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Title 255—LOCAL COURT RULES

BUCKS COUNTY

Order Promulgating Rules of Civil Procedure 212.7 Case Management Orders, 212.8 Case Intervention Program and 241 Attorney and Party Contact Information; Administrative Order No. 94

[49 Pa.B. 2912]
[Saturday, June 8, 2019]

Order

And Now, this 15th day of May 2019, pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 239, Bucks County Rules of Civil Procedure 212.7 Case Management Orders, 212.8 Case Intervention Program and 241 Attorney and Party Contact Information, are promulgated as follows:

Rule 212.7. Case Management Orders.

 (a) Case Management Orders may be submitted for Court approval by agreement of all parties to a matter by filing with the Office of the Prothonotary. Such agreed Case Management Orders shall be substantially in the form approved by the Court and available at http://buckscounty.org/Courts/DocketForms. At a minimum, every agreed Case Management Order shall contain the following, subject to rejection from filing by the Office of the Prothonotary or the Office of the Court Administrator:

 (1) current contact information for all parties and counsel, including mailing address, telephone number, and email address;

 (2) the type of proceeding necessary, i.e., arbitration or trial;

 (3) the estimated amount of time, in days, necessary for such proceeding; and

 (4) the date on which the Office of the Court Administrator shall consider the matter ready for listing for arbitration or trial.

Note: This rule does not apply to cases requiring a date certain trial listing. A case management order in such cases will be entered only after a conference with the Office of the Court Administrator, Calendar, or other designated Court staff. See http://buckscounty.org/Courts/CourtAdministration/Calendar for more information regarding date certain listing.

 A specific date, i.e., month, date and year, on which the case will be considered ready for listing is required to be included in an agreed Case Management Order. A general, indefinite or contingent time frame, e.g., ''30 days from the disposition of any motion for summary judgment,'' is not acceptable and will subject the order to rejection by the Prothonotary or the Office of the Court Administrator.

 (b) Amendments to Case Management Orders are discouraged, but may be submitted by agreement of all parties and shall meet the minimum requirements of subsection (a) above.

 (c) In the case that the parties are unable to reach agreement as to the terms of a Case Management Order or an amendment thereof, any party may file a motion for a case management conference. Upon review of the motion and in the Court's discretion, a conference may be scheduled at which the sole issue before the Court shall be determination and entry of a Case Management Order.

Rule 212.8. Case Intervention Program.

 (a) The Court will enter a Case Intervention Order on or about the date one year from the date of initial filing in all civil cases, excluding Family Court matters, which have not been:

 - listed for trial or arbitration;

 - made subject to a Case Management Order; or

 - otherwise resolved of record.

Note: This rule does not apply to any action filed in the Criminal and Orphans' Court divisions. For the purpose of this rule, ''Family Court matters'' are actions before the Domestic Relations Section, including actions pursuant to the Protection from Abuse Act (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1901 et seq.), actions for Support (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.1 et seq.), actions for Custody (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.1 et seq.), and actions for Divorce (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.1 et seq).

 (b) The Case Intervention Order will direct the parties, within seven months of entry of the order, to:

 (1) list the matter for trial or arbitration pursuant to B.C.R.C.P. No. *261;

 (2) submit to the Court an agreed Case Management Order in a required form promulgated by the Court; or

 (3) where the parties believe the case will require a date certain trial listing, take the appropriate steps for entry of a date certain Case Management Order.

Note: See http://buckscounty.org/Courts/CourtAdministration/Calendar for information regarding date certain listing.

 (c) Should the parties fail to take one of the three actions enumerated by the Case Intervention Order within the given seven month time frame, the Court will enter a Case Management Order, sua sponte, which will authorize the Court Administrator to list the matter for trial or arbitration at any time after 22 months have passed from the date of initial filing.

 (d) Amendment of any Case Management Order entered sua sponte will not be ordered by the Court absent agreement of all parties or extraordinary circumstances.

Explanatory Comment: The purpose of this rule is to create a procedure whereby all civil cases will be either subject to a Case Management Order or eligible to be listed for arbitration or trial prior to the passage of two years from the date of initial filing.

 An agreed Case Management Order form has been promulgated by the Court, and any agreed Case Management Order must comply in substance with that form. See B.C.R.C.P. No. 212.7, Case Management Orders, for further information.

 Where the parties fail to list the matter for trial or arbitration, or to agree to the terms of a Case Management Order within seven months of entry of the Case Intervention Order, it is the Court's intent that the sua sponte Case Management Order will be final and binding. As such, except by agreement among all parties, any sua sponte Case Management Order will not be amended absent truly extraordinary circumstances. Discovery disputes, outstanding motions and attorney/witness availability will not be considered ''extraordinary circumstances'' for the purposes of this rule.

Rule 241. Attorney and Party Contact Information.

 (a) It is the sole responsibility of attorneys and unrepresented parties in matters before the Court to maintain current and accurate contact information with the Court. The term ''contact information'' shall include a valid mailing address and telephone number for the attorney or unrepresented party, and if the attorney or unrepresented party is a registered e-filer, it shall further include a valid email address for the party or attorney.

 (b) The failure of any attorney or unrepresented party to maintain current and accurate contact information with the Court may result in the attorney or unrepresented party failing to receive timely notice of Court orders, scheduled case events and other proceedings. Such failure will not be considered by the Court as an excuse for the attorney's or unrepresented party's failure to timely file responsive documents, appear for scheduled proceedings, or comply with Court orders.

Note: A form Praecipe for Change of Address/Contact Information has been approved by the Court and is available at http://buckscounty.org/government/RowOfficers/Prothonotary/Forms. A valid email address must be provided when registering to use to Prothonotary's e-filing system, and may be updated as necessary using that system.

 This Rule shall take effect thirty (30) days from the date of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

By the Court

WALLACE H. BATEMAN, Jr., 
President Judge

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-854. Filed for public inspection June 7, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]



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