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PA Courts Taking Unprecedented Actions

In the wake of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, we have seen the courts taking unprecedented actions. The PA Supreme Court, by administrative order, has suspended Rule 600 as of Friday, April 13, 2020. This means the minimum calculation of 180 days for incarcerated defendants to seek nominal bail has ceased to run as of that date. Likewise, the speedy trial rule of 365 days as of date has stopped.

Additionally, many county courts have closed with the exception of particular matters, such as bail hearings- known as “Rule 150 Hearings.” In many instances, courts should be educated that certain types of defendants, such as the aged, infirm, or those with immunodeficiency concerns should be excluded from the general Administrative Order of the PA Supreme Court.

We have seen an uptick in the numbers of persons requiring the assistance of qualified counsel in the most recent days and predict that such will rise even higher as this national crisis continues. If you have a loved one in jail that has been unable to post bail, it may be of interest to seek a bail reduction based upon their susceptibility to COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus disease.

Please contact Shaffer & Engle at (717) 268-4287 or fill out a contact form on our site under Contact Us.