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In re Order Adopting New Rule 771

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

June 16, 2014

IN RE: ORDER ADOPTING NEW RULE 771, AND APPROVING THE REVISION OF THE COMMENT TO RULE 471 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

ORDER

PER CURIAM.

AND NOW, this 16th day of June, 2014, upon the recommendation of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee; the proposal having been published before adoption at 44 Pa.B. 475 (January 25, 2014), and in the Atlantic Reporter (Third Series Advance Sheets, Vol. 68), and a Final Report to be published with this ORDER:

IT IS ORDERED pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that new Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 771 is adopted and the revision to the Comment to Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 471 is approved in the attached form.

This ORDER shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(b), and shall be effective July 16, 2014.

Additions to the rules are shown in bold and are underlined. Deletions from the rules are shown in bold and brackets.

RULE 471. DISPOSITION REPORT.

(A) The issuing authority shall report to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation the disposition of all summary cases arising under the Vehicle Code. The report shall be sent by electronic transmission in the form prescribed by the Department.

(B) The issuing authority shall print out and sign a copy of the report, which shall include the date and time of the transmission, and a certification as to the adjudication, the sentence, if any, and the final disposition. The copy shall be made part of the record.

(C) Upon the request of the defendant, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or any other government agency, the issuing authority's office shall provide a certified copy of the report required by this rule.

COMMENT: See Rule 1101 for suspension of Acts of Assembly.

This rule does not address the admissibility of evidence. See the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence and 42 Pa.C.S. § 6101 et seq. concerning the Rules of Evidence for documents.

Under paragraph (C), the issuing authority is required to provide a certified copy of the report, but only if the request is made within the period that the issuing authority is required to retain the records.

[Electronic transmissions are to be made from the District Justice Central Site Computer or other computer facility utilized by issuing authorities.]

NOTE: Rule 92 adopted June 3, 1993, effective July 1, 1993; renumbered Rule 471 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001[.] ; Comment revised June 16, 2014, effective July 16, 2014.

COMMITTEE EXPLANATORY REPORTS:

Report explaining the provisions of the new rule published with the Court's Order at 23 Pa.B. 2811 (June 19, 1993).
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, 2013).
Final Report explaining the June 16, 2014 Comment revision published with the Court's Order at 44 Pa.B. (___, ___ 2014).

(This is an entirely new rule.)

RULE 771. DISPOSITION REPORT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

(A) The clerk of courts shall report to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation all dispositions of charges required by 75 Pa.C.S. §6323 (relating to reports by courts). The report shall be sent by electronic transmission in the form prescribed by the Department.

(B) The clerk of courts shall sign the report on the form prescribed by the Department by means of an electronic signature as authorized by Rule 103.

(C) The clerk of courts shall print out and sign a copy of the report, which shall include the date and time of the transmission, and a certification as to the adjudication, the sentence, if any, and the final disposition. The copy shall be made part of the record.

(D) Upon the request of the defendant, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or any other government agency, the clerk of courts shall provide a certified copy of the report required by this rule.

COMMENT: This rule was adopted in 2014 to provide for the electronic transmission of the case information required under 75 Pa.C.S. §6323 to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The rule provides for procedures at the court of common pleas similar to those already provided under Rule 471 for the reports required to be submitted under 75 Pa.C.S. §6322 by issuing authorities.
A clerk of courts may comply with the requirements of paragraph (C) by retaining an electronic copy of the printed and signed document together with the appropriate annotations to the docket entries that the document had been transmitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
This rule does not address the admissibility of evidence. See the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence and 42 Pa.C.S. § 6101 et seq. concerning the Rules of Evidence for documents.
NOTE: New Rule 771 adopted June 16, 2014, effective July 16, 2014.

COMMITTEE EXPLANATORY REPORTS:

Final Report explaining the provisions of the new rule published with the Court's Order at 44 Pa.B. (___, ___ 2014).

FINAL REPORT[1]

New Rule 771 Revision to the Comment to Pa.Rs.Crim.P. 471

ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF COURT CASE REPORTS TO PENNDOT

On June 16, 2014, effective July 16, 2014, upon the recommendation of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee, the Court adopted new Rule 771 (Disposition Report to the Department of Transportation) to require, pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S. §6323, that the specified court case dispositions be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) electronically. The Court also approved the revision of the Comment to Rule 471 (Disposition Report) to remove an archaic provision.

New Rule 771 was developed as a result of a request from the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania to consider a rule mandating that the information regarding certain types of cases that courts are statutorily required to report to PennDOT be done electronically. Currently, 75 Pa.C.S. §6323 requires that the clerks of courts report to PennDOT the disposition of any case arising under the Motor Vehicle Code (Title 75) or under Section 13 of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. §780-113.[2]

This is similar to 75 Pa.C.S. §6322 that requires issuing authorities to provide reports of the disposition of summary motor vehicle cases to PennDOT. Rule 471 was adopted in 1993 to require that the transmission of these reports be done electronically. The impetus for Rule 471 was the implementation of the Court's Magisterial District Judge System (MDJS) that gave issuing authorities the capability of transmitting these reports electronically. No procedural problems have arisen by the electronic transmission provisions of Rule 471 since its adoption in 1993.

New Rule 771 extends this type of transmission to the clerks of courts now that the Court's Common Pleas Case Management System (CPCMS) provides the statewide capabilities for electronic transmission from the common pleas courts. The new rule simply extends to the common pleas courts the procedures in place for the MDJ courts.

The new rule has been numbered "771" to place it after the post-sentence procedures rules and before the expungement rules since the reports to PennDOT are filed as essentially the last event in a case at the common pleas level. The particular number also links it to Rule 471. The text of the new rule mirrors Rule 471 and requires the transmittal of the disposition information to be done electronically.

Rule 771 includes a provision that a hard copy of the report, signed by the clerk of courts, be added to the case file that is comparable to the requirement in Rule 471 with one modification. While the desire is ultimately to move towards paperless case files, the view of the Committee has been to maintain a traditional paper case file, particularly at the common pleas level. However, one of the publication responses, from a clerk of courts, requested modifying this provision to permit the retention of an electronic copy of the signed form to satisfy this requirement. The Committee concluded that this is a reasonable accommodation and the Comment to Rule 771 reflects this allowance.

Finally, a revision has been made to the Comment provision in Rule 471 regarding the locations from which the required transmission could be made. Specifically, the fourth paragraph in Rule 471 Comment makes a reference to the "District Justice Central Site Computer, " which is an outdated term since all MDJ offices are equipped for transmitting the required information.


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