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MEETING MINUTES

Monday, November 6, 2017
By C. Edward S. Mitchell, Chairman

Attendance

Present were: Judge Anderson, Judge Gray, Jennifer Ayers, Richard Callahan, William Carlucci, Robert Elion, Michele Frey, C. Edward S. Mitchell, Joseph Rider, Clifford Rieders, Jeffrey Rowe, Adrianne Stahl, Ryan Tira, Thomas Waffenschmidt, J. Michael Wiley, David Wilk, Jeffrey Yates

Old Business

Court Calendar

The Court Calendar for 2018 has been published.

New Business

Judicial Assignments

There will be a new Judge participating in civil trials during the February 2018 term. It may be Judge Lovecchio.

Judge Lovecchio will continue to be the Judge assigned to mental health court.

After July 1, 2018, Judge McCoy will be assigned to Juvenile court.

The new Judge will be heavily involved in family law.

Federal Estate Tax

The Federal Estate Tax exemption for 2018 is presently $5,600,000.00.

In the case of a married couple, it may be advantageous to file a Federal Estate Tax Return on the first death in order to utilize the maximum benefit from the exemption.

The annual Federal Gift Tax exclusion for 2018 is $15,000.00.

Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania

There will be a new Judge participating in civil trials during the February 2018 term. It may be Judge Lovecchio.

Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania

The Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) has issued an Administrative Order restricting public access to confidential information. Beginning January 6, 2018, Court filings will need to delete certain confidential information. The AOPC has suggested alternatives for implementation by each County for implementation of the confidential data requirements. The two alternatives are the Confidential Information form or the Redacted/Unredacted filing form. Lycoming County has not yet selected its method.

Information on the requirements and restrictions on filing of confidential information can be found on the Unified Judicial System website at http://www.pacourts.us/public-records/public-records-policies

Uniform Arbitration Act

An amended and updated version of the Uniform Arbitration Act for Pennsylvania is being considered by the Pennsylvania Senate and General Assembly.

Prothonotary Filing Fees

There was a discussion of the fees being charged by the Prothonotary. It was suggested that the appearance fee and the termination fee be consolidated with the filing fee.

Law Library

The Law Library is being removed from the James V. Brown Library and returned to the Courthouse. It will be located in the current basement conference room. Arbitrations, which are now conducted in the basement conference room, will be moved to a conference room on the first floor between the office of Magisterial Judge Page and the Register and Recorder’s office. The Court has appointed a Law Library Committee.

Jury Questionnaires

Beginning in 2018, there will no longer be questionnaires completed and available for review prior to jury selection.

Jurors will be required to complete the questionnaires required by PA Rule of Criminal Procedure 632 at the time of reporting for jury selection. Those questionnaires will be available for attorney’s use at the time of jury selection.

The Court Administrator offered to consider an additional questionnaire for use in civil cases to be completed by prospective jurors at the time of reporting for jury duty.

A Committee previously met to discuss the questionnaire for use in civil cases. That Committee will be reconvened to make recommendations and requests to the Court Administrator. 

New Admissions

The date for swearing in of new members of the bar is December 1, 2017.

2018 Meetings

The meetings for 2018 will February 5, May 7, August 6 and November 5.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 5, 2018 at noon in the Law Association Executive Offices.

Respectfully submitted,

C. Edward S. Mitchell
Chairman