IN RE: ORDER ADOPTING NEW RULE, AMENDING RULES AND AND REVISING THE COMMENT TO RULE OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
NOW, this 5th day of January, 2018, upon
the recommendation of the Criminal Procedural Rules
Committee; the proposal having been published before adoption
at 47 Pa.B. 4674 (August 12, 2017), and a Final
Report to be published with this ORDER:
Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution
of Pennsylvania that Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure
113.1 is adopted, Rules of Criminal Procedure 560 and 575 are
amended and the Comment to Pennsylvania Rule of
Criminal Procedure 578 is revised, in the attached form.
Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No.
103(b), and shall be effective January 6, 2018.
to the rules are shown in bold and are underlined. Deletions
from the rules are shown in bold and brackets.
is an entirely new rule.)
113.1. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION AND CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS.
public access is otherwise constrained by applicable
authority, any attorney, or any party if unrepresented, or
any affiant who files a document pursuant to these rules with
the clerk of court's office shall comply with the
requirements of Sections 7.0 and 8.0 of the Public Access
Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case
Records of the Appellate and Trial Courts (Policy). In
accordance with the Policy, the filing shall include a
certification of compliance with the Policy and, as
necessary, a Confidential Information Form, unless otherwise
specified by rule or order of court, or a Confidential
Document Form. Nothing in this rule applies to any document
filed with a magisterial district judge.
Comment: "Applicable authority, " as used
in this rule, includes but is not limited to statute,
procedural rule, or court order. The Public Access Policy of
the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of
the Appellate and Trial Courts (Policy) can be found on the
website of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at:
http://www.pacourts.us/public-records. The Policy is
applicable to all filings by the parties or an affiant in any
criminal court case.
Sections 7.0(D) and 8.0(D) of the Policy provide that the
certification shall be in substantially the following form:
I certify that this filing complies with the provisions of
the Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of
Pennsylvania: Case Records of the Appellate and Trial Courts
that require filing confidential information and documents
differently than non-confidential information and documents.
Filings may require further precautions, such as placing
certain types of information in a "Confidential
Information Form." The Confidential Information Form and
the Confidential Document Form can be found at:
In lieu of the Confidential Information Form, Section 7.0(C)
of the Policy provides for a court to adopt a rule or order
permitting the filing of a document in two versions, a
"Redacted Version" and an "Unredacted
In addition to the restrictions above, a filing party should
be cognizant of the potential impact that inclusion of
personal information may have on an individual's privacy
rights and security. Therefore, inclusion of such information
should be done only when necessary or required to effectuate
the purpose of the filing. Consideration of the use of
sealing or protective orders also should be given if
inclusion of such information is necessary.
While the Policy is not applicable to orders or other
documents filed by a court, judges should give consideration
to the privacy interests addressed by the Policy when
drafting an order that might include information considered
confidential under the Policy.
NOTE: New Rule 113.1 adopted January 5, 2018, effective
January 6, 2018.
Report explaining the provisions of the new rule published
with the Court's Order at 48 Pa.B. (, 2018).
560. INFORMATION: FILING, CONTENTS, FUNCTION.
After the defendant has been held for court following a
preliminary hearing or an indictment, the attorney for the
Commonwealth shall proceed by preparing an information and
filing it with the court of common pleas.
information shall be signed by the attorney for the
Commonwealth and shall be valid and sufficient in law if it
(1) a caption showing that the prosecution is carried on in
the name of and by the authority of the Commonwealth of
(2) the name of the defendant, or if the defendant is
unknown, a description of the defendant as nearly as may be;
(3) the date when the offense is alleged to have been
committed if the precise date is known, and the day of the
week if it is an essential element of the offense charged,
provided that if the precise date is not known or if the
offense is a continuing one, an allegation that it was
committed on or about any date within the period fixed by the
statute of limitations shall be sufficient;
(4) the county where the offense is alleged to have been
(5) a plain and concise statement of the essential elements
of the offense substantially the same as or cognate to the
offense alleged in the complaint;
(6) a concluding statement that "all of which is against
the Act of Assembly and the peace and dignity of the
Commonwealth[.]" ; and
(7)a certification that the information complies with
the provisions of the Public Access Policy of the Unified
Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of the
Appellate and Trial Courts regarding confidential information
information shall contain the official or customary citation
of the statute and section thereof, or other provision of law
that the defendant is alleged therein to have violated; but
the omission of or error in such citation shall not affect
the validity or sufficiency of the information.
all court cases tried on an information, the issues at trial
shall be defined by such information.
COMMENT: The attorney for the Commonwealth may electronically
prepare, sign, and transmit the information for filing.
Before an information is filed, the attorney for the
Commonwealth may withdraw one or more of the charges by
filing a notice of withdrawal with the clerk of courts.
See Rule 561(A). Upon the filing of an information,
any charge not listed on the information will be deemed
withdrawn by the attorney for the Commonwealth. See
Rule 561(B). After the information is filed, court approval
is required before a nolle prosequi may be entered
on a charge listed therein. See Rule 585.
In any case in which there are summary offenses joined with
the misdemeanor, felony, or murder charges that are held for
court, the attorney for the Commonwealth must include the
summary offenses in the information. See Commonwealth v.
Hoffman, [406 Pa. Super. 583');">406 Pa. Super. 583, ] 594
A.2d 772 (Pa. Super. 1991).
See Rule 113.1 regarding the Public Access Policy of
the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of
the Appellate and Trial Courts and the requirements regarding
filings and documents that contain confidential
When there is an omission or error of the type referred to in
paragraph (C), the information should be amended pursuant to
See Rule 543(D) for the procedures when a defendant fails to
appear for the preliminary hearing. When the preliminary
hearing is held in the defendant's absence and the case
is held for court, the attorney for the Commonwealth should
proceed as provided in this rule.
See Chapter 5 Part E for the procedures governing
indicting grand juries. As explained in the Comment
to Rule 556.11, when the grand jury indicts the defendant,
this is the functional equivalent to holding the defendant
for court following a preliminary hearing.
NOTE: Rule 225 adopted February 15, 1974, effective
immediately; Comment revised January 28, 1983,
effective July 1, 1983; amended August 14, 1995, effective
January 1, 1996; renumbered Rule 560 and amended March 1,
2000, effective April 1, 2001; Comment revised April
23, 2004, effective immediately; Comment revised
August 24, 2004, effective August 1, 2005; Comment
revised March 9, 2006, effective September 1, 2006; amended
June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days [.] ;
amended January 5, 2018, effective January 6,
* * * *
Report explaining the August 14, 1995 amendments published
with the Court's Order at ...