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

The House and Senate are in session on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

House Judiciary Committee

The House Judiciary Committee meets Tuesday to consider House Bill 1405 (Grell-R-Cumberland) which would amend the Mental Health Procedures Act to permit “licensed psychologists” to perform evaluations as to compentency. The Act presently only allows psychiatrists to perform the evaluations. 

Bill Introduced

House Bill 2129 (Harper-R-Montgomery) was introduced on January 18 and sent to the State Government Committee. The bill would amend the State Constitution to raise the mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75.


Senate Bill 968 (Dinniman-D-Chester) was amended January 18 on the Senate floor and remains on the Calendar. It would create the offense of killing, poisoning, maiming or injuring a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog. The offense would be a misdemeanor of the first degree punishable by a fine of $2,000 to $15,000 and up to two years in prison.

Senate Bill 818 (Baker-R-Luzerne) was amended and passed the Senate by a vote of 50-0. The bill was returned to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments. The bill would require juvenile court judges upon making disposition of delinquency matters to state in open court its disposition and the reasons for its disposition, together with the goals, terms and conditions of the disposition. If the child is to be committed to out-of-home placement, the court shall state the name or type of facility and state findings and conclusions of law including why the commitment was the least restrictive placement consistent with the protection of the public interest, and best suited to the child’s treatment, supervision, rehabilitation and welfare.

The Free Student Research Center is now OPEN. It will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9AM to 3PM. The Free Student Research Center is available for use by attorneys who are current members of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section and who are court-appointed to the case for which they seek research (either state or CJA!).

The Free Student Research Center is located in the Jack Myers Memorial Lounge on the Third Floor of the CJC. You may make a research request in person or via the Criminal Justice Section website at http://www.philadelphiabar.org/page/CJResearch


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