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P. L. 345.
How venires to
How venires to issue when terms
To be ordered
4 Sm. 275,
144. The court of common pleas in every county wherein a term of two weeks is 14 April 1834 & 33. appointed as aforesaid, shall have power to order, at any term thereof, that the trial of issues in civil causes depending in the respective courts shall be commenced Courts may direct during the first week of the next succeeding term, at a day fixed; and such order civil issues to be being entered upon record, the court shall award a venire for jurors, and the trial tried during the of such issues shall be commenced accordingly, or as soon thereafter as the other torm. business of the judges of the said court will permit.
145. Whenever any term of the court of common pleas of any county shall be Ibid. § 38. abridged by order of the judges to one week, also whenever the said judges shall order that the trial of issues in civil causes shall be commenced during the first issue in such cases. week as aforesaid, the said judges shall order the sheriff and commissioners of the respective county to annex and return one and the same panel of names to all venires awarded by them for the summoning of the petit or common jurors, returnable during that week.
Ibid. $ 35. 146. Whenever any term of the court of common pleas shall be enlarged as aforesaid, the said court shall have power to award a venire for jurors, returnable on such day of the term so enlarged as the business of said court shall require. are enlarged.
147. The courts of common pleas of the several counties shall have power Ibid. $ 86. respectively to adjourn the sessions of the court from time to time, as they may Adjourned courts think proper, and at such adjourned courts to act upon and decide all matters may be held. depending therein, with the same effect as they might or could do at the terms appointed for the holding of such court as aforesaid.
148. It shall be the duty of the president and associate judges of the several Ibid. $ 30. courts of common pleas of this commonwealth to hold adjourned courts of common pleas in their respective counties, in addition to their regular terms, whenever the when the business business of the said courts shall require, so always as not to interfere with their of the court re
quires it. duties, in any of the said counties, at the terms appointed by law.
119. It shall be the particular duty of the judges of the supreme court and 24 Feb. 1506 $ 22. judges of the courts of common pleas, to see that all actions in their respective courts shall be reached and have a fair opportunity of a trial, at least within one All causes to have year after they shall have been commenced; and if the judges of the supreme an opportunity of
trial within a year. court, or the presidents or associate judges of the court of common pleas, or any of
Penalty on judges thein, shall refuse or neglect to perform the duties enjoined on them by this act, it for neglect." shall be deemed misbehavior in otfice, and lay a sufficient ground for the removal of the judge or judges so offending.
VI. Of special courts of common pleas. 130. If any defendant or defendants in any suit or action, by reason of his or 22 May 1722 $ 25.
1 Sm, 144. their sudden departure out of this province, shall require a more speedy termination in such action or suit than can be obtained by the common or ordinary rules Special court may of proceedings in any of the said courts of common pleas in this province, the said he held on request justices, upon application to them made, shall grant to such defendant or defend- he is about to leare ants, special courts, and shall proceed to hear and determine the premises, accord- the country. ing to the course and practice of the said courts of common pleas, and for the usual fees therein taken.(k)
151. Prorided, That before the said justices shall grant such special court, or Ibid. & 26. proceed to hear and determine the premises, the defendant shall give bail to the plaintiff's action by recognizance, according to the course and practice of the said bail in such cases. court of common pleas.
152. The provision made for the speedy relief of such defendant or defendants, 10 April 1782 $ 4. as in and by the said recited act [of 220 May 1722] is or are mentioned, in the said several courts of common pleas, shall be and the same hereby is extended to Extended to suall such defendant or defendants, in any suit or action, which shall hereafter be preme court. depending in the said supreme court of this commonwealth.
153Provided always. That nothing in this act, or in the said recited act con- Ibid. $5. tained, shall be construed, deemed or taken to bar or prevent any such plaintiff (or defendant) upon reasonable cause, shown, from being allowed a convenient and allowed time to sufficient time, under all the circumstances of his, her or their case, to procure procure testimony.
as may be necessary for the support of his, her or their suit, action or defence.
154. Special courts of common pleas(1) shall be holden in the several counties 14 April 1994 $ 37. of this commonwealth, at the respective places appointed by law for holding courts
Special courts of com rnon pleas, in every of the cases following, to wit:(m)
(k) The act extends to every man, whether an in- (1) Extended to the orphans'court, quarter sessions, habitant or a foreigner, who is about to leave the state. and oyer and terminer, by act 4 April 1843, § 8, P. L. Williarns v. Gevhegan, i Dall. 268. Estanson v. 1:33: tit. “Quarter Sessions." But see act 4 March Dupuy: 2 Bro. 100. See Kunckle v. Baker, 1 Dall. 169. 1875, P. L. 5, which provides for the holding of special A special court may be granted, although one only of orphans' courts, in counties in which there are sepaSeveral joint defendants is about to depart. Ec parte rate courts. Livingston's Appeal, 88 P. S. 209.
But not before tiling bail or en- (m) These cases are now provided for by the act tering an appearance. McCarty v. Vicon, 1 Dall
. 77. authorizing a change of venue for similar causes. See Kunckle v. Baker, Ibid. 109.
Nor until the cause is at tit. “Venue." issue. Jones v. Jarvis, 1 T. & H. Pr. (4th ed.) 22.
Defendant to give
2 Sm. 17.
Defendant to be
P. L. 819.
Hoker, 2 Dall. 111.
Or he has been counsel.
List to be trans
as if before the
14 April 1834 $ 37. I. Whenever the president judge(n) of any of the said courts shall be personally
P. L. 349. When the presi
interested(o) in the event of any cause depending in any county of his district. dent is interested II. Whenever the title under which the parties or either of them claim, in any in the event. cause depending as aforesaid, shall have been derived froin or through such presiOr in the title. dent, or whenever the president shall hold under the saine title with either of the
parties in the cause. When any relative III. Whenever any near relative of the president judge of any of the said is interested.
courts shall be a party to any cause depending as aforesaid, or interested in the event thereof.
IV. Whenever the president judge of any of the said courts shall have been concerned as an attorney or counsel for either of the parties in any suit depending as aforesaid, or in any other cause touching the same subject matter, or for any other
person under whom said parties or either of them claim. Ibid. $38. 155. Provided, That the parties to any such cause may, in any of the cases afore
said, agree in writing, to be filed of record, to a trial before such president, or Parties may waive their right. before him or any or more of his associates, or before the associates. Ibid. $ 39.
156. Whenever any special court shall be necessary for the trial of any cause
or causes depending as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the president of the court President to notify in which such cause shall be depending, to give notice thereof to the prothonocauses for special tary of such court; who shall forthwith make out a list of all such causes, and
transmit the same to the president judge who may reside nearest to the place
where any such cause is to be tried : on the receipt of such list it shall be the mitted to nearest duty of such president to appoint a time for holding a special court in the county president.
where such cause or causes ought to be tried, and at the time so appointed to hold Such judge to appoint tiine for the said court, with one or more of the associate judges of the county, and courts special court. so holden may be adjourned from time to time until all such causes shall be
finally determined: Provided, That public notice be given of the time of holding
such court, during sixty days. (p) Ibid. § 10. 157. All proceedings had before any special court of common pleas held as
aforesaid, shall be of the same force and effect, to all intents and purposes, as if of the same effect, the same had occurred before the proper president of the district, and shall, in
like manner, be subject to appeal or writ of error in course of law, as in other proper president.
Ibid. & 41. 158. Provided, That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to interfere with Local provisions
any special provision heretofore made by law, respecting special courts in any of not to be repealed, the counties of this commonwealth. 18 March 1840 $ 1. 159. Whenever a special court of common pleas shall be necessary, under the
provisions of the 37th section of the act to which this is a supplement, the list List of special
of causes for trial in said special court required by the 39th section of said act, court causes to be to be transmitted by the prothonotary to the president judge, who may reside transmitted to the
nearest to the place where any such cause is to be tried, shall be transmitted to nearest president judge competent to the president judge who shall reside nearest to the place where the said cause try them.
or causes is or are to be tried, who would not be incompetent by the provisions of the 37th section of the act aforesaid to try the said cause, if the same were pending in any court in his district : on the receipt of such list, it shall be the
duty of such president to proceed agreeably to the directions of the act aforesaid. 10 April 1819 $ 1. 160. Whenever it shall be necessary to hold a special court in any county of any
judicial district, agreeably to the law in force, an arrangement(1) may be made When such presi.
between the president judge of such district, and the president judge of any
adjoining(r) district, to hold the court of any regular term for holding the courts special court, the
in such county, or at any adjourned term of said courts; and the judge of such district may be
adjoining district shall take the place of the other, without additional notice or held by the judge special venire, and all proceedings had before the said court shall be of the same whose place he supplies.
force and effect, and be conducted according to the same rules and regulations, to all intents and purposes, as if the same had occurred before the proper president of
the district.(s) (n) Or the associate judges of the orphans' court, (p) By act 15 March 1816, § 2, the president judges quarter sessions, or oyer and terminer, by act 4 April holding such special courts, in addition to their sal1813, $ 8, P. L. 133. And see McLughan v. Bovard, aries, shall receive $, for each day they shall attend 4 W. 308. The associate judges have not jurisdiction and hold such special court, and in going to and reto hear and determine a motion for a new trial, in a turning from the same. 6 Sm. 348. By act 2 May case wherein the president judge, before his appoint- 1871, the compensation of law judges for holding ment, had been concerned as counsel. Kolb's Cuse, 4 special courts is fixed at $12 per diem, to be comW. 151.
puted and paid as provided in the act of 1816. P. L. (0) The decision of the judge upon the question of 247. interest cannot be reviewed on error; it is a matter (9) Whenever the parties go to trial before the entirely within his discretion. Philadelphia Library president of a different district, withont objection, a Co. v. Ingham, 1 Wh. 72. Barrington v. Bank of court of error will presume the necessity for a special Washington, 14 S. & R. 419. His certificate is evidence court,” and the existence of an "arrangement" to of his interest, Voris v. Smith, 13 S. & R. 334; and hold it. Tracey v. Pendleton, 23 P. S. 171. conclusive, Ellmaker v. Buckley, 16 Ibid. 76-7. And (7) By act 18 April 1853, $ 26, this provision is exsee Barrington v. Bank of Washington, 14 Ibid. 105. tended * to any president judge of any judicial disWhere one of the judges is related to a party, and the trict in this commonwealth, without regard to his other has been counsel in the cause, they are inter- being in an adjoining district. P. L. 573. ested. Spoul v. Ihmsen, 6 W. & S. 525. Cases of (8) It is not necessary that an associate judge of divorce are within the act. Kolb's Case, 4 W. 154. the proper county should be present at such special
P. L. 158.
P. L. 619.
dent shall hold
courts of his own
P. L. 619.
, Suits to be tried
P. L. 494.
161. If the despatch of business shall require it, the said judges may so arrange 10 April 1849 $ 2. it, that the judge whose place is supplied may take the place of the other judge at any regular term of said court in his district, or at any adjourned court, and Either at the reguall proceedings had before any such court so holden, shall be of the same force lar term or at the and effect, and be conducted according to the same rules and regulations, to all adjourned court. intents and purposes, as if the same had occurred before the proper president of the district, and shall in like manner be subject to appeal or writ of error, in due course of law, as in other cases.
162. Whenever a president judge shall be a party in any suit, prosecution or 22 April 1866 § 1. proceedings in any court over which he presides, such suit, prosecution or proceeding shall be tried and heard before the president judge residing nearest the place by nearest disinof such trial, who shall be disinterested.
terested judge. 163. In case of the sickness of a president judge in any judicial district in Penn- ? April 1500 $ 1. sylvania, or of the sickness of his family, or of his inability to hold the regular term of courts in any county, from any cause whatever, it shall be lawful for him When president to call upon any other president judge in the commonwealth, who may not himself judges may bold be eng d, to hold said regular term of courts; and said president judge so called proper districts. upon, is hereby authorized and empowered to discharge the duties appertaining to said office, as fully as the regularly commissioned president judge of said district could do, if present, (t) and shall be entitled to the same compensation allowed by law for holding special courts.
161. The causes which, by the act to which this is a supplement, authorize the 1 May 1861 $ 1. president judge, in any judicial district, to call upon any other president judge in the commonwealth to hold the regular term of the courts of the former, shall be Their powers in construed as extending to and authorizing the calling upon such other judge for such cases. the trial, at the regular term of all such causes as by law the president judge of the proper district is prohibited from trying; and the said president judge so called upon is hereby authorized and empowered to discharge all the duties appertaining to the trial of said causes, as fully, to all intents and purposes, as the regularly commissioned president judge of said district could do, if present, and shall be entitled to the same compensation allowed by law for holding special
165. That the power to hold special courts, under the provisions of the act passed 5 May 1864 $ 1. the 11th day of April, Anno Domini 1834;(u) the 4th day of April, Anno Domini 1813;(*) the 10th day of April, Anno Domini 18 19 ;(w) and the 18th day of April, Power to hold Anno Domini 1853,(c) shall be and is hereby extended to all the judges of the special courts several district courts, and the associate judges of the courts of common pleas, in this commonwealth, who are learned in the law, and required so to be commissioned; that every district and associate judge, thus holding a special court, shall, for the time being, be the president of the said court, having all the powers and jurisdictions of the proper president of the several courts of the county wherein the special court shall be held, in the matters coming before him in the said special 166. For the purpose of expediting and furthering the business of special courts,
Ibid. & 2. holden by any president, district or associate judge, where matters shall be held Powers of the under advisement by him, and points reserved, and when motions for a new trial, judges. and in arrest of judgment, and other questions shall be left pending after the termination of the term or session, the judge so holding the said special court, shall have power, in vacation, to determine the matters so held under advisement, reserved and left pending, and to send his decision, in writing, to the prothonotary or clerk of the court, as the case may be (with his reasons, if he deem it necessary), to be filed of record in the cause, either in vacation or in term-time, with the same effect as if decided and entered in term-time: Provided, That no execution, process Executions reguor other proceeding, shall be taken upon any judgment, decree or order, so entered lated. in vacation, by the party in whose favor the same shall be determined, until he shall have given due written notice of the entry of the same, to the opposite party or his attorney, who shall be entitled to the same stay, writ of error, appeal, or other remedy or proceeding, after the service of the said notice, as he would have had, if the said judgment, decree or order had been entered in term-time : for the purpose of enabling the said judge to decide, in any case where a hearing or an argument may be required, he shall have power to make an order, requiring the power to make parties, their attorneys or solicitors, to submit their depositions, exhibits and written arguments to him, at a time and place to be named by him, and also to make all orders necessary to meet the justice of the case.
167. The president judge of any court of common pleas, in any judicial district 15 May 1974 $ 1.
P. L. 829.
P. L. 196.
court. Tracey v. Pendleton, 23 P. S. 171. If the pres- (1) He may hold the court of oyer and terminer. ident judge before whom the cause was tried, after- Matter of the Application of the Judges, 64 P. S. 33. wards, in vacation, files an opinion, granting a new (u) See supru 15+. trial, unless the plaintiff release all subsequently- (1) See supra 154, note (l); and tit. “Orphans' aceruing damages, the associate judges of the proper Court.". county have no power to set aside his decision, and (10) See supra 160. enter judgment on the verdict. Glamorgan Iron Co. (2) See supra 160, note (r). v. Snyder, 81 P. S. 397.
P. L. 196.
P. L. 787.
courts of common
15 May 1874 § 1. established by the act approved April 9th, 1874, entitled “ An act designating the
judicial districts of this commonwealth,” is hereby authorized to call upon the Special courts for president or any law judge of the district as constituted prior to the passage of said the trial of pending act, to hold a special court in the new district, for the hearing and decision of any
motion for a new trial, in arrest of judgment, or any other motion which may have been ade prior to the approval of said act; and upon such request, the president or law judge of the district as lately constituted shall hold a special court and hear and decide said cause or motion, and make any order or judgment necessary to the enforcement of the same; and his decision, order or judgment, when filed, shall have the same force and effect as though it had been rendered prior to the passage. of the aforesaid act, approved April 9th, 1871.
VII. Jurisdiction and Powers. 16 June 1836 $ 12 168. The courts of common pleas shall have jurisdiction and power within their
respective counties to hear and determine all pleas, actions and suits, and causes, Jurisdiction of the civil, personal, real and mixed, according to the constitution and laws of this coinmonwealth; and the said courts shall have power to grant, under their
seals, all lawful writs and process necessary for the exercise of such jurisdiction :
Provided, That the court of common pleas for the city and county of Philadelphia In Philadelphia.
shall not have jurisdiction in any civil plea or action, when the sum or value in
controversy shall exceed one hundred dollars, as heretofore. Ibid. $ 20. 169. Each of said courts shall have power to award process, to levy and recover Process to levy
such fines, forfeitures and amercements as shall be imposed, taxed or adjudged by fines, &c. them respectively: Ibid. & 21. 170. Each of the said courts shall have full power and authority to establish
such rules for regulating the practice(3) thereof respectively, and for expediting of practice.
the determination of suits, causes and proceedings therein, as in their discretion they shall judge necessary or proper : Provided, That such rules shall not be incon
sistent with the constitution and laws of this commonwealth.(2) Ibid. $ 22. 171. Each of the said courts is empowered to issue writs of subpena,under their Power to coinpel
official seal, into any county of this commonwealth, (a) to summon and bring before the attendance of the respective court any person to give testimony in any cause or matter depending
before them, under the penalties(6) hitherto appointed and allowed in any such
case by the laws of this commonwealth. 16 March 1575 $ 1. 172. The judges of the several courts throughout the commonwealth shall be
authorized, at any time hereafter, to make an order fixing the number of the regular Courts inay fix terms of the said several courts, and establishing the times for holding the same, as
in the opinion of the said judges the business may require: which order and all modifications or changes thereof shall be published in not less than two newspapers in each county of the district, at least thirty days before the time so fixed for the
taking effect of said order. 24 May 1878 § 2. 173. The several courts of common pleas of this commonwealth shall have full P. L. 135.
power to make all necessary rules and regulations for the transaction of all busiPower to transact ness brought before them; and in all counties which form separate judicial dis
tricts, with but one judge, he shall have the power to do any and all acts which
heretofore two or more judges were authorized to do.(c) 11 June 1879 $ 1. 174. The several courts of common pleas of this commonwealth be and are
hereby authorized to direct, by rule or standing order, that all writs issued for the May make rules as commencement of actions, all writs of scire facias to revive judgment and continue to return of writs. the lien thereof, and all other writs of scire facias, writs and process of every kind,
To establish rules
P. L. 28.
their own terms.
P. L. 125.
(y) The power to make rules is inherent in every ances occurring between the cause or causes of action court. Mylin's Estate, 7 W. 64. Vannatta v. Ander- alleged, and the evidence offered in support thereof, son, 3 Binn. 417. Wilkins v. Anderson, 11 P. S. 405. in suits brought in the said court, and such rules for Elkinton v. Fennimore, 13 Ibid. 173. A mistake by carrying the same into effect, either by way of staying a court below, in the construction of one of its rules, proceedings in the action, or by the payment of costs must be very obvious, to induce the supreme court to or otherwise, as shall be conducive to fairness, econreverse for that reason only. Grove v. Donaldson, 15 omy and despatch in the trial of such actions." The P. S. 128.
same power was conferred upon the district court of (2) As to the power of the courts to make rules of Allegheny county, by the act 29 April 1814, § 3, P. L. practice, see Bright. Dig. 2027, 3646. By act 20 April 526, and these powers were vested in the courts of 1816, § 5, P. L. 412, the courts of the 16th and 17th common pleas of Philadelphia and Allegheny counties, districts are invested with the same power to make by the constitution of 1874, art. v.$ 6. See Odenheiner general rules and orders, as was conferred upon the v. Stokes, 5 W. & S. 175. former district court of Philadelphia by the act 11 (a) See Hautz v. Rough, 2 S. & R. 350. Thomas March 1836. A like power is conferred on the com- v. Cummins, 1 Y. 1. Penn v. Messinger, Ibid. 2. mon pleas of Schuylkill county, by act 14 April 1851, Delaney v. Regulators, Ibid. 403. Shippen v. Wells, $ 14, P. L. 625; of Berks and Tioga counties by act 2 Y. 260. 21 April 1852, § 1, P. L. 386; of Fayette county, by (b) By act 22 May 1722, § 23, under such pains and act 1 May 1852, § 8, P. L. 507; and of Cumberland penalties as, by the rules of the common law and county, by act 26 February 1872, § 5, P. L. 163. course of practice in the king's courts at Westminster,
The 6th section of the district court act expressly are usually appointed. 1 Sm. 143. conferred upon that court, sitting in banc, the power (c) This enactment seems to have been unnecessary, " by general rules and orders, to make such alterations as such power necessarily results from the provisions and regulations in respect to the time and manner of of the constitution, providing for separate judicial pleading, and the form and effect of plearlings, and districts. the verifications and amendment thereof, and to vari
P. L. 125.
may, at the election of the party suing out the same, be made returnable on the first 11 June 1879 $ 1. Monday of next term, or on the second, third or fourth Monday of any intermediate month. 175. The law judges of the several courts of this commonwealth shall have the 7 May 1889.
P. L. 102. same power in vacation to grant citations and rules to show cause, as they now have, or may hereafter have, while the said courts are in session : Provided, May grant cita Said rules and citations shall be made returnable at a term of court only in the tions and rules in county where the suit is pending. 176. To facilitate the labors of the judges of the court of common pleas of the 17 April 1893 $ 1.
P. L. 21. county in which the seat of government is or may be located in the disposition of the business of the commonwealth, the said judges are hereby authorized to employ Judges authorized the help of stenographers, typewriters and other clerks, provided the cost of such to employ stenog help shall not exceed the sum of one thousand dollars per annum for each of said raphers, type writjudges, the cost of such help to be paid by the judge employing the same, and shall be repaid to him by the state treasurer upon his certificate of the amount paid by him during the preceding three months for such help.