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In re Order Amending Rules 140

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

January 2, 2018

IN RE: ORDER AMENDING RULES 140, 141, AND 142 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

         CRIMINAL PROCEDURAL RULES DOCKET

          ORDER

          PER CURIAM.

         AND NOW, this 2nd day of January, 2018, upon the recommendation of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee; the proposal having not been published before adoption pursuant to Pa.R.J.A. 103(a)(3) in the interests of justice and efficient administration, 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 Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure 140, 141, and 142 are amended, in the attached form.

         This ORDER shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(b), and shall be effective April 1, 2018.

         RULE 140. CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS BEFORE MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGES AND PITTSBURGH MAGISTRATES COURT JUDGES[, AND PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT JUDGES].

         (A) CONTEMPT IN THE PRESENCE OF THE COURT

         [1.] (1) An issuing authority may summarily hold an individual in contempt for misbehavior in the presence of the court that obstructs the administration of justice, and, after affording the individual an opportunity to be heard, may impose a punishment of a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days or both.

         [2.] (2) The issuing authority shall orally advise the contemnor of the right to appeal within 30 days for a trial de novo in the court of common pleas, and that:

[a.] (a) any punishment shall be automatically stayed for a period of 30 days from the date of the imposition of the punishment;
[b.] (b) if the contemnor files an appeal within the 30-day period, the stay will remain in effect pending disposition of the appeal;
[c.] (c) when the punishment is imprisonment, the contemnor has the right to assistance of counsel for the purpose of the de novo hearing in the court of common pleas, and, if the contemnor is without financial resources or otherwise unable to employ counsel, counsel will be assigned as provided in Rule 122;
[d.] (d) the contemnor must appear in the court of common pleas for the de novo hearing or the appeal may be dismissed; and
[e.] (e) unless a notice of appeal is filed within the 30-day period, on the date specified by the issuing authority, the contemnor must:
[(1)] (i) pay any fine imposed; and
[(2)] (ii) appear before the issuing authority for execution of any punishment of imprisonment.

         [3.] (3) The issuing authority shall issue a written order of contempt, in which the issuing authority shall:

[a.] (a) set forth the facts of the case that constitute the contempt;
[b.] (b) certify that the issuing authority saw or heard the conduct constituting the contempt, and that the contempt was committed in the actual presence of the issuing authority;
[c.] (c) set forth the punishment imposed, and the date on which the contemnor is to pay any fine or to appear for the execution of any punishment of imprisonment; and
[d.] (d) set forth the information specified in paragraph (A)(2).

         [4.] (4) The order of contempt shall be signed by the issuing authority, and a copy shall be given to the contemnor.

         (B) CONTEMPT NOT IN THE PRESENCE OF THE COURT

         [1.] (1) INSTITUTION OF PROCEEDINGS

[a.] (a) An issuing authority may institute contempt proceedings by either
[(1)] (i) giving written notice to the alleged contemnor of the time, date, and place of the contempt hearing, or
[(2)] (ii) when deemed appropriate by the issuing authority, issuing an attachment by means of a warrant,
whenever a person is alleged to have [(i)](a) failed to obey a subpoena issued by the issuing authority; [(ii)](b) failed to comply with an order of the issuing authority directing a defendant to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order; [(iii)](c) failed to comply with an order of an issuing authority directing a defendant to compensate a victim; or [(iv)](d) failed to comply with an order of an issuing authority in any case in which the issuing authority is by statute given the power to find the person in contempt.
[b.] (b) If the proceedings are instituted by notice, the notice shall:
[(1)] (i) specify the acts or omissions and the essential facts constituting the contempt charged;
[(2)] (ii) advise what the punishment may be for a finding of contempt in the case;

         [(3)] (iii) if, in the event of a finding of contempt, there is a likelihood that the punishment will be imprisonment, advise the alleged contemnor of the right to the assistance of counsel and that counsel will be assigned pursuant to Rule 122 if the alleged contemnor is without financial resources or is otherwise unable to employ counsel; and

         [(4)] (iv) advise the alleged contemnor that failure to appear at the hearing may result in the issuance of a bench warrant.

[c.] (c) The notice shall be served in person or by both first class and certified mail, return receipt requested.
[2.] (2) HEARING
[a.] (a) The hearing shall be conducted in open court, and the alleged contemnor shall be given a reasonable opportunity to defend.
[b.] (b) At the conclusion of the hearing:
[(1)] (i) The issuing authority in open court shall announce the decision, and, upon a finding of contempt, impose punishment, if any.
[(2)] (ii) If the issuing authority finds contempt and imposes punishment, the issuing authority shall orally advise the contemnor of the right to appeal within 30 days for a trial de novo in the court of common pleas, and that:
(a)any punishment shall be automatically stayed for a period of 30 days from the date of the imposition of the punishment;
(b) if the contemnor files an appeal within the 30-day period, the stay will remain in effect until disposition of the appeal;
(c) when the punishment is imprisonment, that the contemnor has the right to assistance of counsel for the purpose of the de novo hearing in the court of common pleas and, if the contemnor is without financial resources or otherwise unable to employ counsel, that counsel will be assigned as provided in Rule 122;
(d) the contemnor must appear in the court of common pleas for the de novo hearing or the appeal may be dismissed; and
(e) unless a notice of appeal is filed within the 30-day period, on the date specified by the issuing authority, the contemnor must:
(i) pay any fine imposed; and
(ii) appear before the issuing authority for execution of any punishment of imprisonment.

         [(3)] (iii) If the issuing authority finds contempt and imposes punishment, the issuing authority shall issue a written order of contempt setting forth:

(a) the facts of the case that constitute the contempt;
(b) the punishment imposed, and the date on which the contemnor is to pay any fine or to appear for the execution of any punishment of imprisonment; and
(c) the information specified in paragraph [(B)2.b(2)] (B)(2)(b)(ii).

         [(4)] (iv) The order of contempt shall be signed by the issuing authority, and a copy given to the contemnor.

         [(5)] (v) Whether or not the issuing authority finds an individual in contempt for failure to comply with an order to pay restitution or to pay fines and costs, the issuing authority may alter or amend the order. If the issuing ...


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