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Rule 208.2(c) - Statement of Authority

Where the authority for a motion is not self-evident, the motion shall cite a rule, statute or case which supports the requested relief and justifies the procedure utilized.

Rule 208.2(e) - Bucks County Rule of Civil Procedure

All motions filed pursuant to Bucks County Rule of Civil Procedure 4019(g)(1)(c) shall specifically allege what good faith efforts were made in an attempt to resolve the discovery dispute without court action, and shall include as attachments copies of any and all writings sent to respondent(s) which evidence such efforts.

Rule 208.3(a) - Scheduling and Hearing of Motions

(1) When a motion has been filed, the Court may take the following actions:

(a) Issue a rule to show cause and forward a copy thereof to the movant for service upon all respondents;
(b) Schedule a hearing;
(c) Enter an order disposing of the motion.

(2) When the Court issues a rule on a motion, it shall be governed by the provisions of Pa. R. C. P. Nos. 206.5 and 206.7. When appropriate, the Court may refuse to issue a rule. If proper service has been made and no response has been filed, the rule may be made absolute by filing a motion and order for same. When a response is filed in opposition, the motion shall be submitted to and decided by the court pursuant to Bucks County Rule of Civil Procedure No. 208.3(b).

(3) Applications which are deemed to be an emergency by the assigned judge may be presented to the court at a conference or hearing. Notice of the scheduling of such conference or hearing shall be transmitted to all counsel and unrepresented parties as directed by the assigned judge.

(4) A rule to show cause shall be served upon the respondents at least ten days prior to the return date, unless the Court shall specially authorize service within a shorter time. If for any reason satisfactory to the Court the petition and rule shall not have been served ten days before the return day, or the length of time specially authorized, the Court may extend the return day thereof on motion of any interested party.

Rule 208.3(b) - Alternative Procedures

(1) This rule shall govern disposition of:

(a) rules to show cause to which responses in opposition have been filed;

Note: See B.C.R.C.P. No. 208.3(a)(2) and 206.4(c)(4)(a).

(b) preliminary objections;

Note: See B.C.R.C.P. No. 1028(c).

(c) motions for judgment on the pleadings;

Note: See B.C.R.C.P. No. 1034(a).

(d) motions for summary judgment;

Note: See B.C.R.C.P. No. 1035.2(a).

(e) objections to written discovery requests; and

(f) such other miscellaneous applications as may be designated by the Court.

(2) Subject to the requirements of Pa.R.C.P. No. 206.7, when the matter is at issue and ready for decision, the moving party on the application shall, by praecipe, order the same to be submitted for disposition pursuant to this rule. The praecipe shall be substantially in the form set forth in Bucks County Rule of Civil Procedure 208.3(b)(7).
No pleading requiring a response under Pa.R.C.P. 1026 shall be moved for disposition under this rule until the time for response has lapsed.
The following shall accompany the praecipe and pleading being submitted for disposition:

(i) A proposed form of order;

(ii) A brief or memorandum of law in support of each position taken with regard to the disposition of the matter; and

(iii) A certificate establishing the date of service of the above documents on all counsel and unrepresented parties, and the addresses at which they were served.

Within ten days of the date of filing of the above praecipe and its accompanying documents, every party opposing the application of the moving party shall file a brief or memorandum of law with the clerk of the court, serving copies of same on all other parties. The Court, in its discretion, may extend the time for filing of briefs or memoranda of law.

(3) If any party shall fail to file a brief or memorandum of law on any issue presented for disposition by the judge within the time provided by subsection (b) hereof, or within the time as extended by the Court, the Court, in its discretion, may consider that such party has abandoned his position with respect to such issue for disposition.

(4) At the expiration of ten full days following the filing by the moving party of the praecipe mentioned in subsection (2) of this rule, the clerk shall forthwith deliver the whole record together with the file, the briefs or memoranda of law, to the judge to whom the case has been assigned.

(5) Subject to the requirements of Pa.R.C.P. No. 206.7, any other party may by praecipe forward a matter to the Court for dismissal of the application at issue when the party who submitted it does not comply with the provisions of subsection (2) of this rule. Written notice of the intent to file under this subsection shall be given to the party whose application is at issue at least ten days prior to such submission, during which period of time the non-complying party shall have the opportunity to come into compliance with the requirements of subsection (2). An affidavit of service of such notice shall accompany the praecipe filed under this subsection. A proposed form of order shall also accompany the praecipe. For the purpose of Pa.R.C.P. No. 206.7, a party initiating action under this subsection shall be considered the petitioner.

(6) Unless oral argument has been requested by the moving party in the praecipe, or by any other party within the 10-day period specified in subsection (2) hereof, the matter shall be disposed of by written order, forthwith or after such further proceedings including oral argument as may be required by the Court. If oral argument has been requested by a party or otherwise required by the Court, the Court may schedule the case for argument either by telephone conference, argument in chambers or in open Court within thirty (30) days of the filing of the praecipe. Disposition of the matter shall then proceed pursuant to the provisions of Bucks County Rule of Civil Procedure *210(a) and (b), the Court fixing the time and order of filing of briefs. Argument before an en banc panel shall be at the sole discretion of the Court.

(7) The praecipe shall be substantially in the following form:

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

_________________________ : No. _________________
v. :
_________________________ :

Praecipe Under Bucks County Rule of Civil Procedure 208.3(b)

TO THE PROTHONOTARY:

Please refer the above-captioned matter to the assigned judge for disposition.
Oral argument is is not requested. (CHECK ONE)
Matter for disposition:
_______________________________________________________
(signature)_________________
(name)____________________
(Attorney I.D. #)____________ 

 

Explanatory Comment to Bucks County Rule of Civil Procedure 208.3(b) 

This comment is not meant to be comprehensive, but is to be used as a guide to implementing Rule 208.3(b).

Rule 208.3(b)(1)

Rule 208.3(b) is to be used for matters that must be decided on the merits by the Court.  Routine matters, such as issuing a Rule to Show Cause or fixing a hearing date, are not subject to Rule 208.3(b).

  1. Applications at Issue [when to file a 208.3(b) Praecipe]

    The following applications are at issue when noted, and require the filing of a Rule 208.3(b) praecipe to bring them before the Court for disposition:

    A. Preliminary Objections may be at issue when filed if no material facts not of record are alleged.

    Preliminary Objections not at issue when filed, i.e., those raising material issues of fact not of record, require a Notice to Plead.  The Rule 208.3(b) praecipe may not be filed until the time for a response under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1028 has lapsed or a timely response has been filed.

    Examples of Preliminary Objections not at issue at the time of filing:

    1. Those raising a question of jurisdiction or venue, or attacking the form of service of a writ or complaint [Pa.R.C.P. No. 1028(a)(1)];
    2. Those raising the defense of lack of capacity to sue, non-joinder of a necessary party or misjoinder of a cause of action [Pa.R.C.P. No. 1028(a)(5)];
    3. Those raising the pendency of a prior action or agreement for alternate dispute resolution [Pa.R.C.P. No. 1028(a)(6)].b.  

    B. Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings are treated as at issue when filed.  However, the moving party may wait for a response, then file a Rule 208.3(b) praecipe.

    C. Motions for Summary Judgment are not at issue until the 30-day response period provided by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1035.3(a) has lapsed.  When that period has expired, the moving party may file a Rule 208.3(b) praecipe.

    D. Objections to written discovery are considered at issue when propounded.  For the purposes of Rule 208.3(b), the objecting party is the moving party.  The proponent of the discovery to which the objection is made is the non-moving party, and may therefore use Rule 208.3(b)(5) to expedite the matter.  A copy of the discovery and responses must be attached by the party moving the objections for disposition under Rule 208.3(b).

    E. Other applications upon which the Court issues a Rule to Show Cause are at issue when a response opposing the application is filed.

  2. Rules to Show Cause

    If the nature of the application is such that the moving party is not entitled to relief as a matter of course, the application will proceed by Rule to Show Cause.

    If after the entry of a Rule to Show Cause a response is filed opposing the relief requested by the moving party, the petitioner may proceed under Pa.R.C.P. No. 206.7 to take depositions.  If after service of the Rule in accordance with B.C.R.C.P. No. 206.4(c)(2) no response opposing the relief requested by the moving party is filed by the rule returnable date, a Motion to Make Rule Absolute may be filed by the moving party.

    Examples of applications requiring a Rule to Show Cause:

    • Petition to Open/Strike Judgment
    • Petition to Open/Strike Confessed Judgment
    • Motion to Amend
    • Motion to Consolidate
    • Motion to Join Additional Defendant
    • Motion to Appoint Neutral Arbitrator
    • Petition to Reactivate Case Marked Terminated
    • Motion to Withdraw as Counsel
    • Motion for Judgment Non Pros
    • Petition for Interpleader

    Generally, applications that are not at issue when filed will require a Rule to Show Cause.   Exceptions to this general rule are motions for hearing, discovery motions, and applications governed by the provisions of specific statutes and rules.  Some examples of applications governed by specific statues and rules are Petitions for Judicial Change of Name (54 Pa.C.S.A. §701), Petitions for Supplementary Relief in Aid of Execution (Pa.R.C.P. No. 3118) and Petitions for Court Approval of Transfer of Structured Settlement Rights (40 P.S. §4000 et seq.).

  3. Discovery Motions
    1. Motion for Protective Order – proceed by Rule to Show Cause
    2. Objections to Discovery – proceed to disposition under Rule 208.3(b)
    3. Motion to Compel – proceed under Pa.R.C.P. No. 4019(g)(1) and B.C.R.C.P. No. 4019(g)(1)*(a)
    4. Motion for Discovery Sanctions – proceed under Pa.R.C.P. No. 4019(g)(1) and B.C.R.C.P. No. 4019(g)(1)*(b)

Rule 208.3(b)(2)

Rule 208.3(b) is subject to Pa.R.C.P. No. 206.7 and B.C.R.C.P. No. 206.7*(e).  A record should be made as to any material issues of fact pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 206.7 and B.C.R.C.P. No. 206.7*(e) before the matter is moved for disposition under B.C.R.C.P. No. 208.3(b).

Rule 208.3(b)(5)

An application at issue may be moved for disposition by the Court under Rule 208.3(b) only by the moving party on the application, not by the non-moving party.  A non-moving party who wishes to expedite a decision on an application at issue must do so in accordance with the procedure set forth in Rule 208.3(b)(5).

Rule 208.3(b)(7)

Unless the praecipe refers specifically to Rule 208.3(b) or 208.3(b)(5)(as the circumstance dictates), the application will not be docketed and treated as a matter for disposition under Rule 208.3(b) or 208.3(b)(5).  Further, attaching a Rule 208.3(b) praecipe to an application when one is not required or appropriate will delay processing of the attached motion in the Prothonotary’s office.

 

 Praecipe

 Rule

 Proposed Order=

Order for Hearing

Rule 4019 (g)(1)*(a) Order

 Motion/ Petition=

Brief

Certificate of Service

Affidavit of Service==

208.3(b)
(when at issue)

 

X

 

X

 

 

X

X

X

 

208.3(b)(5)
(when at issue)

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

Rule to Show Cause

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

Motion for Sanctions

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

Motion to Compel

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

Motion for Rule Absolute

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

Motion for Reconsideration

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

Stipulations

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

= Motion/Petition and Proposed Order refer to the application submitted for disposition.  Under most circumstances they will be filed prior to the filing of a Rule 208.3(b) praecipe.  If they have been filed previously, they need not be refiled with the praecipe.

== See Pa.R.C.P. No. 76 for the definition of “affidavit.”