Court Re-openings in Westmoreland County
On June 8, 2020, the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County decreed that all restrictions contained in previous emergency order which limited court facilities to solely essential functions, expired on the 8th day of May, 2020. Upon the expiration of the Judicial Emergency in Westmoreland County, new civil motions procedures were established effective May 11, 2020.
According to the new procedures, uncontested motions may be submitted via fax, e-mail or first-class mail to the assigned judge for signature. If a motion is contested, the moving party is to call the chambers of the judge assigned to the matter to request a date and time for the presentation of the motion. Motions are scheduled in ten (10) minute increments between 9:00 a.m. and 11 a.m. every Friday. Once scheduled, the moving party is to provide a copy of the motion and any proposed order to the defending party and to the assigned judge at least four (4) days prior to the date when the presentation of the motion is scheduled to occur.
The moving party is to advise the court at the time of requesting a scheduled time for the presentation of the motion, whether the moving party will appear in person or remotely. The moving party is responsible for advising the defending party in writing that he or she may appear in person to oppose the motion or instead defend the motion remotely. If the defending party chooses to proceed remotely, he or she must advise the court of his or her selection in advance.
Counsel is responsible for making arrangements with the court should he or she choose to appear remotely. If counsel chooses to appear in person, only the attorney presenting and/or defending the motion may be present. If the moving/defending party is pro se, that party is to appear alone. All counsel/pro se parties must wear a mask in the courtroom. Counsel/pro se parties are advised that masks will not be provided so everyone is required to bring their own. While recommended, gloves are not required for entry.
All Custody Conciliation Conferences are being heard telephonically or by other communication as arranged through the Family Court Administrator’s Office. Counsel/pro se parties must provide designated case information to the Court Administrator at least three (3) days in advance of the Custody Conciliation Conference. The designated information includes the telephone and e-mail addresses of the parties and/or attorneys on their behalf, completed Parent Information forms and Criminal History Verification forms, and the date of birth for each party.
If you have questions about how to move your case forward in Westmoreland County or the surrounding counties please contact our office.
This alert is intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have. We are fully operational during this pandemic and stand ready to assist as you navigate this ongoing and developing COVID-19 situation.