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PA Rules of Civil Procedure

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This is not a page designed to give legal advice.

It is a collection of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure organized along the lines of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Pennsylvania Rules are in bad need of reorganization to make them easier to work with and understand. It is hoped that comments will be added by other attorneys regarding their experiences and recommendations with regard to specific rules.

The hope is to eventually recodify and renumber the rules similar to the way PA finally codified its rules of evidence several years ago. This is perhaps a difficult task and will, if successful, likely lead to a lot of teeth grinding due to the renumbering, but in the day and age of computerized research, legal research under the old and new numbering systems will not be too burdensome. The trade-off of having a much better organized and consistent set of rules will far outweight any other inconveniences even in the short run.

Here are the categories of the Federal RCP. This could be used as the starting point along with a few extra categories.

I. SCOPE OF RULES

II. COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION

III. PLEADINGS AND MOTIONS

IV. PARTIES

V. DEPOSITIONS AND DISCOVERY

VI. TRIALS

VII. JUDGMENT

VIII. PROVISIONAL AND FINAL REMEDIES

IX. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

X. DISTRICT COURTS AND CLERKS

XI. GENERAL PROVISIONS

XII. APPENDIX OF FORMS

XIII. SUPPLEMENTAL RULES FOR CERTAIN ADMIRALTY AND MARITIME CLAIMS


PA RCP Potential Categories

A. SCOPE, PURPOSE, and CONSTRUCTION OF RULES

B. COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION

C. SERVICE

D. PARTIES

E. PLEADINGS

F. PETITIONS

G. MOTIONS

H. DEPOSITIONS AND DISCOVERY

I. TRIALS

J. JUDGMENTS

K. PROVISIONAL AND FINAL REMEDIES

L. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

M. CIVIL COURT RECORDS AND CLERKS

N. GENERAL PROVISIONS

O. APPENDIX OF FORMS



With regard to numbering the rules, it is best to use integers with the same number of digits and grouped together roughly according to subject matter. The FRCP go up to Rule 86 while the PARCP are numbered in the thousands. I would start with Rule 1000 for the PARCP and go from there under the assumption that there will not be a need for a rule above 9999. It might also be possible to do Rule 100 to 999, but that will have to be seen.

Local Rules

Frequently the local rules will supplement the state rules will helpful suggestion rule or forms. These should be listed and considered for incorporation.


Format of Pleadings

Endorsement - Every pleading or other legal paper of a party represented by an attorney shall be endorsed with the name of the attorney, and every pleading or other legal paper of a party not represented by an attorney shall be endorsed with the name of the party, together in each case with an address where pleadings and other legal papers may be served in the manner provided by Rule 440(a) and a telephone number. The appearance may state a telephone facsimile number. (Pa.R.C.P. 1025)

Note: The address endorsed on the legal paper must be one where the paper may be handed to or mailed to the attorney or party. See Rule 440(a). The inclusion of a telephone number for facsimile transmission on an appearance or prior legal paper is an agreement to accept service of pleadings or other legal papers by that means. See Rule 440(d)(1).

Caption; Names of Parties - Every pleading shall contain a caption setting forth the name of the court, the number of the action and the name of the pleading. The caption of a complaint shall set forth the form of the action and the names of all the parties, but in other pleadings it is sufficient to state the name of the first party on each side in the complaint with an appropriate indication of other parties. (Pa.R.C.P. 1018)

Note: Civil Actions and proceedings shall be captioned "Court of Common Pleas of __________ County--Civil Action" or other appropriate form of action. The caption of all legal papers filed in a medical professional liability action must contain the designation "Civil Action--Medical Professional Liability Action." See Rule 1042.16.

Notice to Defend - (a) Every complaint filed by a plaintiff and every complaint filed by a defendant against an additional defendant shall begin with a notice to defend in substantially the form set forth in subdivision (b). No other notice to plead to a complaint shall be required.

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