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July 08, 2020

Phila. Civil Courts Set Protocol for Discovery Motions

Administrative Judge Allen and Supervising Judges Glazer and New have set new protocol for the handling of Discovery Motions filed after July 6 through September 7.

FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
PHILADELPHIA COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

TRIAL DIVISION - CIVIL
NOTICE TO THE BAR

PROTOCOL FOR DISCOVERY MOTIONS
FILED AFTER JULY 6, 2020 AND THROUGH SEPTEMBER 7, 2020

The Court has previously issued a Notice to the Bar on May 5, 2020 establishing a Protocol for Discovery Motions filed before May 5, 2020 and on May 27, 2020 extended the protocol through July 6, 2020. In order to facilitate the prompt resolution and docketing of discovery disputes that are filed after July 6, 2020, this Court is ordering that all parties follow this Protocol through September 7, 2020 or until further Notice to the Bar.

For all discovery motions that are filed after July 6, 2020 through September 7, 2020 the movant shall within 20 days of the date of filing the motion, file through the E- filing system an appropriate Praecipe for the Court’s review as contained in this Protocol.

The Praecipe must be filed in the EXISTING CASE section of the EFS under the filing category labeled CERTIFICATION REGARDING DISCOVERY MOTION.

  1. For all Discovery motions that are withdrawn, the moving party shall file a Praecipe to Withdraw, identifying the e-file number, and identifying the party or parties against whom the motion is pending, with the relief sought. See the attached form for the appropriate format to be used for this Praecipe to Withdraw.

  2. For all Discovery motions entered by agreement, the moving party must file a Praecipe to Enter Discovery Order By Agreement. The praecipe shall identify the e-file number, and identify the party or parties against whom the motion is pending, with the relief sought. Parties may stipulate to entry of sanctions or preclusion through the Praecipe to Enter Discovery Order By Agreement. This praecipe shall request that the Office of Judicial Records enter, upon Court review, the stipulated order marked BY AGREEMENT and prepared by counsel for the movant with an appropriate certification that the other party(s) agree to the terms of the stipulated order. Counsel for the movant shall retain written proof of the agreement/consent from all counsel in the matter to the stipulated order. See the attached form for the appropriate format to be used for the requisite praecipe and certification.

  3. For all uncontested Discovery motions, the moving party shall file a Praecipe to Enter Uncontested Discovery Order. The praecipe shall identify the e-file number, and identify the party or parties against whom the motion is pending, with the relief sought. Parties shall not seek entry of sanctions or preclusion through the Praecipe to Enter Uncontested Discovery Order. This praecipe shall request that the Office of Judicial Records enter, upon Court review, the stipulated order marked UNCONTESTED prepared by counsel for the movant with an appropriate certification that the motion is uncontested. Counsel for the movant shall retain written proof of the consent from all counsel in the matter to the stipulated order and the fact that it is uncontested. See the attached form for the appropriate format to be used for the requisite praecipe and certification.

  4. For all Discovery motions concerning any person or entity which is not a party to the applicable action (collectively referred to as a "Third-party") which are by agreement or uncontested, the moving party or person shall file a Praecipe to Enter Discovery Order Against a Third-party. The praecipe shall identify the e-file number, attach the motion cover sheet of the pending motion, and identify the Third-party or parties against whom the motion is pending, with the relief sought. Sanctions or orders for preclusion may be entered by agreement; however, no sanction or order for preclusion may be entered by way of uncontested motion. This praecipe shall request that the Office of Judicial Records, upon Court review, enter the stipulated order marked by agreement or uncontested with an appropriate certification that the motion is by agreement or uncontested. The certification shall also set forth the means of service of the motion and include a valid electronic means of contacting the third-party against whom the motion is pending. Counsel for the movant shall retain written proof of the consent from the third party to the stipulated order and the fact that it is by agreement or uncontested. See the attached form for the appropriate format of the requisite praecipe and certification to be used for submission to the court hereunder. Movant shall provide the third party with a copy of the Order.

  5. For all contested Discovery motions (including third-party motions), the moving party or person shall file a Praecipe for Contested Discovery Motion. The praecipe shall identify the e-file number, and identify the party or parties against whom the motion is pending, with the relief sought. This praecipe shall confirm that counsel for the movant has conferred or made reasonable efforts to confer with the opposing party or third-party and/or its counsel to resolve the dispute and despite reasonable efforts, the parties are unable to resolve the dispute without court intervention. The praecipe shall contain a notice to plead. See the attached form for the appropriate format to be used for this praecipe and certification. Upon receipt of the praecipe, the Office of Judicial Records shall assign the Discovery Motion a control number. Respondent(s) shall within 10 days of the filing of the praecipe file a response to the Contested Discovery Motion.

Notes:
Movants who have complied with this protocol for the filing of contested motions, but subsequently determine, prior to the hearing date, that the motion will either be agreed upon or be uncontested, shall file the appropriate praecipe with the Office of Judicial Records and immediately advise the Court via email to peter.divon@courts.phila.gov. The Movant must copy all parties of record with this email and attach the appropriate, revised praecipe designating the motion as uncontested or by agreement whichever is appropriate.

Be advised: All praecipe and certifications described above shall be made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 regarding unsworn falsifications to authorities.

Be advised: Any movant who does not comply with this Protocol may have their motion dismissed without prejudice. If a respondent does not comply with this protocol the motion may be granted as uncontested. Within 20 days from the date of such dismissal without prejudice, any party shall have the right to refile any motion which has been dismissed without prejudice as a result of failing to comply with this protocol.

Honorable Jacqueline F. Allen
Administrative Judge
Trial Division

Honorable Arnold L. New
Supervising Judge
Trial Division - Civil

Honorable Gary S. Glazer
Supervising Judge
Trial Division - Commerce

Attachments

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