 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; amended August 24, 2004, effective August 1, 2005; amended May 1, 2007, effective September 4, 2007, and May 1, 2007 Order amended May 15, 2007; amended July 10, 2008, effective February 1, 2009; amended May 2, 2013, effective June 1, 2013.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Report explaining the August 9, 1994 amendments published at 22 Pa.B. 6 (January 4, 1992); Final Report published with the Court’s Order at 24 Pa.B. 4342 (August 27, 1994).

   Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the August 24, 2004 amendments concerning notice that case will proceed in defendant’s absence published with the Court’s Order at 34 Pa.B. 5025 (September 11, 2004).

   Final Report explaining the May 1, 2007 amendments to paragraph (B)(3) published with the Court’s Order at 37 Pa.B. 2503 (June 2, 2007).

   Final Report explaining the July 10, 2008 amendments to paragraph (C) concerning the fingerprint order published with the Court’s Order at 38 Pa.B. 3975 (July 26, 2008).

   Final Report explaining the May 2, 2013 amendments concerning notice of consequences of failing to appear published the Court’s Order at 43 Pa.B. 2710 (May 18, 2013).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 510 amended August 24, 2004, effective August 1, 2005, 34 Pa.B. 5016; amended May 1, 2007, effective September 4, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2496; amended July 10, 2008, effective February 1, 2009, 38 Pa.B. 3971; amended May 2, 2013, effective June 1, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 2704. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (338903) to (338905).



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