Motion Court Procedures

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:

  • We will start promptly at 9:00 a.m.
  • Uncontested motions will be addressed first.
  • Contested motions will follow.
  • 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.
  • 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 (814-451-6481) for perhaps some forewarning.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A narrowly tailored Order must accompany each Motion.
  • 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 Elizabeth K. Kelly

  • Motion Court starts at 9:00 a.m. Monday through 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Motions to be presented in Motion Court.
  • I do not have a separate set of rules for out-of-town counsel.
  • I do not differentiate what type of cases I hear on each day.

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Judge Daniel J. Brabender Jr.

  • Motion Court is held at 9:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
  • 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 David Ridge

  • Civil and Criminal Motions will be addressed Monday through Thursday. Motion Court PROMPTLY starts at 9:00 a.m.
  • Motion Court is for motions that do not have judicial assignment.
  • Motion Court is NOT intended for matters requiring testimony. If testimony is warranted, the case must be taken to Court Administration for judicial assignment.
  • If both parties have CONSENTED to the requested relief, the motion may be dropped off in Chambers, ONLY if the consent is clearly stated in the motion and an ORDER accompanies the Motion.
  • A cover sheet MUST be COMPLETELY filled out by the MOVING PARTY before the motion is presented to the Judge. Cover sheets are found on the Eric County website. eriecountypa.gov.
  • Consented to motions will be addressed FIRST. Motions that are NOT consented to will be next. Pro se motions will be last.
  • IFP (In Forma Pauperis) forms MUST BE COMPLETED IN FULL before being presented to the Judge. In Forma Pauperis forms can be found on the Erie County website. (See #5.)
  • Motion Court is intended for MINOR MATTERS where the relief is clear and for some reason the consent of the other party CANNOT be obtained. The moving party MUST be prepared to make a brief and plain statement demonstrating their right to relief. An ORDER MUST accompany the Motion.

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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.

  • We will start promptly at 9:00 a.m.
  • 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.
  • In Forma Pauperis forms must be completely filled out before being presented to the Judge. In Forma Pauperis forms can be found on the Erie County website.
  • Unconsented Motions will be addressed first.
  • Contested Motions will follow.
  • Pro Se matters will be handled last. (Pro Se refers to a party without an attorney.)
  • 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.
  • The moving party must be prepared to make a brief and plain statement demonstrating their right to relief.
  • An Order must accompany the Motion.
  • Motion Court is not intended for matters requiring substantial testimony.
  • 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

  • Motion Court starts promptly at 9:00 a.m. All parties must check in with the tipstaff and complete the appropriate Motion Court forms. Uncontested motions are addressed first. Contested motions follow uncontested motions. Pro se matters are heard last. All motions shall be in writing.
  • 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.
  • Time-stamped copies of uncontested motions or 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;
  • 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.
  • 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 maybe 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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