A blog of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

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Session schedule

Senate

January 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

January 23, 24, & 25.

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

The Governor’s budget address is scheduled for February 7.

Senate Committees to hold hearings on proposed closing of two State prisons

The Senate Judiciary and Republican and Democratic Policy Committees will hold a joint hearing January 23 in Harrisburg on the Wolf administration’s decision to potentially close two state prisons.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee has scheduled its own hearing on the impacts of state prison closings for January 17 at the August Wilson Center, Highmark Room, 980 Liberty Ave. in Pittsburgh starting at 10:00.

On January 6, the Department of Corrections announced that they would close two state prisons in June. Five state prisons are currently under consideration, including SCI Frackville, SCI Mercer, SCI Pittsburgh, SCI Retreat and SCI Waymart.

The Administration is scheduled to make its final decision as to which two prisons will close on January 26.

The goal of the Committees is to look at various aspects of the proposed closings including cost to taxpayers, public safety, transparency, prison overpopulation and the impact on local communities.

The joint committee hearing will be held in Hearing Room No. 1 of the North Office Building starting at 9:30 a.m.

The weeks ahead

January 16– NEW. Martin Luther King Day – State Offices Closed

January 17– NEW. Senate Democratic Policy Committee holds a hearing on the impacts of state prison closings.  August Wilson Center, Highmark Room, 980 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh.  10:00.

January 23– Senate and House Come Back To Voting Session.

January 23– NEW. Senate Judiciary and Senate Republican and Democratic Policy Committees will hold a hearing on proposed closure of two state prisons.  Hearing Room 1 North Office Building 9:30.  Click Here for more information.

February 7– Gov. Wolf Presents His FY 2017-18 Budget Proposal.

February 22– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  3 p.m.- Attorney General. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 23– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  3:30 p.m. Attorney General.  Room 140.

February 23– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1 p.m.- State Police/Homeland Security; 3 p.m.- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 28– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Judiciary; 1 p.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3 p.m.- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs .  Room 140.

February 28– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3 p.m.- Judiciary. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 2– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole.

March 8– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.

Senate Committee Schedule                     House Committee Schedule

You can watch the Senate Floor Session and House Floor Session live online.

Department of Health publishes amendments to temporary regulations on medical marijuana

The Department of Health published notices in the January 14 PA Bulletin containing amendments to the temporary regulations related to Growers/Processors and Dispensaries.

Health also gave notice that it has adequate temporary regulations as required by the Medical Marijuana Act.

Information about the program is available at the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana webpage.

Shapiro announces top appointments for Office of Attorney General

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Josh Shapiro

Attorney General-Elect Josh Shapiro Thursday announced a series of appointments to his leadership team as he prepares to be sworn in as Attorney General next week.

Shapiro also named six members of his executive staff on Saturday.

Shapiro named the following persons as Executive Deputy Attorneys General to lead divisions in the Office of Attorney General–

— Jennifer Selber, a career prosecutor with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division.

— Jonathan Scott Goldman, an experienced litigator at the Blank Rome law firm, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division.

— Sara Manzano-Diaz, an attorney with extensive experience and leadership skills in government service, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Public Protection Division.

Shapiro also announced that Abington Township Police Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Kelly will become Senior Agent in Charge overseeing all agents in OAG.

Selber currently serves as chief of the Homicide Unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where she oversees all homicide investigations and tries cases as well.

Selber successfully prosecuted the killer of Police Officer Chuck Cassidy, and more recently, the contractor responsible for the building collapse on Market Street that left six people dead.

As head of the Criminal Division, Selber will oversee 436 employees and an array of law enforcement actions, including the Attorney General’s efforts to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in Pennsylvania.

Goldman is a partner at Blank Rome, where he specializes in commercial litigation and complex commercial disputes. In heading OAG’s Civil Division, Goldman will be responsible for a unit of 104 attorneys that represent the Commonwealth in a variety of complex matters.

The Civil Division represents state agencies, collects delinquent taxes and other debts, and reviews all state contracts and regulations for legality.

Manzano-Diaz brings a wealth of government service and experience to her role leading the Public Protection Division and its 136 employees. Most recently, Manzano-Diaz served as regional administrator for the Mid-Atlantic region for the U.S. General Services Administration.

Her prior public service includes leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and at the Pennsylvania Department of State under Gov. Edward G. Rendell. Manzano-Diaz also served as an assistant attorney general in New York state, prosecuting consumer frauds.

Abington Chief Kelly will serve as Senior Agent in Charge of more than 250 agents in the Office of Attorney General, including agents in the bureaus of criminal investigations, narcotics investigations and special investigations.

Chief Kelly has more than 44 years of law enforcement experience, including 34 years as a police chief in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Shapiro’s appointments follow earlier ones, in which he appointed Michelle Henry as First Deputy Attorney General, the first woman to serve in that role in Pennsylvania history, and Eric Fillman as Chief Integrity Officer, a new position intended to make adherence to ethics and integrity a top priority of the Office.

Shapiro will be sworn in as Attorney General of Pennsylvania January 17th in Harrisburg.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

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February 24 is deadline to comments on proposed changes to Criminal Rules

Proposed amendment to Rules 203 and 513 concerning arrest warrants.  Click for proposed rule.

Proposed amendment to Rule 1006 concerning notice of right to appeal.  Click for proposed rule.

Proposed rescission of Rule 107 and adoption of new Rule 107 concerning subpoenas.  Click for proposed rule.

Session schedule

Senate

January 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

January 23, 24, & 25.

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

February 7– Gov. Wolf Presents His FY 2017-18 Budget Proposal.

From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

New House Committee chairs

Aging and Older Adult Services

Majority: Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester)

Minority: Rep. Steve Samuelson (D-Lehigh)

Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Majority: Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron)

Minority: Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne) NEW

Appropriations

Majority: Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) NEW

Minority: Rep. Joe Markosek D-Allegheny)

Children and Youth

Majority: Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks)

Minority: Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre) NEW

Commerce

Majority: Rep. Brian Ellis (R-Butler) NEW

Minority: Rep. W. Curtis Thomas (D-Philadelphia)

Consumer Affairs

Majority: Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery)

Minority: Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks) NEW

Education

Majority: Rep. David Hickernell (R-Lancaster) NEW

Minority: Rep. James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia)

Environmental Resources and Energy

Majority: Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny

Minority: Rep. Mike Carroll (D-Luzerne) NEW

Finance

Majority: Rep. Bernie O’Neill (R-Bucks)

Minority: Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny)

Game and Fisheries

Majority: Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York)

Minority: Rep. Bryan Barbin (D-Cambria) NEW

Gaming Oversight

Majority: Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks) NEW

Minority: Rep. Patrick Harkins (D-Erie) NEW

Health

Majority: Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford)

Minority: Rep. Florindo (Flo) Fabrizio (D-Erie)

Human Services

Majority: Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks)

Minority: Rep. Angel Cruz (D-Philadelphia)

Insurance

Majority: Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford)

Minority: Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny)

Judiciary

Majority: Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin)

Minority: Rep. Joseph A. Petrarca (D-Westmoreland)

Labor and Industry

Majority: Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) NEW

Minority: Rep. John Galloway (D-Bucks) NEW

Liquor Control

Majority: Rep. Adam Harris (R-Juniata)

Minority: Rep. Paul Costa (R-Allegheny)

Local Government

Majority: Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery)

Minority: Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Northampton)

Professional Licensure

Majority: Rep. Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) NEW

Minority: Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny)

State Government

Majority: Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler)

Minority: Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) NEW

Tourism and Recreational Development

Majority: Rep. David Millard (R-Columbia) NEW

Minority: Rep. Mark Longietti (D-Mercer) NEW

Transportation

Majority: Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia)

Minority: Rep. William F. Keller (D-Philadelphia)

Urban Affairs

Majority: Rep. Mark Keller (R-Cumberland) NEW

Minority: Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-Philadelphia) NEW

Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness

Majority: Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Delaware)

Minority: Rep. Christopher Sainato (D-Lawrence)

House Republican Policy Committee

Chair: Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York)

There appointments are unofficial until announced on the House floor.

From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopts uniform standards for record requests

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has adopted a new order that, for the first time, establishes uniform standards for all appellate and trial courts in responding to requests from the public for case records.

The policy includes how requests for access are to be handled, establishes a limit on copying fees and delineates what information will be safeguarded.

The policy was initially published in draft form for public comment in 2015, and responses were considered and changes were made. The new policy goes into effect in January 2018, although courts, attorneys and parties may begin preparing for the transition now.

“This new policy simplifies and unifies the process by which the public may access case records in trial and appellate courts statewide, but it does so while safeguarding the privacy and safety of citizens,” said Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Thomas G. Saylor. “It reflects the judiciary’s long commitment to making court records open and accessible to the public.

“The policy is built upon the principle that court records are open for inspection by the public while maintaining appropriate boundaries for the protection of individuals who come into the court system. In the internet age, courts are mindful of the damage that can be caused to citizens by dissemination of highly sensitive, private information that may be found in a court file.”

The policy provides four different ways of safeguarding sensitive information:

1. Certain types of information cannot be included in court filings, but instead must be identified to the court on a separate form, called a Confidential Information Form (CIF), and attached to the filing.

— As an alternative to filing that CIF, a court may require a party to file two versions of every document with the court – both a redacted (without sensitive information) and unredacted version (which includes sensitive information).

— Only the redacted version will be available to the public.

— Social Security numbers are an example of information which falls under this section of the policy.

2. Certain documents must be filed with a Confidential Document Form (CDF).

— Any document filed with this form will not be accessible to the public; however, the CDF or a copy of it will be accessible.

— Financial documents are examples of documents falling under this section of the policy.

3. Certain cases – are not accessible to the public because there is no method to ensure that all of the sensitive information contained in the case file can be redacted before permitting public access.

— This policy adds two types of cases to those already protected under existing legal authority: cases pertaining to birth records and cases filed in incapacity proceedings. However, for these cases, the docket and court orders and opinions or final decrees will remain available for public inspection.

4. Certain information is only accessible at the courthouse and not online

— Family court records, except for dockets, court orders and opinions, are an example of information which falls under this section of the policy.

Parties and their attorneys will be responsible for safeguarding information in the documents they file with the courts. Courts may impose appropriate sanctions upon a party or attorney for failing to comply with the new policy.

The policy is the result of a multi-year review by a group led by co-chairs Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer and Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Lois E. Murphy, who were the original visionaries for the project.

The work group included judges, court administrators, appellate court prothonotaries, county filing office personnel, representatives from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Supreme Court’s rules committees and staff of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

The most current public access policy for the state’s magisterial district courts was adopted in 2010. Electronic case records are governed by a separate policy which was effective in January 2007 and updated in 2013.

Each court is required to have a copy of the policy available for public inspection.

Throughout 2017 the AOPC will work with judges, court staff, lawyers’ organizations and others with business before the courts to educate them about the new requirements.

Copies of the Order, Public Access Policy, Limits on Public Access, and Explanatory Report.

From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

January 31 is deadline to apply for Supreme Court boards and committees

Board of Law Examiners.   Click for information.

Disciplinary Board.  Click for information.

Continuing Legal Education Board.  Click for information.

 

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Connecticut statehood January 9

Supreme Court PA

Click for majority Opinion

http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/J-42-2016mo%20-%2010293268014806279.pdf?cb=1

Click for dissenting Opinion

http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/J-42-2016do%20-%2010293268014806287.pdf?cb=1

The Appellate Rules Committee has published for comment a proposed amendment to Pa.R.A.P. 1925 related to waiver issues in the statement of errors complained of on appeal.

Click for publication notice  second-publication-of-proposed-recommendation-138-amending-appellate-rules-905-1922-and-1025-005781. The Appellate Rules Committee is interested in disseminating this proposal as widely as possible, especially in the criminal law communities. The proposal concerns the applications of Com. v. Lord, 719 A.2d 306 (Pa. 1998).

Please comment and disseminate as you deem appropriate.  Comments should be directed to the Appellate Rules Committee as indicated in the report.

—Kevin Harden, Jr.

Judge Marsha Neifield, President Judge of Municipal Court, received the Thurgood Marshall Award.

Tom Innes  and Jamie Funt, who received the Stanford Schmukler Award for their service as co-chairs in 2015.

The Sheriff’s Department received the Henry Czajowski Award.  Accepting the award are (left to right) Inspector Anthony LaForet, Captain Adrian Hall, Sheriff Jewell Williams, and Inspector Clifford Sipes.
Section Chair Kevin Harden, Jr. made the presentations.

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The General Assembly convenes on January 3 for swearing in of the members, celebrations and the beginning of the 2017-2018 session.   

The Senate has announced the committee chairs for the new session.

— Aging & Youth –

Majority: Sen. Michele Brooks (R-Crawford)

Minority: Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia)

— Agriculture & Rural Affairs –

Majority: Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver)

Minority: Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks)

— Appropriations –

Majority: Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh)

Minority: Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia)

— Banking & Insurance –

Majority: Sen. Don White (R-Indiana)

Minority: Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) NEW

— Communications & Technology –

Majority: Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) NEW

Minority: Sen. Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia) NEW

— Community, Economic & Recreational Development –

Majority: Sen. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) NEW

Minority: Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) NEW

— Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure –

Majority: Sen. Robert Tomlinson (R-Bucks)

Minority: Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh)

— Education –

Majority: Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair) NEW

Minority: Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester)

— Environmental Resources & Energy –

Majority: Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming)

Minority: Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne)

— Finance –

Majority: Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) NEW

Minority: Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna)

— Game & Fisheries –

Majority: Sen. Pat Stefano (R-Fayette) NEW

Minority: Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny)

— Intergovernmental Operations –

Majority: Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) NEW

Minority: Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) NEW

— Judiciary –

Majority: Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)

Minority: Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery)

— Labor & Industry –

Majority: Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) NEW

Minority: Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia)

— Law & Justice –

Majority: Sen. Charles McIlhinney (R-Bucks)

Minority: Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny)

— Local Government –

Majority: Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) NEW

Minority: Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna) NEW

— Health & Human Services–

Majority: Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) NEW

Minority: Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) NEW

— Rules & Executive Nominations –

Majority: Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre)

Minority: Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny)

— State Government –

Majority: Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon)

Minority: Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia)

— Transportation –

Majority: Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery)

Minority: Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) NEW

— Urban Affairs & Housing –

Majority: Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-Delaware) NEW

Minority: Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny)

— Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness –

Majority: Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) NEW

Minority: Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny)

Session schedule

Senate

January 3 (swearing in day), 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

January 3 (swearing in day), 23, 24, & 25.

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

February 7– Gov. Wolf Presents His FY 2017-18 Budget Proposal

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

February 9 is deadline to comment on proposed Appellate Rule on citing memorandum opinions

Click for notice, report and proposed text

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Georgia statehood January 2

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Alaska statehood January 3

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Supreme Court adopts amendments to Criminal Rule 564 concerning amendment of information

Click for Order

Click for Final Report

Session Schedule

January 3– Opening Day Of 2017-18 Legislative Session.

February 7– Governor Wolf Presents His FY 2017-18 Budget Proposal.

Senate

January 3 (swearing in day), 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

January 3 (swearing in day), 23, 24, & 25.

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

In Re: Schedule of Holidays for Year 2018 for Staffs of the Appellate Courts and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, No. 475 Judicial Administration Docket

In Re: Sessions of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the Year 2018 No. 474 Judicial Administration Docket

Click for Order

AOPC News Release:  Caseload statistics show that Pennsylvania courts processed 3.5 million cases in 2015

Click for news release

Washington Post:  Executions and death sentences plummeted this year as capital punishment declined nationwide

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The gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. (Associated Press)

By Mark Berman, December 24, 2016, Washington Post

A year that began with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the death penalty in one of the most active capital punishment states ended with the country reaching modern lows in executions and death sentences, the most glaring signs yet about how the practice has dwindled in America today.

Still, even as capital punishment has declined in both sentencing and practice, there were also signs this year of its persistence from lawmakers, judges and the public, reminders that the death penalty is far from fading away.

The United States saw 20 executions this year, the fewest nationwide in 25 years. As noted here last week, this number has dropped from the modern peak of 98 executions in 1999, coming as states have struggled to obtain lethal injection drugs and halted executions in the face of court rulings.

Click for full report

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