Rule 1701. Effect of Appeal Generally.
(a) General rule.Except as otherwise prescribed by these rules, after an appeal is taken or review of a quasijudicial order is sought, the trial court or other government unit may no longer proceed further in the matter.
(b) Authority of a trial court or agency after appeal.After an appeal is taken or review of a quasijudicial order is sought, the trial court or other government unit may:
(1) Take such action as may be necessary to preserve the status quo, correct formal errors in papers relating to the matter, cause the record to be transcribed, approved, filed and transmitted, grant leave to appeal in forma pauperis, grant supersedeas, and take other action permitted or required by these rules or otherwise ancillary to the appeal or petition for review proceeding.
(2) Enforce any order entered in the matter, unless the effect of the order has been superseded as prescribed in this chapter.
(3) Grant reconsideration of the order which is the subject of the appeal or petition, if:
(i) an application for reconsideration of the order is filed in the trial court or other government unit within the time provided or prescribed by law; and
(ii) an order expressly granting reconsideration of such prior order is filed in the trial court or other government unit within the time prescribed by these rules for the filing of a notice of appeal or petition for review of a quasijudicial order with respect to such order, or within any shorter time provided or prescribed by law for the granting of reconsideration.
A timely order granting reconsideration under this paragraph shall render inoperative any such notice of appeal or petition for review of a quasijudicial order theretofore or thereafter filed or docketed with respect to the prior order. The petitioning party shall and any party may file a praecipe with the prothonotary of any court in which such an inoperative notice or petition is filed or docketed and the prothonotary shall note on the docket that such notice or petition has been stricken under this rule. Where a timely order of reconsideration is entered under this paragraph, the time for filing a notice of appeal or petition for review begins to run anew after the entry of the decision on reconsideration, whether or not that decision amounts to a reaffirmation of the prior determination of the trial court or other government unit. No additional fees shall be required for the filing of the new notice of appeal or petition for review.
(4) Authorize the taking of depositions or the preservation of testimony where required in the interest of justice.
(5) Take any action directed or authorized on application by the appellate court.
(6) Proceed further in any matter in which a non-appealable interlocutory order has been entered, notwithstanding the filing of a notice of appeal or a petition for review of the order.
(c) Limited to matters in dispute.Where only a particular item, claim or assessment adjudged in the matter is involved in an appeal, or in a petition for review proceeding relating to a quasijudicial order, the appeal or petition for review proceeding shall operate to prevent the trial court or other government unit from proceeding further with only such item, claim or assessment, unless otherwise ordered by the trial court or other government unit or by the appellate court or a judge thereof as necessary to preserve the rights of the appellant.
(d) Certain petitions for review.The filing of a petition for review (except a petition relating to a quasijudicial order) shall not affect the power or authority of the government unit to proceed further in the matter but the government unit shall be subject to any orders entered by the appellate court or a judge thereof pursuant to this chapter.
The following statutory provisions relate to supersedeas generally:
42 Pa.C.S. § 702(c) (supersedeas) provides that except as otherwise prescribed by general rule, a petition for permission to appeal under that section shall not stay the proceedings before the lower court or other government unit, unless the lower court or other government unit or the appellate court or a judge thereof shall so order. See also Rule 1313 (effect of filing petition).
42 Pa.C.S. § 5105(e) (supersedeas) provides that an appeal shall operate as a supersedeas to the extent and upon the conditions provided or prescribed by law, and that unless a supersedeas is entered no appeal from an order concerning the validity of a will or other instrument or the right to the possession of or to administer any real or personal property shall suspend the powers or prejudice the acts of the appointive judicial officer, personal representative or other person acting thereunder.
Subdivision (a) codifies a well-established principle. See e.g. Merrick Estate, 432 Pa. 450, 454, 247 A.2d 786, 787 (1968); Corace v. Balint, 418 Pa. 262, 275-76, 210 A.2d 882, 889 (1965). Rule 5102 saves the provisions of Section 426 of the Pennsylvania Workmens Compensation Act (77 P. S. § 871), which permit a rehearing by the agency under certain circumstances during the pendency of an appeal. Rule 311(h) (further proceedings in lower court) provides that Subdivision (a) is not applicable where an appeal as of right is taken from interlocutory orders relating to attachments, injunctions, etc., thus making clear that the procedure for seeking appellate review of these collateral matters does not impair the power of the lower court to continue with the case proper.
Subdivision (b)(1) sets forth an obvious power of the lower court or agency under these rules to take actions to preserve the status quo and to clarify or correct an order or verdict. The power to clarify or correct does not extend to substantive modifications. Pa. Indus. Energy Coalition v. Pennsylvania PUC, 653 A.2d 1336, 1344-45 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995), affd, 543 Pa. 307, 670 A.2d 1152 (1996). Examples of permissible actions to preserve the status quo are those auxiliary to the appellate process, such as a supersedeas or injunction. Id. Examples of permissible corrections are non-substantial technical amendments to an order, changes in the form of a decree, and modification of a verdict to add prejudgment interest. Id. at 1344. Such actions have no effect on the appeal or petition for review and cannot prompt a new appealable issue. Id. at 1345.
Among the permissible corrections is the addition or modification of contractual or statutory prejudgment interest, which is an element of contract damages. In such cases, the award of such interest is mandatory and not discretionary. TruServ Corp. v. Morgans Tool & Supply Co. Inc.,
, 39 A.3d 253, 264 (2012). Accordingly, even though the amount of a verdict is changed by the addition of prejudgment interest, the verdict has been corrected and not modified.
The Supreme Court has held that, so long as a motion for attorneys fees has been timely filed, a trial court may act on that motion under subdivision (b)(1) even after an appeal has been taken. Samuel-Bassett v. Kia Motors Am., Inc., 613 Pa. 371, 34 A.3d 1, 48 (2011). Thus, unlike the court actions discussed in Pa. Indus. Energy Coalition, an award of attorneys fees constitutes a separately appealable order that would be reviewable upon filing of a timely separate notice of appeal, measured from the date the fee award order was entered.
Generally an appeal does not operate as a supersedeas of government agency action.
Subdivision (b)(3) is intended to handle the troublesome question of the effect of application for reconsideration on the appeal process. The rule (1) permits the trial court or other government unit to grant reconsideration if action is taken during the applicable appeal period, which is not intended to include the appeal period for cross appeals, or, during any shorter applicable reconsideration period under the practice below, and (2) eliminates the possibility that the power to grant reconsideration could be foreclosed by the taking of a snap appeal. The better procedure under this rule will be for a party seeking reconsideration to file an application for reconsideration below and a notice of appeal, etc. If the application lacks merit the trial court or other government unit may deny the application by the entry of an order to that effect or by inaction. The prior appeal paper will remain in effect, and appeal will have been taken without the necessity to watch the calendar for the running of the appeal period. If the trial court or other government unit fails to enter an order expressly granting reconsideration (an order that all proceedings shall stay will not suffice) within the time prescribed by these rules for seeking review, Subdivision (a) becomes applicable and the power of the trial court or other government unit to act on the application for reconsideration is lost.
Subdivision (b)(3) provides that: (W)here a timely order of reconsideration is entered under this paragraph, the time for filing a notice of appeal or petition for review begins to run anew after entry of the decision on reconsideration. Pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1930.2, effective July 1, 1994, where reconsideration from a domestic relations order has been timely granted, a reconsidered decision or an order directing additional testimony must be entered within 120 days of the entry of the order granting reconsideration or the motion shall be deemed denied. See Pa.R.C.P. 1930.2(c), (d) and (e). The date from which the appeal period will be measured following a reconsidered decision in a domestic relations matter is governed by Pa.R.C.P. 1930.2(d) and (e).
Under the 1996 amendments to the Rules of Criminal Procedure governing post-sentence practice, see Pa.R.Crim.P. 720 and 721, reconsideration of a decision on a defendants post-sentence motion or on a Commonwealth motion to modify sentence must take place within the time limits set by those rules, and the judge may not vacate sentence or grant reconsideration pursuant to subdivision (b)(3) in order to extend the time limits for disposition of those motions. The amendments to Pa.R.Crim.P. 720 and new Pa.R.Crim.P. 721 resolve questions raised about the interplay between this subdivision and post-trial criminal practice. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Corson, 444 A.2d 170 (Pa. Super, 1982).
The provisions of this Rule 1701 amended through December 10, 1986, effective January 31, 1987, and shall govern all matters thereafter commenced and, insofar as just and practicable, matters then pending, 16 Pa.B. 4951; amended August 22, 1997, effective January 1, 1998, 27 Pa.B. 4543; amended April 9, 2013, effective to appeals and petitions for review filed 30 days after adoption, 43 Pa.B. 2271. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (365273) to (365274) and (315517) to (315518).
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