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Court Rule

2016-4 Constable Review Board

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
CIVIL DIVISION
IN RE: ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 2016-4 ) NO.
Rule of Judicial Administration 1907.2 )
CONSTABLE REVIEW BOARD )
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
AND NOW, this 18th day of October, 2016, The Northampton County Court of Common Pleas formally creates the Constable Review Board, as more fully described hereafter. The President Judge makes the following appointments to the inaugural Board:
Judges Michael J. Koury, Jr. and Samuel P. Murray are appointed to the Board. Judge Koury is appointed Chairman of the Board.
Northampton County Constable Kevin Spano is the Court’s appointed constable to the Board.
BY THE COURT:
______________________________
STEPHEN G. BARATTA, P.J.
2
Northampton County Court of Common Pleas
Rule of Judicial Administration 1907.2
CONSTABLE REVIEW BOARD
INTRODUCTION
Pennsylvania Rule of Judicial Administration No. 1907.2 has established Constable Policies, Procedures and Standards of Conduct. Pursuant thereto, President Judges throughout the Commonwealth may authorize the creation of an advisory board called the Constable Review Board to assist in resolving any disputes related to a constable’s performance of judicial duties. This Rule of Judicial Administration, created by the President Judge of Northampton County, in consultation with the County Executive, establishes the Northampton County Constable Review Board; and in addition, implements constable guidelines and the timely procedure for the resolution of disputes and other issues related to the work of constables, including filing procedures, notice, and opportunity to be heard.
Rule 1. Definitions.
a. “Constable” - Any elected or appointed constable or deputy constable performing judicial duties for the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas or any Magisterial District Court within the Third Judicial District.
b. “Constable Review Board” - The Northampton County Constable Review Board created to resolve any disputes related to a constable’s performance of judicial duties. The Constable Review Board will be appointed by the President Judge, after consultation with the County Executive, and in compliance with the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System’s Constable Policies, Procedures, and Standards of Conduct published by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
c. Judicial Duties” - Services performed pursuant to 44 Pa. C.S.A. §§7161-7161.1 and further defined by the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System’s Constable Policies, Procedures and Standards of Conduct published by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
Rule 2. Scope.
a. Constables are elected and perform numerous functions at the municipal level, apart from the services performed as independent contractors for the judiciary. The jurisdiction of the Constable Review Board extends only to constables in the performance of judicial duties.
3
b. Consistent with the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System’s Constable Policies, Procedures and Standards of Conduct, the Constable Review Board may receive complaints by or against constables regarding:
1. the performance of judicial duties;
2. the payment of constable fees and other financial disputes related to the work of a constable; and
3. other matters relevant to the constable’s judicial duties.
c. The Constable Review Board does not have the authority to revise the Constable Policies, Procedures and Standards of Conduct issued by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
d. Nothing in these rules precludes any person, judicial officer, governmental official or surety of a constable from filing a verified petition in accordance with 44 Pa. C.S. §7172, alleging that a constable is incompetent to discharge official duties.
Rule 3. Authority.
a. The Constable Review Board may make recommendations to the President Judge regarding the judiciary’s continued use of a constable’s services.
b. If a matter involves a financial dispute or other matter within Northampton County’s control, the Constable Review Board may make recommendations to the Northampton County Executive regarding payment for services.
c. The Constable Review Board shall forward any findings of suspected criminal activity to the Northampton County District Attorney.
d. The President Judge remains the ultimate authority with regard to a constable’s performance of judicial duties within the Third Judicial District. In that respect, the President Judge may, at any time, temporarily place a moratorium on the use of a particular constable while awaiting review and recommendation of the Constable Review Board on any pending complaint.
Rule 4. Membership of the Constable Review Board.
a. Two Judges from the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas, appointed by the President Judge.
4
b. The current President of the Magisterial District Judge Association of Northampton County.
c. The Magisterial District Court Administrator of Northampton County.
d. A constable selected by the President Judge.
e. The County Controller.
f. The Northampton County Director of Fiscal Affairs.
g. The Sheriff of Northampton County or his designee.
The President Judge shall appoint the Chairperson of the Constable Review Board. The Chairperson shall be responsible for conducting, coordinating and overseeing the business of the Constable Review Board.
Rule 5. Filing a Complaint.
a. The complaint shall be in writing, signed by the complainant, and contain a statement of the alleged misconduct, financial dispute, or other matter related to the performance of judicial duties.
b. The complaint may be submitted by mail, e-mail, fax, or any other electronic means by which a paper copy may be generated. The contact information for filing the complaint is as follows:
Magisterial District Court Administrator
Northampton County Courthouse
669 Washington Street
Easton, Pennsylvania, 18042
Fax: 610-559-6702
Email: dfrench@northamptoncounty.org
c. The written complaint shall substantially conform to the form set forth at Rule 8 herein.
d. The complaint shall initially be forwarded to the Magisterial District Court Administrator. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Magisterial District Court Administrator shall:
1. Note the date of receipt of the Complaint.
2. Create a file to contain the complaint and all subsequent communications regarding the complaint.
5
3. Within three (3) business days, forward the Complaint to the chairperson of the Constable Review Board and the President Judge.
4. Within three (3) business days, the Magisterial District Court Administrator shall forward a copy of the complaint to the responsible constable, if the complaint is against a constable, or to any other respondent, if the complaint is brought by a constable.
5. At the same time as the transmission of the copy of the complaint is made to the constable and/or the respondent, the Magisterial District Court Administrator shall provide written notice to the constable/respondent that he/she must provide to the Chairman of the Constable Review Board a written response to the complaint within 20 days, or less if the Chairman of the Constable Review Board so orders. The notice shall further provide that if a constable/respondent fails to respond, such failure may result in a decision by the Constable Review Board on the information made available for review.
Rule 6. Constable Review Board Action.
a. Upon receipt of a respondent’s written response, or expiration of the response period, whichever comes first, the Magisterial District Court Administrator shall, within three (3) business days, forward a copy of the complaint, response, and all corroborating documentation to each Constable Review Board member for review.
b. Within 30 days of receipt of the Complaint, the Constable Review Board shall:
1. In matters falling outside the Constable Review Board’s authority, forward the complaint file to the President Judge, with written notification to the President Judge and the complainant that the complaint falls outside the scope of the Board’s authority and list the reason(s) for that finding.
2. In matters involving payment and/or possible termination or suspension of the Court’s use of a constable, the Constable Review Board shall interview the complainant, the constable, and all other relevant witnesses. If scheduling conflicts prevent a quorum of the Board from meeting to conduct interviews, the Chairman of the Board may select two Board members to conduct interviews and then prepare and submit a final report to the Board for action and recommendation to the President Judge. Unless the President Judge grants an extension of time, interviews shall be completed and a recommendation to the President Judge shall be made within the 30 day time period.
3. In all other matters, the Constable Review Board may conduct interviews or, at the Board’s option, make a recommendation to the President Judge based exclusively upon the complaint, response, and all other written documentation submitted.
6
Rule 7. Notice by President Judge.
Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Constable Review Board’s recommendation, the President Judge shall issue a written decision and provide notice to the complainant and any constable of the Court’s decision.
Rule 8. Complaint Form.
CONSTABLE REVIEW BOARD FOR THE 3RD JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
COMPLAINT
A. COMPLAINANT:
Your Name: ___________________________________________________________________
Address: ______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Telephone # ___________________________________________________________________
B. CONSTABLE COMPLAINED OF:
Name: ________________________________________________________________________
Contact Info: __________________________________________________________________
(If known) ____________________________________________________________________
C. STATEMENT OF COMPLAINT: PLEASE BE SPECIFIC, relevant dates, names of witnesses and any relevant documents. Explain the conduct or practice complained of, the date(s), names of witnesses and attach copies of relevant documents. You may attach as many additional pages as necessary to fully set forth your complaint.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
7
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________ ____________________________________
Date Signature
The Complaint may be e-mailed, faxed, or mailed to the following:
Magisterial District Court Administrator
Northampton County Courthouse
669 Washington Street
Easton, Pennsylvania, 18042
Fax: 610-559-6702
Email: dfrench@northamptoncounty.orgIN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
CIVIL DIVISION
IN RE: ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 2016-4 ) NO.
Rule of Judicial Administration 1907.2 )
CONSTABLE REVIEW BOARD )
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
AND NOW, this 18th day of October, 2016, The Northampton County Court of Common Pleas formally creates the Constable Review Board, as more fully described hereafter. The President Judge makes the following appointments to the inaugural Board:
Judges Michael J. Koury, Jr. and Samuel P. Murray are appointed to the Board. Judge Koury is appointed Chairman of the Board.
Northampton County Constable Kevin Spano is the Court’s appointed constable to the Board.
BY THE COURT:
______________________________
STEPHEN G. BARATTA, P.J.
2
Northampton County Court of Common Pleas
Rule of Judicial Administration 1907.2
CONSTABLE REVIEW BOARD
INTRODUCTION
Pennsylvania Rule of Judicial Administration No. 1907.2 has established Constable Policies, Procedures and Standards of Conduct. Pursuant thereto, President Judges throughout the Commonwealth may authorize the creation of an advisory board called the Constable Review Board to assist in resolving any disputes related to a constable’s performance of judicial duties. This Rule of Judicial Administration, created by the President Judge of Northampton County, in consultation with the County Executive, establishes the Northampton County Constable Review Board; and in addition, implements constable guidelines and the timely procedure for the resolution of disputes and other issues related to the work of constables, including filing procedures, notice, and opportunity to be heard.
Rule 1. Definitions.
a. “Constable” - Any elected or appointed constable or deputy constable performing judicial duties for the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas or any Magisterial District Court within the Third Judicial District.
b. “Constable Review Board” - The Northampton County Constable Review Board created to resolve any disputes related to a constable’s performance of judicial duties. The Constable Review Board will be appointed by the President Judge, after consultation with the County Executive, and in compliance with the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System’s Constable Policies, Procedures, and Standards of Conduct published by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
c. Judicial Duties” - Services performed pursuant to 44 Pa. C.S.A. §§7161-7161.1 and further defined by the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System’s Constable Policies, Procedures and Standards of Conduct published by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
Rule 2. Scope.
a. Constables are elected and perform numerous functions at the municipal level, apart from the services performed as independent contractors for the judiciary. The jurisdiction of the Constable Review Board extends only to constables in the performance of judicial duties.
3
b. Consistent with the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System’s Constable Policies, Procedures and Standards of Conduct, the Constable Review Board may receive complaints by or against constables regarding:
1. the performance of judicial duties;
2. the payment of constable fees and other financial disputes related to the work of a constable; and
3. other matters relevant to the constable’s judicial duties.
c. The Constable Review Board does not have the authority to revise the Constable Policies, Procedures and Standards of Conduct issued by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
d. Nothing in these rules precludes any person, judicial officer, governmental official or surety of a constable from filing a verified petition in accordance with 44 Pa. C.S. §7172, alleging that a constable is incompetent to discharge official duties.
Rule 3. Authority.
a. The Constable Review Board may make recommendations to the President Judge regarding the judiciary’s continued use of a constable’s services.
b. If a matter involves a financial dispute or other matter within Northampton County’s control, the Constable Review Board may make recommendations to the Northampton County Executive regarding payment for services.
c. The Constable Review Board shall forward any findings of suspected criminal activity to the Northampton County District Attorney.
d. The President Judge remains the ultimate authority with regard to a constable’s performance of judicial duties within the Third Judicial District. In that respect, the President Judge may, at any time, temporarily place a moratorium on the use of a particular constable while awaiting review and recommendation of the Constable Review Board on any pending complaint.
Rule 4. Membership of the Constable Review Board.
a. Two Judges from the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas, appointed by the President Judge.
4
b. The current President of the Magisterial District Judge Association of Northampton County.
c. The Magisterial District Court Administrator of Northampton County.
d. A constable selected by the President Judge.
e. The County Controller.
f. The Northampton County Director of Fiscal Affairs.
g. The Sheriff of Northampton County or his designee.
The President Judge shall appoint the Chairperson of the Constable Review Board. The Chairperson shall be responsible for conducting, coordinating and overseeing the business of the Constable Review Board.
Rule 5. Filing a Complaint.
a. The complaint shall be in writing, signed by the complainant, and contain a statement of the alleged misconduct, financial dispute, or other matter related to the performance of judicial duties.
b. The complaint may be submitted by mail, e-mail, fax, or any other electronic means by which a paper copy may be generated. The contact information for filing the complaint is as follows:
Magisterial District Court Administrator
Northampton County Courthouse
669 Washington Street
Easton, Pennsylvania, 18042
Fax: 610-559-6702
Email: dfrench@northamptoncounty.org
c. The written complaint shall substantially conform to the form set forth at Rule 8 herein.
d. The complaint shall initially be forwarded to the Magisterial District Court Administrator. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Magisterial District Court Administrator shall:
1. Note the date of receipt of the Complaint.
2. Create a file to contain the complaint and all subsequent communications regarding the complaint.
5
3. Within three (3) business days, forward the Complaint to the chairperson of the Constable Review Board and the President Judge.
4. Within three (3) business days, the Magisterial District Court Administrator shall forward a copy of the complaint to the responsible constable, if the complaint is against a constable, or to any other respondent, if the complaint is brought by a constable.
5. At the same time as the transmission of the copy of the complaint is made to the constable and/or the respondent, the Magisterial District Court Administrator shall provide written notice to the constable/respondent that he/she must provide to the Chairman of the Constable Review Board a written response to the complaint within 20 days, or less if the Chairman of the Constable Review Board so orders. The notice shall further provide that if a constable/respondent fails to respond, such failure may result in a decision by the Constable Review Board on the information made available for review.
Rule 6. Constable Review Board Action.
a. Upon receipt of a respondent’s written response, or expiration of the response period, whichever comes first, the Magisterial District Court Administrator shall, within three (3) business days, forward a copy of the complaint, response, and all corroborating documentation to each Constable Review Board member for review.
b. Within 30 days of receipt of the Complaint, the Constable Review Board shall:
1. In matters falling outside the Constable Review Board’s authority, forward the complaint file to the President Judge, with written notification to the President Judge and the complainant that the complaint falls outside the scope of the Board’s authority and list the reason(s) for that finding.
2. In matters involving payment and/or possible termination or suspension of the Court’s use of a constable, the Constable Review Board shall interview the complainant, the constable, and all other relevant witnesses. If scheduling conflicts prevent a quorum of the Board from meeting to conduct interviews, the Chairman of the Board may select two Board members to conduct interviews and then prepare and submit a final report to the Board for action and recommendation to the President Judge. Unless the President Judge grants an extension of time, interviews shall be completed and a recommendation to the President Judge shall be made within the 30 day time period.
3. In all other matters, the Constable Review Board may conduct interviews or, at the Board’s option, make a recommendation to the President Judge based exclusively upon the complaint, response, and all other written documentation submitted.
6
Rule 7. Notice by President Judge.
Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Constable Review Board’s recommendation, the President Judge shall issue a written decision and provide notice to the complainant and any constable of the Court’s decision.
Rule 8. Complaint Form.
CONSTABLE REVIEW BOARD FOR THE 3RD JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
COMPLAINT
A. COMPLAINANT:
Your Name: ___________________________________________________________________
Address: ______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Telephone # ___________________________________________________________________
B. CONSTABLE COMPLAINED OF:
Name: ________________________________________________________________________
Contact Info: __________________________________________________________________
(If known) ____________________________________________________________________
C. STATEMENT OF COMPLAINT: PLEASE BE SPECIFIC, relevant dates, names of witnesses and any relevant documents. Explain the conduct or practice complained of, the date(s), names of witnesses and attach copies of relevant documents. You may attach as many additional pages as necessary to fully set forth your complaint.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
7
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________ ____________________________________
Date Signature
The Complaint may be e-mailed, faxed, or mailed to the following:
Magisterial District Court Administrator
Northampton County Courthouse
669 Washington Street
Easton, Pennsylvania, 18042
Fax: 610-559-6702
Email: dfrench@northamptoncounty.org
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Created at 10/19/2016 3:43 PM by Lisa Mann
Last modified at 5/31/2018 9:24 AM by Vitek Gajewski
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