IN RE: ORDER AMENDING RULE 191 AND REVISING THE COMMENT TO RULE 140 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF JUVENILE COURT PROCEDURE
NOW, this 4th day of May, 2018, upon the
recommendation of the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules
Committee, the proposal having been published for public
comment at 47 Pa.B. 7010 (November 18, 2017):
Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution
of Pennsylvania that Pennsylvania Rule of Juvenile Court
Procedure 191 is amended and the Comment to Pennsylvania Rule
of Juvenile Court Procedure 140 is revised in the attached
Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No.
103(b), and shall be effective on July 1, 2018.
to the rule are shown in bold and are underlined. Deletions
from the rule are shown in bold and brackets.
COURT PROCEDURAL RULES COMMITTEE FINAL REPORT
of Pa.R.J.C.P. 191 and Revision of Comment to Pa.R.J.C.P. 140
4, 2018, the Supreme Court amended Rule of Juvenile Court
Procedure 191 to require that a juvenile be advised of the
right to challenge a juvenile court hearing officer
recommendation and for a colloquy and inquiry of
post-dispositional rights when a juvenile court hearing
officer recommends an adjudication of delinquency.
Additionally, the Comment to Rule of Juvenile Court Procedure
140 was revised to update references to Rule 191.
11, 2017, Rule 512(C) was amended to require a colloquy and
inquiry of post-dispositional rights by the court "after
entering disposition on the record." Pa.R.J.C.P.
512(C)(1); see also 47 Pa.B. 2969 (May 27, 2017).
Subsequently, a question arose whether the same
post-dispositional rights colloquy and inquiry should be
conducted when an adjudication of delinquency arises from a
recommendation of a juvenile court hearing officer.
not evident from the text of Rule 512 concerning
dispositional hearings that the requirements set forth in
Rule 512, especially paragraph (C), extended to proceedings
before a juvenile court hearing officer. Absent a reference
in Rule 191 to Rule 512(C), the Juvenile Court Procedural
Rules Committee ("Committee") did not believe that
the requirements of Rule 512(C) self-evidently applied to
matters arising from a juvenile court hearing officer. The
Committee believed it to be procedurally inconsistent for a
colloquy and inquiry to occur when a juvenile opts to have
the matter heard by a judge pursuant to Rule 187(C), but not
when a juvenile appears before a hearing officer for the same
case type, i.e., a misdemeanor.
191 was amended to add a new subparagraph (B)(2) to require a
colloquy and inquiry of post-dispositional rights when a
juvenile court hearing officer recommends an adjudication of
delinquency. While a hearing officer may preside over a range
of matters, see Pa.R.J.C.P. 187(A), the requirement applies
only to adjudications of delinquency to maintain a
parallelism with Rule 512(C) - the requirement does not apply
to non-adjudicatory matters such as detention hearings,
discovery, and uncontested dispositional reviews.
Further, a hearing officer recommendation lacks finality
until acted upon by a judge. Yet, a colloquy and inquiry at
that juncture would either require the juvenile to reappear
before the hearing officer or appear in front of the judge.
Therefore, the advisement of post-dispositional rights is
prospective in nature until a judge acts upon the juvenile
court hearing officer's recommendation. In practice, the
juvenile court hearing officer and the juvenile's counsel
should explain to the juvenile that the post-dispositional
rights are contingent and triggered upon on the court
there was no rule-based requirement that a juvenile be
advised of the right to challenge a juvenile court hearing
officer's recommendation pursuant to Rule 192. The
Committee concluded that the juvenile should be advised of
this right and it would be consistent for the rules to
contain such a requirement. See, e.g., Pa.R.J.C.P.
512(C) (requiring advisement of post-dispositional rights);
Pa.R.J.C.P. 620(E) (requiring order denying
post-dispositional motion to advise of appellate rights;
Pa.R.J.C.P. 628(A)(3) (requiring order disposing of motion