L4. Legal Periodical. The Lycoming Reporter is designated the legal newspaper in Lycoming County for the publication of court or other legal notices, and all matters which require publication in the legal newspaper, by statute, rule, or order of court, shall be published therein. One copy of each issue of the Lycoming Reporter shall be deposited by the publisher in the office of the prothonotary and one in the law library of Lycoming County for public reference.
L5. Papers and Records.
- If any part of a record or pleading cannot be found, it may be supplied by a copy thereof, duly authenticated by counsel.
- The name of the attorney or law firm should appear on all papers or records filed with the court, but not on proposed orders.
L6. Records of Court.
- The date of filing all papers shall be endorsed thereon by the prothonotary and shall be noted on the docket. The time and date of filing shall be endorsed on the papers filed.
- Removal of papers. No original papers shall be removed from the office of the prothonotary except as herein provided:
- No original note, bond or other instrument upon which a judgment has been entered shall be removed from the office, except for use in court, without written permission of the court upon cause shown.
- A referee, auditor, master and other similar officer appointed by the court may remove records or such parts thereof as pertain to the purposes of his appointment for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days, unless the court for cause shown shall extend the time, upon signing a receipt thereof.
L7. Court Reporter Note/Tape Retention.
- In the case of all court reporter notes taken on tapes made of criminal matters where the crimes charged are graded misdemeanor of the first degree or lower, the court administrator is authorized to, no sooner than seven (7) years after the notes were taken or the tapes made, direct the destruction of any such notes or tapes. In felony cases, the court administrator is authorized to direct the destruction of all court reporter notes or tapes no sooner than seventy-five (75) years after the date the notes were taken or the tapes made. In all cases other than criminal cases, the court administrator is authorized to direct the destruction of all court reporter notes or tapes no sooner than five (5) years after the date the notes were taken or the tapes made.
- Notwithstanding subsection A of this rule, in any matter where the notes or tapes have been transcribed and the transcriptions approved by the court and filed, the court reporter may, no sooner than thirty (30) days after filing, destroy any such notes or tapes. Any party who wishes to object to the transcription shall do so within that thirty (30) day period by serving a written objection upon the court reporter. If the objection cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the parties, any party may, by petition, request the court to determine the objection. Court reporter notes or tapes which are subject to objection shall be retained until all objections are resolved.
- Notwithstanding subsection A and B of this rule, any party may petition the court, which may, in its discretion, order the retention of any particular court reporter notes or tapes for an additional period of time.
L8. Video/Audio Conferencing in Court Proceedings.
- Under appropriate circumstances, the court may allow a witness to appear or testify in court by video or audio means. In uating a request for a video or audio appearance, the court shall consider all relevant issues, which may include the following:
- The availability of the witness to give live testimony in court;
- the cost of requiring live testimony;
- the length of the matter and, particularly in criminal pre-trial matters, the inconvenience to the sheriff or the defendant involved in traveling long distances for brief court appearances;
- whether all parties have agreed to the proposed video or audio appearance;
- whether the finder of fact will be able to hear and understand the witness, and properly uate the credibility of the witness, if credibility is at issue in the matter;
- whether the request for video or audio testimony was made in a timely manner so that necessary video or audio equipment is available for the scheduled court appearance; and,
- the importance of the testimony relative to the issues in the matter.
- Timing of Request. Whenever video or audio conferencing is sought by the moving party in a pre-trial proceeding, the request should accompany the motion or petition. In the event that the need for conferencing is not known at the time the matter is commenced or if conferencing is required by a responding party, a request for conferencing shall be submitted to the court administrator’s office no less than 21 days before the scheduled hearing. Requests for video or audio appearance of a trial witness shall be made by submitting the request for conferencing form contemporaneously with the filing of the pretrial statement.
- Form of Request. The request for video or audio conferencing shall be made by submitting to the Court Administrator the details of the request, on a form that is available from the Court Administrator. The request shall detail the reasons for the request and provide required technical data necessary to make the video or audio connection. Prior to making the request for conferencing, the requesting party shall determine whether or not all other parties consent to allow the video or audio appearance of the witness, and the consent on non-consent of parties shall be reported in the request form. [Get the form. Word - Adobe PDF]
- In all noncriminal cases, the party requesting conferencing shall pay all court or Lycoming County costs associated with the conferencing request.
- The requesting party shall be responsible for all required scheduling and set-up with respect to the originating transmission of the conference.
L1901. Termination of Inactive Summary Cases in the Magisterial District Courts
- Traffic cases - On or before January 15th of each year, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 5553(e), each Magisterial District Court shall dismiss all summary offenses under Title 75 (relating to vehicles) where no plea has been entered and the commission of the offense was at least three years prior thereto.
- Non-traffic cases
- On or before January 15th of each year, each Magisterial District Court shall:
- Identify all summary non-traffic cases where no plea has been entered and where there has been no evidence of activity on the docket during the prior two years other than the filing of a not found return on a warrant of arrest;
- Compile a list of those cases indicating the docket number, case caption, and charge(s) associated with the docket number; and
- Promptly provide the list to the District Court Administrator and the District Attorney.
- Upon receipt of the list from the Magisterial District Court, the District Court Administrator shall submit the list to the Lycoming Reporter for publication.
- The publication shall be advertised one time and shall state the docket number, case caption, and name and office address of the Magisterial District Court and shall indicate that the cases listed shall be dismissed on the 31st day following publication unless a party to the case files with the Magisterial District Court a written objection to dismissal of the case setting forth reasons why no activity has appeared of record for the past two (2) years other than a filing of a not found return on a warrant of arrest.
- If said written objection is filed within thirty (30) days of the publication, a hearing shall be scheduled to determine if dismissal is appropriate. The hearing shall be held by the Magisterial District Judge not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after such filing, and the Magisterial District Court shall give at least thirty (30) days written notice thereof along with a copy of said written objections served by first class mail. If notice is returned undelivered, the case shall be dismissed. A party shall have the right to appeal to the Court of Common Pleas within the time period for Summary Appeals pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 460.
- If said written objection is not filed within thirty (30) days of the publication, the Magisterial District Court shall dismiss the case.
- When a case is dismissed under this rule, the Magisterial District Court shall:
- Vacate any active warrant related to the case/citation/ticket and promptly remove the warrant from Magisterial District Judge System (MDJS), Common Pleas Case Management System (CPCMS), or any other system in which the warrant was issued; and
- Forward notice to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation that the case/citation/ticket has been dismissed and request withdrawal of the defendant’s license suspension pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 470.
L4002. Definitions. The Senior Court Reporter is a court reporter, selected for that position by the president judge. The senior court reporter is designated as the individual under Pa.R.J.A. Nos. 4001-4016 to assure compliance with the timely delivery of all transcripts and to perform such other tasks under said rules that are permitted to be performed by the designee of the president judge or the district court administrator, except for the receipt of transcript payments.
L4007. Requests for Transcripts.
- Requests for ordinary transcripts shall be filed with the Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts or Register and Recorder, as appropriate, by using the transcript request form required by Pa.R.J.A. No. 4007(A).
- Procedure for a litigant obtaining a transcript.
- Unless all of the costs have been waived under Lyc. Co. R.G.C.B. L4008(B), before filing a transcript request form, the litigant shall first submit the transcript request form to the senior court reporter via email (preferred), or fax (570-327-2288), or U.S. or courthouse mail (48 West Third Street, Williamsport, PA 17701).
- Within five (5) business days from the date the form is received, the senior court reporter will complete the applicable portions of section V (“For Court use only”) of the transcript request form and return the form to the litigant thereby notifying the litigant of the estimated cost. Senior court reporter contact information is available at www.lyco.org/Courts/Court-Reporters.
- The litigant ordering a transcript shall make a non-refundable deposit in the amount of 100% of the estimated cost of the transcript. The payment shall be made contemporaneously with the filing of the transcript request form, in the manner required by the office in which the form is filed.
- If a court order waiving all of the costs has been entered or a certification letter has been provided under Lyc. Co. R.G.C.B. L4008(B), the litigant need not submit the transcript request form to the senior court reporter. Instead, the litigant shall simply file the transcript request form with the appropriate filing office and attach the court order waiving the costs or the certification letter.
- Upon the filing of a transcript request form and the payment of any required deposit, the filing office shall notify the court reporter, who shall then prepare the transcript.
- If the actual costs are more than the deposit amount, the final balance shall be paid to the appropriate filing office within seven (7) calendar days from the date the requesting party is notified of the balance owed. If the actual costs are less than the deposit amount, the filing office shall issue a refund to the requesting party.
L4008. Transcript Costs Payable by a Requesting Party Other Than the Commonwealth or a Subdivision Thereof / Waiver of Costs.
- Costs. The costs for transcripts are established at the maximum rate allowed by Pa.R.J.A. No. 4008(A).
- Petition to Waive All or a Portion of the Transcript Costs / Letter of Certification.
- If a litigant seeks to waive all or a portion of the costs of a transcript, that request shall be in the form of a petition which shall be filed in the appropriate filing office. If the court waives all of the transcript costs, the litigant shall proceed in accordance with L4007(B)(2). If the court waives only a portion of the transcript costs or denies the petition, the litigant shall proceed in accordance with L4007(B)(1).
- Litigants who have been approved for representation by legal aid services are not required to prove economic hardship and shall be entitled to obtain ordinary transcripts at no cost. In lieu of a petition to waive the transcript costs, legal aid services may provide a letter of certification verifying that the client meets financial eligibility for legal aid services and that the matter is under appeal or that the transcript being requested is necessary to advance the litigation. If a certification letter is provided, the litigant shall proceed in accordance with L4007(B)(2).
- Additional Costs. A trial judge may impose a reasonable surcharge in cases such as mass tort, medical malpractice or other unusually complex litigation, where there is a need for court reporters to significantly expand their dictionary. Such surcharges are at the discretion of the trial judge.