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Motion Court Procedures


President Judge John J. Trucilla
Judge Stephanie Domitrovich
Judge William R. Cunningham 
Judge Elizabeth K. Kelly
Judge John Garhart
Judge Daniel J. Brabender, Jr.
Judge John J. Mead
Judge Joseph M. Walsh, III

 

 

President Judge John J. Trucilla

The following would apply to the Family/Orphans' Court Motion Court, as well as the Criminal/Civil Division Motion Court:

1. We will start promptly at 9:00 A.M.

2. Uncontested motions will be addressed first.

3. Contested motions will follow.

4. With reference to out-of-town counsel, if they have a matter that is uncontested, that motion will be received by the Court without an appearance by the out-of-town counsel. However, if the matter is contested, the Court would expect that the out-of-town counsel be present or the matter will not be heard.

5. With respect to attorneys or walk-ins who appear in Motion Court after 9:00 A.M., this Court will address those matters as long as Motion Court is still in session when they arrive. Of course, this Court would expect that a lawyer who is running late or in another courtroom would call my secretary (Jill at Ext. 6481) for perhaps some forewarning.

8. For the proposed settlement of a minor's claim, there needs to be a recorded colloquy in which a parent or guardian is present to affirm the agreement.
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Judge Stephanie Domitrovich

1.  Motion Court begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues until all matters are heard.  All parties must check in with the tipstaff and complete the appropriate Motion Court form.

 

2.  My office will accept motions where all parties consent to the relief requested.  Motions where both parties have consented may be delivered to my office provided the consents are set forth unequivocally in the Motions or by separate endorsements in the Motions.  Likewise, my office will accept Motions simply seeking dates and times for hearings to which all parties consent.

 

3.  Pursuant to the Local Rules of Civil Procedure of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, out-of-town counsel and local counsel have the responsibility to file original documents and provide a copy of all filings to my office as the assigned judge.

 

4.  A narrowly-tailored Order must accompany each Motion.

5. Pursuant to the Local Rules of Civil Procedure of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, each Motion must have endorsed therein the address and telephone number of the person filing the paperwork.

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Judge William R. Cunningham

1. Motion Court begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues until all matters are heard. All parties must check in with the tipstaff and complete the appropriate Motion Court form.

2. I will accept in my office any motion for which all parties consent to the relief requested. Likewise, I will accept in my chambers a Motion simply seeking a Rule to Show Cause hearing to which all parties consent.

3. Out-of-town counsel are treated the same as local counsel (including the responsibility to file original documents).
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Judge Elizabeth K. Kelly

1. Motion Court starts at 9:00 a.m. Monday thru Thursday. Sometimes I will take the Bench a little early if there are attorneys present with uncontested matters. I never hear contested matters or potentially contested matters until 9:00 a.m.

2. Although Motion Court starts at 9:00 a.m. if attorneys come into Court after 9:00 a.m. and I am still on the Bench, I will hear their Motions. My Motion Court runs until I am done. There is no specific time limit.

3. I do not accept any Motions in my office (unless someone has come to Motion Court after I am off the Bench and the matter is uncontested). I do require written Motions to continue matters that are scheduled in front of me. It is my position that such requests should be submitted directly to me, and not another Judge. If both parties agree to the continuance, they can send the Motion to me via mail or office delivery with consents attached by counsel and/or pro se litigants. I do not require these Motion to be presented in Motion Court.

4. I do not have a separate set of rules for out-of-town counsel.

5. I do not differentiate what type of cases I hear on each day.
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Judge John Garhart

1. Motion Court is intended only for minor matters, where the entitlement to relief is clear and, for some reason, the consent of the other party cannot be obtained.

2. The moving party must be prepared to make a brief and plain statement demonstrating their right to relief and, if requested, cite to a clearly controlling rule or precedent.

3. A narrowly tailored Order must accompany the Motion.

4. Motion Court is not intended for matters requiring argument or testimony.

5. Matters presenting an "emergency" are not made ripe for Motion Court solely by virtue of their urgent nature. Rather the procedure is to file a Rule to Show Cause seeking a hearing or argument on an expedited basis.

6. Where both parties have consented to the relief, the Motion may be dropped off in Chambers provided the consent is set forth unequivocally in the Motion or by separate endorsement in the Motion.
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Judge Daniel J. Brabender, Jr.

1. Motion Court is held at 9:00 a.m. Monday thru Thursday.

 

2. I generally do not accept motions in my office.  I prefer to have motions presented in Motion Court in person. 
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Judge John J. Mead 

If both parties have CONSENTED to the relief, the MOTION may be dropped off in Chambers, provided the consent is set forth clearly in the Motion or by separate endorsement in the Motion.

1. We will start promptly at 9:00 A.M.

2. A cover sheet MUST be COMPLETELY filled out by the moving party before being presented to the Judge.  Cover sheets for Motion Court can be found on the Erie County website.

3. IFP (IN FORMA PAUPERIS) form MUST BE COMPLETELY FILLED OUT  before being presented to the Judge.  IN FORMA PAUPERIS forms can be found on the Erie County website.

4. Unconsented Motions will be addressed first.

5. Contested Motions will follow.

6. Pro Se matters will be handled last.(PRO SE - A PARTY WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY)

7. Motion Court is intended only for MINOR MATTERS where the entitlement to relief is clear and for some reason the consent of the other party cannot be obtained.

8. The moving party must be prepared to make a brief and plain statement demonstrating their right to relief.

9. An Order MUST accompany the Motion.

10. Motion Court is NOT intended for matters requiring substantial testimony.

11. Matters presenting an EMERGENCY are not necessarily going to be decided in Motion Court solely by virtue of their urgent nature. The procedure is to file a RULE TO SHOW CAUSE seeking a hearing or argument on an expedited basis.

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Judge Joseph M. Walsh, III

1.  Motion Court starts promptly at 9:00 A.M.  All parties must check in with the tipstaff and complete the appropriate Motion Court form(s).  Uncontested motions are addressed first.  Contested motions follow uncontested motions.  Pro se matters are heard last.  All motions shall be in writing.

2.  Motion Court is intended for minor matters only, where the entitlement to relief is clear, and, for good reason, the consent of the other party cannot be obtained.  Motion Court is not intended for matters requiring testimony and/or an evidentiary record.  Emergency matters requiring an evidentiary hearing will not be heard in Motion Court, however, you may come to Motion Court to explore scheduling an expedited hearing. 

3.  Time-stamped copies of uncontested motions / petitions, along with the agreed upon proposed order, may be delivered to my chambers for signature at any time, but must include a cover letter, or other verification indicating that all parties or their counsel consent to the proposed order;

4.  I follow Erie County Local Rule 304 with regard to contested motions.  If I have indicated that all future matters in a case are to be presented only to me, it is your responsibility to alert Court Administration so that the matter is placed on my schedule. 

5.  I require written motions to continue matters that are scheduled in front of me.  Those should be delivered to my chambers (not taken to another Judge), and must indicate whether they are contested.  Motions for continuance may be denied at my discretion, regardless of whether all parties consent, so do not remove the matter from your calendar until you have a signed Order from me. 

6.  I require written motions for parties or their counsel requesting to participate in a matter by telephone.  Such requests must be for good cause, and you must indicate whether all parties consent.  Motions for telephone testimony may be denied at my discretion, regardless of whether all parties consent. 

7.  In addition to a scheduling order / rule to show cause order, all motions, petitions, and other requests for relief must include a narrowly tailored proposed order addressing all of the relief you are requesting in the underlying motion/petition. 

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NON DISPOSITAVE MOTIONS

Judge William R. Cunningham

1. All non-dispositive motions will be accepted in my office at any time. The original motion must be filed with the Prothotary's Office and a true and attested copy given to the Court.

2. All non-dispositve motions shall include the written consent of any party consenting to the relief requested. The motion shall also state whether any Party requests oral argument on the Motion.

 

 


Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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