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Notice:  The Lycoming County Orphans' Court Rules have been, in part, vacated by order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, effective 9/1/2016. New rules have been proposed, but they are currently under review by the Supreme Court Orphans' Court Rules Committee. The vacated rules have been removed from this page, except to the extent that the proposed new rules will maintain existing procedures. A comprehensive update to these electronic rules will await final approval of new rules. Caution should be exercised in relying on the vacated Lycoming County Rules. Many of the vacated rules have been superseded by new state general rules.


L3.4. Motion Procedure. Cover Sheet. The procedure set forth in this section shall apply to every request for relief and/or application to the court for an order, whether by petition, motion, exception, or stipulation, that the filing party desires to bring before the court.

A. A cover sheet substantially in the form set forth in subsection G of this section shall be attached to the front of every request for a court order to which this rule applies. Any request for relief on the front of which an applicable rule of procedure requires a specific order or notice to be attached, shall include that order or notice directly following the cover sheet.

B. The cover sheet shall consist of only one page. Captions may be abbreviated. If additional space is necessary to list counsel and unrepresented parties, a separate sheet may be attached. The filing party or counsel shall be responsible for identifying all parties and others to be given notice or their counsel on the cover sheet. If a party was not served with a copy of the executed cover sheet as a result of an omission of the filing party, the argument or hearing may be rescheduled or, in the discretion of the court, the request for relief may be denied.

C. If a cover sheet is not attached as required by this rule, the court may choose not to act upon the request for relief until an appropriate cover sheet is filed. If the filing party does not attach a cover sheet as required by this rule, a cover sheet, along with a copy of the original motion may be filed by any party, or the court.

D. If expedited consideration by the court is requested or required by statute or rule of procedure, the reason for such consideration shall be set forth on the cover sheet.

E. A proposed order granting the relief requested shall be attached to the cover sheet.

F. The court shall schedule argument, hearing or briefing as the court may require, note the scheduling information on the cover sheet, and issue the scheduling order appearing on the cover sheet. The clerk shall docket and promptly forward the completed cover sheet to all parties identified on the cover sheet.

G. The form of the cover sheet shall be substantially as follows: [Download in Word or Adobe PDF]

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS, LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
ORPHANS’ COURT MOTION COVER SHEET

Caption (may be abbreviated)                     Docket No.
                                                                Case assigned to Judge __________
                                                                  Family Court Hearing Officer/Auditor ____________

1. Name of filing party:

2. Filing party’s attorney:

3. Type of filing:

4. The following is/are requested:

□ Argument
□ Evidentiary Hearing
□ Court conference
□ Pretrial conference
□ Entry of uncontested order
(attach supporting documentation)
□ Expedited consideration. State the basis:
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
□ Issuance of a Citation
□ Video conferencing requested. Request form has been submitted. See Lyc. Co. R.G.C.B. L8.
□ Attach this cover sheet to original motion previously filed on: __________

5. Time required: _________

6. Names and addresses of all counsel, unrepresented parties and interested parties (including CASA representative, if appointed) and indicate if anyone is incarcerated:

Court Scheduling Technician
□ Continued on separate sheet.

ORDER

1. An ___ argument ___ factual hearing ___ court conference is scheduled for at m. in courtroom no. , Lycoming County Courthouse, Williamsport, PA.
2. ____ Pretrial memos including witness list and exhibits are to be filed by the following dates:
     Filing party: ____________________________________
     Responding party(ies): ____________________________________
3. ____  A response to the motion/petition shall be filed as follows: _____________________________.
4. ____ Petitioner shall ensure service of this scheduling order on all parties and interested persons within _______ days of the date of this order and shall provide the court with proof of service at least _______ working days prior to the scheduled proceeding.
5. _______________________________________________ is appointed as guardian ad litem for the child/alleged incapacitated person and petitioner shall serve a copy of this scheduling order on the appointed attorney. The appointed attorney is to be reimbursed at the rate of ___________.
6. ____ See order attached. ____ See separate order issued this date.
7.  ____Other_______________________________________________________.

             ___________________________        _________________
                  Judge                                            Date

cc: ALL PARTIES OR OTHERS TO BE SERVED WITH NOTICE MUST BE DESIGNATED IN “6” ABOVE.

NOTICE: The parties are directed to confer for the purpose of resolving any issue raised in the motion/petition. If a resolution is reached prior to the scheduled date, the moving party shall immediately notify the court scheduling technician, the judge or hearing officer assigned to hear the matter, and all counsel of record or parties if unrepresented. Such notice may be in writing or by email.


L6.11. Confirmation of Accounts.

A. All accounts and statements of proposed distribution for which proper notice has been given shall be confirmed by the clerk on the first Tuesday of each month, unless that day is a holiday, in which event, confirmation shall be made the next day. Confirmation shall occur at least thirty-nine (39) days from the date of filing of the account and statement of proposed distribution. When the next confirmation day is fewer than thirty-nine (39) days from the date of filing, the account and statement of proposed distribution shall be confirmed on the following date. When confirmed, the statement of proposed distribution shall thereupon become the decree of distribution.

B. Exception. No account and statement of proposed distribution shall be confirmed until the clerk receives from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue the Notice of Inheritance Tax Appraisement Allowance or Disallowance of Deductions and Assessments of Tax indicating that the tax has been paid in full. Upon receipt of the notice, if the account and statement of proposed distribution are otherwise ready for confirmation, the clerk shall immediately confirm the account and statement of proposed distribution. The statement of proposed distribution shall thereupon become the decree of distribution.

L8.1. Notice of Auditor's or Master's Hearing. Notice of hearings to be held by a master or auditor shall be given as provided by Pa.O.C. Rule 5.1. All those given notice of the request for the appointment of an auditor or master and all other parties in interest shall be given notice under this rule.

L8.6. Notice of Filing Auditor's or Master's Report. At the time of filing the report an auditor and master shall give notice of the filing of his report to all parties in interest and shall state that in the absence of exceptions his report will be confirmed twenty (20) days after the date on which the auditor or master shall have filed his report.

L8.7. Confirmation of Report.

A. If no exceptions are taken to an auditor's report within twenty (20) days of the date of its filing, the clerk shall confirm the auditor's report. When confirmed, the statement of proposed distribution found in the auditor's report shall become the decree of distribution.

B. When exceptions are filed to the report of an auditor, the court shall hear the exceptions and either: (1) confirm the auditor's report, whereupon the statement of proposed distribution found in the auditor's report shall become the decree of distribution, or (2) if the auditor has made an error of law or abused his or her discretion, modify the auditor's report and enter an appropriate decree of distribution.

L14.1. Incapacitated Persons

A. Notice in matters involving adjudication of incapacity or appointment or removal of a guardian for an incapacitated person is required on all persons who are sui juris and are heirs of the alleged or adjudicated incapacitated person, as defined by the intestacy laws of Pennsylvania. Such notice is required even if the person does not reside within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

B. Notice required in matters involving adjudication of incapacity or appointment or removal of a guardian for an incapacitated person, other than notice upon the alleged or adjudicated incapacitated person, shall be by personal service, by service in such manner as the court directs and/or as directed by statute in that particular case; or may be made by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the known or last known address. In the latter case, a certificate of service shall be prepared and filed verifying that the address used is the proper known or last known address, and attaching a postal service certificate of mailing.

C. Notice and Service. The petition shall include a notice and citation as prescribed by the Pennsylvania Orphans’ Court Rules. Petitioner shall be responsible for obtaining a completed notice and citation from the clerk, and petitioner shall be responsible for proper service of the petition, notice and citation. In all cases, service of the petition, notice and citation shall be made upon the alleged or adjudicated incapacitated person by personal service by the sheriff or by any other competent adult, and the person making such service shall read to the alleged or adjudicated incapacitated person the petition, notice and citation, and then for a second time the notice and citation. The person making service shall explain the contents to the extent possible.

D. Service of emergency guardianship petition.

(1) Service of emergency guardianship petition on incapacitated person. Petitioner shall serve the emergency guardianship petition in person on the alleged incapacitated person at least 48 hours prior to the emergency hearing and within 48 hours of the hearing date and time being scheduled. In the event there is not 48 hours between the time the hearing is scheduled and the hearing date and time, petitioner shall serve the emergency guardianship petition in person on the alleged incapacitated person within a reasonable amount of time prior to the emergency guardianship hearing. What is a reasonable amount of time shall depend upon the circumstances, such as the amount of time that exists between the time the hearing is scheduled and the actual hearing date. It shall be in the court’s discretion to determine the timeliness of the service. Petitioner must offer evidence via affidavit and be prepared to present testimony to prove the reasonableness of the service.

(2) Service of emergency guardianship petition on sui juris, agents under a power of attorney, residential service providers, and other service providers. Petitioner shall serve the emergency guardianship petition on all persons who are sui juris and would be entitled to share in the estate of the alleged incapacitated person if he or she died intestate at that time (even if the person does not reside within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), on the agents under the alleged incapacitated person’s power of attorney, on the person or institution providing residential services to the alleged incapacitated person, and on such other parties as the court may direct, including other service providers, in any reasonable manner and within a reasonable amount of time prior to the emergency guardianship hearing. Any reasonable manner shall include service in person or by telephone, facsimile, mail, or electronic transmission depending upon the circumstances. However, service by telephone alone shall not be the favored method and shall be used only in circumstances where the other methods of service would not be timely. What is a reasonable amount of time shall depend upon the circumstances, such as the amount of time that exists between the time the hearing is scheduled and the actual hearing date. It shall be in the court’s discretion to determine if the manner and timeliness of the service were reasonable. Petitioner must offer evidence via affidavit and be prepared to present testimony to prove that the manner and timeliness of the service were reasonable.

E. Return of Service. Petitioner is responsible for filing a return of service conforming to Pa.R.C.P. No. 405, which also confirms that the contents of the notice and citation of the petition were read and, to the extent possible, explained, to the respondent as set forth in paragraph C, above.

F. Petition. A petition for adjudication of incapacity and/or for appointment of a guardian of the estate of the person shall be substantially in the form prescribed by Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L17.9, and shall contain all the items of information referred to therein. Language used in the petition should be easily understood. It is recommended that an affidavit of a physician or clinical psychologist be attached which contains a description of the physical and mental condition, any functional limitations and whether or not the respondent would be harmed by attendance at the proceeding to determine incapacity.

G. Status report on legal representation. At least 14 days prior to the date established for hearing on the petition, petitioner shall file in duplicate a status report on legal representation, in substantially the form prescribed by Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L17.10, each of which should have attached, under the proper caption, the appropriate order, in substantially the form prescribed by Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L17.11.

H. Proposed findings of fact. Petitioner shall provide to the court, at or before hearing, proposed findings of fact in a form suitable for adoption by the court at hearing. Such findings shall include, inter alia, in separately numbered statements, at least the facts petitioner intends to establish which are required in order for the court to grant the relief requested.

I. Periodic report of the guardian of the person. Within one year of the date of appointment and annually thereafter, or with such greater frequency as the court may direct, every guardian of the person of an incapacitated person shall file a periodic report of the guardian of the person in substantially the form prescribed by the Pennsylvania Orphans’ Court Rules. Notice and service of said report shall be in such manner as the court shall direct.

J. Periodic report of the guardian of the estate. Within one year of the date of appointment and annually thereafter, or with such greater frequency as the court may direct, every guardian of the estate of an incapacitated person shall file a periodic report of the guardian of the estate in substantially the form prescribed by the Pennsylvania Orphans’ Court Rules. Notice and service of said report shall be in such manner as the court shall direct.

K. Filing of emergency guardianship petition. In all cases where an emergency guardianship petition is filed, a plenary petition shall be filed at the same time. Additionally, with the filing of the emergency and plenary petitions, petitioner shall file a motion cover sheet in accordance with Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L3.4. The motion cover sheet shall include within the order a rule to show cause as to why the alleged incapacitated person shall not be adjudicated capacitated. Petitioner shall serve the executed motion cover sheet on the alleged incapacitated person, counsel for the alleged incapacitated person, all persons who are sui juris and would be entitled to share in the estate of the alleged incapacitated person if he or she died intestate at that time (even if the person does not reside within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), on the agents under the alleged incapacitated person’s power of attorney, on the person or institution providing residential services to the alleged incapacitated person, and on such other parties as the court may direct, including other service providers. In the event petitioner determines that the plenary petition is not necessary, petitioner shall file a verified statement explaining the reason for the lack of necessity of the plenary guardianship. The verified statement shall be substantially in the following form:

 

IN THE MATTER OF
________________________,
an alleged incapacitated person

) IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF
) LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
) ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION
)
) NO. ________________

STATEMENT EXPLAINING REASON FOR LACK OF NECESSITY OF PLENARY GUARDIANSHIP

I, _______________________________, petitioner/counsel for petitioner in the above-referenced matter, hereby state, subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities, that a plenary guardianship is not necessary for the following reason(s):



Respectfully submitted,
Petitioner/Counsel for Petitioner

Dated: _____________________

______________________________
[address]
[telephone number]

 

ADOPTIONS

L15.5. Request for Investigation. In the absence of a special order of court, there shall be no investigation of the petition for adoption. If an investigation of the adoption petition is necessary, the court shall order the investigating agency to conclude its investigation and file its report not later than ninety (90) days after the filing of the notice of intention to adopt.

L15.8. Proposed Findings and Decree.

A. At the conclusion of the hearing for adoption the petitioners shall submit to the hearing judge proposed findings of fact substantially in the form set forth in Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L17.5.

B. The petitioner shall attach a proposed decree to the proposed findings required by subsection A of this rule. If parental rights have previously been terminated, the decree shall be in the form set forth in Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L17.6. If parental rights are to be terminated at the time of the adoption, the decree shall be in the form set forth in Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L17.7.

FORMS

L17.5. Proposed Findings of Fact in Adoption Cases. The proposed findings of fact required to be submitted to the hearing judge by Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L15.8A shall be substantially in the following form:


IN RE ADOPTION OF:

________________________,

) IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF
) LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
) ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION
)
) NO. ________________


FINDINGS OF FACT

1. The petitioners are __________________ and ____________________, his wife, who are adult citizens of the County of Lycoming and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and they reside at _________________________, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

2. The husband was born at ________________________, on ___________________.

3. The wife was born at ___________________________, on ___________________.

4. The wife's maiden name was ____________________________.

5. The name of adoptee is ___________________.

6. The adoptee was born at _________________, on __________________.

7. The adoptee has resided with the husband petitioner since __________________, and with the wife petitioner since __________________.

8. The facts with respect to termination of parental rights are as follows: ____________________________________________________.

9. Notice of the hearing on the petition for adoption was given to all persons entitled to notice.

10. It is in the best interest of the child to allow the adoption.

11. The petitioners and the child are of the following race and faith: ____________________________________________.

12. There has been compliance with all of the provisions of the Adoption Act (23 Pa.C.S. §2101, et seq.).


L17.6. Decree in an Adoption. The decree to be submitted to the court in an adoption, where parental rights have already been terminated, required by Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L15.8B, shall be in the following form:


IN RE ADOPTION OF:

________________________,

) IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF
) LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
) ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION
)
) NO. ________________

DECREE

AND NOW, this ____ day of ______________, 19__, in consideration of the petition filed, after investigation made and testimony of the witnesses heard,

IT IS ORDERED AND DECREED:

That the welfare of the adoptee will be promoted by the adoption; that all requirements of the Adoption Act have been met; that the adoptee shall have all the rights of a child and heir of the petitioners; and that the child shall hereafter be known as ___________________________.

BY THE COURT,


______________________
J.

L17.7. Decree in an Adoption. The decree to be submitted to the court where parental rights are to be terminated at the time of the adoption, required by Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L15.8B, shall be in the following form:


IN RE ADOPTION OF:

________________________,

) IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF
) LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
) ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION
)
) NO. ________________

DECREE

AND NOW, this ____ day of _____________, 20__, after hearing on the petition filed,

IT IS ORDERED AND DECREED:

(1) That the parental rights of __________________________________________________ be and hereby are terminated;

(2) That the welfare of __________________________________ will be promoted by the adoption; that all requirements of the Adoption Act have been met; that the adoptee shall have all the rights of a child and heir of ____________________ and ______________________ and shall be subject to the duties of a child of the petitioners; and that the child shall hereafter by known as _____________________________.

Notice to the Natural Father and Natural Mother
Pennsylvania Adoption Medical History Registry

This is to inform you about an adoption law provision relating to medical history information. As the birth parent of a Pennsylvania born child who is being or was ever adopted in the past, you have the opportunity to voluntarily place on file medical history information. The information that you choose to provide could be important to the child’s present and future medical care needs. The law makes it possible for you to file current medical information and it also allows you to update the information as new medically related information becomes available. Requests to release the information will be honored if the request is submitted by a birth child 18 years of age or older. The law also permits the court to honor requests for information submitted by the adoptive parents or legal guardians of adoptees who are not yet 18 years of age. All information will be maintained and distributed in a manner that fully protects your right to privacy.

You may obtain the appropriate form to file medical history information by contacting the Adoption Medical History Registry. Members of the registry staff are available to answer your questions. Please contact the registry staff at:

Department of Public Welfare
Adoption Medical History Registry
Hillcrest, Second Floor, P.O. Box 2675
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675 Telephone: 1-800-227-0225

Medical history information forms may also be obtained locally by contacting one
of the following agencies:

County Children and Youth Social Service Agency
Any private licensed adoption agency
The Lycoming County Register and Recorder’s Office

BY THE COURT,


______________________
J.

L17.9. The Petition to Adjudicate Incapacity and for the Appointment of a Guardian. The petition to adjudicate incapacity and for the appointment of a guardian referred to in Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L14.1F shall be substantially in the following form:


IN THE MATTER OF:

________________________,
An alleged incapacitated person

) IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF
) LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
) ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION
)
) NO. ________________

PETITION TO ADJUDICATE INCAPACITY PURSUANT TO 20 Pa.C.S. §5511 AND FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON/OR OF THE ESTATE OF ______________________

TO: The Honorable Judge of the Lycoming County Court:

The petition of (name of petitioner) respectfully states:

1. Name and current address of petitioner:

2. Petitioner's relationship to and interest in the alleged incapacitated person's welfare:

3. Name, age, residence and post office address of the alleged incapacitated person:

4. Name and address of person or institution providing residential services to the alleged incapacitated person:

5. Names and addresses of spouse, parents and all persons who are sui juris and who would be entitled to share in the estate of the alleged incapacitated person if that person died intestate:

6. Names and addresses of medical, social, residential, and other service providers:

7. State whether respondent has or has not been a member of the United States armed services and whether he or she is or is not receiving any benefits from the United States Veterans Administration:

8. State whether any court has ever assumed jurisdiction in any proceeding to determine the competency or capacity of the respondent, and whether any guardian of the person and/or estate has ever been appointed:

9. The name and address of respondent's attorney, if known, or the attorney known to represent the respondent on other legal matters:

10. The reason why guardianship is sought:

11. A description of the functional limitations and physical and mental conditions of the alleged incapacitated person:

12. Allegations of fact regarding the services being utilized to meet essential requirements for the alleged incapacitated person's physical health and safety, to manage the person's financial resources or to develop or regain the person's abilities:

13. Allegations of fact regarding the type of assistance required by the person and as to why no less restrictive alternatives would be appropriate:

14. Allegations of fact regarding the probability that the extent of the person's incapacities may significantly lessen or change.

15. For each type of guardian being requested, the name and address of the person or entity whom petitioner asks to be appointed as guardian:

16. An averment that the proposed guardian has no interest adverse to the alleged incapacitated person:

17. Qualifications of proposed guardian:

18. The specific areas of incapacity over which it is requested that the guardian be assigned powers:

19. If guardian of the estate is being sought, the petition shall also include the gross value of the estate and net income from all sources to the extent known:

WHEREFORE, petitioner prays this Honorable Court to grant the following relief:


______________________
(Petitioner)


L17.10. Status Report. The status report on legal representation referred to in Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L14.1G shall be substantially in the following form:


IN THE MATTER OF:

________________________,
An alleged incapacitated person

) IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF
) LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
) ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION
)
) NO. ________________


STATUS OF ALLEGED INCAPACITATED PERSON’S LEGAL REPRESENTATION

1. The Petition to Adjudicate Incapacity and for the Appointment of a Plenary Guardian of the Person and the Estate in the above-referenced matter was filed with this Honorable Court on _____________________ [date] (or is being filed herewith).

2. Service of the Petition to Adjudicate Incapacity and for the Appointment of a Plenary Guardian of the Person and the Estate was served on the alleged incapacitated person on _____________________ [date] (or has not been served to date).

3. The Hearing on the Petition to Adjudicate Incapacity and for the Appointment of a Plenary Guardian of the Person and the Estate has been scheduled for _____________________ [date] (or has not been scheduled yet).

4. Counsel for the alleged incapacitated person (is) (is believed to be): [name, address, and telephone number] or Petitioner does not believe that the alleged incapacitated person is represented by counsel.

5. According to Petitioner’s knowledge and belief, the assets of the alleged incapacitated person consist of approximately $_____________________.

6. Petitioner requests that counsel for the alleged incapacitated person be appointed by this Honorable Court and pursuant to 20 Pa.C.S. § 5511(c), be compensated by Lycoming County or Petitioner requests that counsel for the alleged incapacitated person be appointed by this Honorable Court and that counsel for the alleged incapacitated person not be compensated by Lycoming County.

Dated:

Respectfully submitted,

_________________________
Petitioner/Counsel for Petitioner
[address]
[telephone number]


L17.11. Proposed Order.  The proposed order referred to in Lyc. Co. O.C.R. L14.1G shall be substantially in the following form:



IN THE MATTER OF:

________________________,
An alleged incapacitated person

) IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF
) LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
) ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION
)
) NO. ________________


ORDER

AND NOW this _______ day of _____________________, _______, upon consideration of the attached status report, _______________________________ is hereby appointed as counsel for the alleged incapacitated person. Counsel for the alleged incapacitated person ______ shall/______shall not be compensated by Lycoming County. A certified copy of this order shall be served on the alleged incapacitated person, counsel for the alleged incapacitated person, and all persons who are sui juris and would be entitled to share in the estate of the alleged incapacitated person if he or she died intestate at that time.

BY THE COURT,


______________________
J.