Publication of Local Rules

Five different Supreme Court procedural rules committees (Criminal, Juvenile, Civil, Domestic Relations, and Orphans’ Court) have joined together to submit a proposal to revise all state-wide rules to require that local rules be published on-line by each county or court through its own website, rather than having a state-wide website for the publication of local rules.

Currently, some rules require that local rules be published through the Unified Judicial System’s web portal.  (See, for example, Pa.R.Crim.P. Rule 105(F)(2) and https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/LocalRules/RuleSelection.aspx)  According to the committees, this procedure was conceived in the 1990s “as a means of compiling the rules when technological resources at the county level could not easily do so,” but that 49 of the 67 counties now maintain local rules on their county website.  The committees believe that the proposed change “will promote uniformity among the counties regarding the availability of local rules, offer convenience to users who may intuitively look to the county website for local rules of procedures in that county, and eliminate duplicity with the compilation and maintenance of local rules on both the county and multiple UJS websites.”

If this proposal goes forward, the Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules committee would revise the currently proposed version of Pa.O.C. Rule 1.5 to incorporate the changes to be made to Pa.R.Crim.P. Rule 105.

The committees invite comments, objections, and suggestions concerning this proposal.  (See my comments here.)

“Proposed Amendment of Pa.R.Crim.P. 105, Pa.Rs.J.C.P. 121 and 1121 and Pa.R.C.P. No. 239 with Rescission of Pa.R.C.P. No. 239.8,” 45 Pa.B. 5384 (8/29/2015).

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