IN RE: ORDER AMENDING RULES 531 AND 536 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
NOW, this 2nd day of May, 2017, upon the
recommendation of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee;
the proposal having been published before adoption at 46
Pa.B. 3935 (July 23, 2016) and a Final Report to be
published with this ORDER:
ORDERED pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution
of Pennsylvania that the amendments to Pennsylvania Rules of
Criminal Procedure 531 and 536 are adopted, in the attached
ORDER shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No.
103(b), and shall be effective July 1, 2017.
Donohue files a dissenting statement.
to the rules are shown in bold and are underlined.
from the rules are shown in bold and brackets.
to Article V, Section 10 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, I
would suspend portions of 42 Pa.C.S. § 5747.1(a) and 42
Pa.C.S. § 5747.1(b)(1), which the Criminal Procedural
Rules Committee identified as procedural in nature. To the
extent the amendment to Rule 536 incorporates those
provisions, I respectfully dissent.
531. QUALIFICATIONS OF SURETY.
Subject to any additional requirements prescribed by local
rule of court, the following shall be qualified to act as
(1) owners of cash or securities as provided in Rule 528;
(2) owners of realty located in the Commonwealth as provided
in Rule 528(D)(3), or owners of realty located outside the
Commonwealth but within the United States as provided in Rule
528(D)(4), provided that satisfactory evidence of ownership
or special approval of the court is obtained;
(3) surety companies approved by the court and authorized to
do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
(4) professional bondsmen licensed under the Judicial Code,
42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5741-  5750;
(5) for percentage cash bail only, the defendant or any
private individual or organization.
attorney, or spouse or employee of any attorney, shall be
permitted to become a surety for a client of the attorney or
for a client of the attorney's office.
sheriff, employee of a sheriff, tipstaff, other employee, or
official of the courts or issuing authorities of any judicial
district shall be permitted to become a surety unless the
defendant is a member of that person's immediate family.
person who is named in any current official list of
undesirable bondsmen shall be permitted to become a surety in
COMMENT: Paragraph (A)(2) is intended to require that
ownership of realty anywhere within the Commonwealth
qualifies a person to act as a surety in any judicial
district in the Commonwealth. Local procedure may not require
as an "additional requirement" that realty must be
located within the county before it may be posted to satisfy
a monetary condition of release.
["Professional bondsman, " as defined in the
Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5741- 5749, includes
any person who, within a 30-day period, becomes a surety or
indemnifies a surety pursuant to these rules in three or more
matters not arising under the same transaction, whether or
not the person charges a fee or receives compensation.
See 42 Pa.C.S. § 5741.]
"Bail bondsman, " as defined in the Judicial
Code, 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5741- 5750, includes a person
who engages in the business of giving bail as a surety for
compensation. See 42 Pa.C.S. § 5741.
"Surety, " as defined in the Judicial Code, 42
Pa.C.S. §§ 5741-5750, includes a person who pledges
security, whether or not for compensation, in exchange for
the release from custody of a person charged with a crime