Local Rules of Civil Procedure 1920.51(a) and 1920.51(b); No. 374 of 2019 GD

[49 Pa.B. 1021]
[Saturday, March 9, 2019]


And Now, this 19th day of February, 2019, pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Judicial Administration 103(d), it is hereby ordered that Fayette County Local Rules of Civil Procedure 1920.51(a) and 1920.51(b) are hereby amended as follows, effective 30 days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 The Prothonotary is directed as follows:

 (1) One copy of this order shall be filed with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

 (2) Two copies and CD-ROM of this order shall be distributed to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 (3) One copy shall be sent to the Fayette County Law Library and the Editor of the Fayette Legal Journal.

 The Administrative Office of Fayette County Courts is directed as follows:

 (1) Publish a copy of this order on the website of Administrative Office of Fayette County Courts.

 (2) Amend the complete set of Fayette County Local Rules no later than 30 days following the publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

By the Court

President Judge

Rule 1920.51(a). Appointment of Master, Master's Fee, Transcript Costs.

 (a) The moving party shall file a Motion for Appointment of Master and deposit the sum of $750.00 for the master's services with the Prothonotary prior to the time that a master is appointed.

 (b) Subject to the direction of the court, the master shall have procedural and administrative control of the proceedings in regard to the detention of witnesses for examination and the general course of the proceedings. The master shall rule on objections to competency, relevancy of testimony, and admissibility of evidence. If the master sustains an objection, the testimony shall not be heard or reported. Parties may file exceptions to the master's rulings.

 (c) The master shall satisfy himself or herself of the jurisdiction of the Court and of the formal sufficiency and regularity of the record. If not so satisfied, the master shall afford the parties an opportunity to make the necessary corrections, and if they are not made within a reasonable time, shall report to the Court for its instruction.

 (d) The master shall receive one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) per hour for all services including conducting hearings, researching, and writing reports.

 (e) To receive compensation, the master shall file:

 (1) the report and recommendation or a marital settlement agreement with a statement that the matter has settled;

 (2) a proposed order for equitable distribution, if warranted;

 (3) a decree for divorce, if divorce is recommended; and

 (4) an invoice for services detailing the date and time expended in quarter-hour increments.

 (f) Should the master's services exceed the deposit, the master shall petition the Court by routine motion for additional compensation for actual time worked detailing the date and time expended in quarter-hour increments. A petition for additional compensation shall not toll the deadline for the master to file the report.

 (g) Unless otherwise ordered by Court, the Prothonotary shall pay no master's fee until the master files the report.

 (h) The court reporter or transcriptionist shall abide by the format of transcripts and be paid transcript costs in accordance with Pennsylvania Rules of Judicial Administration Rules 4001 et seq.

 (i) In the event that a hearing is canceled by the master with less than twenty-four hours' notice, an appearance fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) shall be paid to the court reporter.

 (j) Should the master's services and transcription costs not exceed the deposit, the Prothonotary shall return the balance to the paying party.

Rule 1920.51(b). Notice of and Time for Master's Hearing.

 (a) The master shall establish a hearing date and give at least ten (10) days written notice of the time and place of all hearings to attorneys of record and unrepresented parties in accordance with Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1920.51(b).

 (b) Additional hearings before a master shall be concluded within thirty (30) days of the initial date of hearing unless the time is extended by written consent of the parties filed of record in the Prothonotary or by Court Order.

 (c) The master shall promptly file notice of all hearing dates and continuances with the Prothonotary.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-318. Filed for public inspection March 8, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]

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