Pa Rules of Criminal Procedure Service of Subpoena

Pa Rules of Criminal Procedure Service of Subpoena

(b) Proof of service.–A duly completed acknowledgement of receipt constitutes prima facie proof of service of the summons.  At the request of a party, the issuing authority may issue a summons to appear.  A subpoena may not be used to produce documents or information required or required under rules 573 or 574.  1. The person requesting the summons shall provide the issuing authority with the information required under point (C).  2. Where the summons is to be issued, the issuing authority shall provide the information provided.  The provisions for parental notification when the witness summoned is under 18 years of age are contained in paragraph B(3). The Committee recognized that not all persons under the age of 18 are under the supervision or control of a parent or guardian and that some are emancipated.

In view of the above, a provision similar to Rule 123(E)(2) has been added as the second sentence of paragraph (B)(2), which provides an exception to the obligation to serve notice if it is admitted by a judge for cause. In addition, the commentary explains that the party who summoned the minor is responsible for the cost of service on the parent, that the provision of the service does not confer legal status or give parents or guardians the right to be present, and that the absence of necessary notification does not prevent the minor witness from appearing and testifying.  The service provisions in paragraph (B) apply to subpoenas issued by judges of the General Objection Courts, the District Court, the Philadelphia Municipal Court, and the Pittsburgh Municipal Court.  When issuing a summons, the issuing authority may limit the scope of the summons to persons, documents or things relevant to the cause of action before the issuing authority.  (d) where the witness is a law enforcement official who has submitted the endorsement referred to in point B(2), by transmitting by electronic means a copy of the requested summons and acknowledgement of receipt to the email address provided for the receipt of electronic service of the summons by the law enforcement authority to which the official is assigned.  For proceedings following the execution of an arrest warrant, see Articles 150 and 151.  The committee considered concerns that a subpoena as a court-signed document would become part of the public record. There was concern that such disclosure would expose the witness to invasion of privacy, intimidation or retaliation.

The Committee concluded that these concerns were justified and agreed that the rule should state that the contents of the summons, including the person to whom the summons was issued, should not be considered a public document. This provision would be included in the new Rule as paragraph (C)(2).  Before issuing a warrant for non-execution of the summons, the judge or decision-making authority must ensure that the person summoned has been properly informed of the proceedings. The applicant bears the burden of proof of service. If he finds that the person has not been sufficiently notified, he may grant continuance and order that the summons be served on him in person or by registered mail, requesting an acknowledgement of receipt.  (c) Indicate the name, address and telephone number of the person requesting the summons; and paragraph (A) governs the procedures for the issuance of summonses by the judicial judge. Nothing in this rule is intended to change the current practice of subpoenas for the issuance of summonses by courts for general objections.  It is provided that the summons will be used not only for summary proceedings or proceedings before the courts of general objection and the municipal court of Philadelphia, but also for any other stage of the proceedings before the minor judiciary, the municipal court of Philadelphia or the Court of Common Pleas, if a summons can be issued, including pre-trial hearings, pre- and post-trial motions hearings. etc. For proceedings investigating grand jury subpoenas, see 42 Pa.C.S.

Section 4548.  (a) Order the named witness to appear before the court on the specified date, time and place to testify and bring with him all records, books, papers, documents, data or other items identified or described in the summons;  Paragraph (C) specifies the content of the citation and contains the provisions of article 107 in force. In addition, paragraph (C)(1)(c) requires that the summons include the name and address of service on the person requesting it. Subparagraph (C)(1)(d) provides that the summons to appear “shall inform the witness that failure to comply with the summons may be considered by the court as grounds for contempt and that a warrant of arrest may be issued against the witness”.  Paragraph (C) specifies the mandatory content of the quotation. Although this paragraph does not require that the address of the person summoned be mentioned in the summons, it is not intended to prohibit the inclusion of the address in the summons for service.

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