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Pa. O.C. Rule 3. Pleading and Practice

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.1. Conformity to Equity Practice in General.
___Except where otherwise provided by a rule adopted by the Supreme Court, or by an Act of Assembly, or by general rule or special order of the local Orphans' Court, and except for the Notice to Defend required by Rule of Civil Procedure 1018.1, which form of notice shall be required only if directed by general rule or special order of the local Orphans' Court, the pleading and practice shall conform to the pleading and practice in equity in the local Court of Common Pleas.

[Amended November 24, 1975, effective January 1, 1976.]

[Committee Comment: The deletion of the word "Exceptions" from the title avoids confusion with the understanding of this word as it is employed in Rule 7.]

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.2. Petition, Answer and Reply.
___(a) On or before the return day fixed in the citation or order, and in all other cases within twenty days after service upon him of a copy of any petition, a party opposing the granting of the prayer of the petition shall file an answer admitting or denying the averments of fact of the petition and specifically stating his objections thereto and averring the facts relied upon by him.

___(b) Within twenty days after service upon him of a copy of an answer, a petitioner may file a reply thereto and admit, deny or avoid the facts averred in the answer.

[Amended January 1, 1968, effective February 1, 1968.]

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.3. Averment of Incapacity.
___Whenever the name of a person must be set forth in a pleading or statement of proposed distribution and such person is not sui juris, the fact shall be set forth, together with the name and address of the guardian, trustee or other representative of such person, if any. If the person not sui juris is a minor who has no guardian of his estate, the minor's age, the name and address of his parents and of the person with whom he resides shall also be set forth.

[Amended November 24, 1975, effective January 1, 1976.]

[Committee Comment: The word "committee" is deleted as no longer applicable to a person or persons managing the estate or person of an incompetent.]

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.4. Form of Petition. Exhibits. Consents.
___(a) A petition shall set forth

______(1) the caption;

______(2) a heading indicating briefly the purpose of the petition;

______(3) a concise statement of the facts relied upon to justify the relief desired, together with the citation of any Act of Assembly relied upon; and

______(4) a prayer for the relief desired.

___(b) The petitioner shall attach to the petition

______(1) a form of decree; and

______(2) such exhibits, consents or approvals as may be required by Act of Assembly or by local rule.

___(c) If the petitioner is unable to attach any necessary exhibit, consent or approval, he shall so state in his petition, together with the reason for his inability.

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.5. Mode of Proceeding on Petition.
___Proceeding on petition shall be by citation to be awarded by the Court upon application of petitioner in any case where jurisdiction over the person of the respondent is required and has not previously been obtained. In all other cases, proceedings on petition shall be by notice. In either event a copy of the petition shall be served with the citation or notice unless service thereof is made by publication. Neither a citation nor notice shall be required where all parties in interest are the petitioners or their consents or joinders are attached.

[Committee Comment: The distinction between commencement of proceedings by petition with notice as contrasted with petition with citation has been generally a hazy one for most of the profession. A misstep can be quite troublesome if not fatal, viz: Hicks Estate, 414 Pa. 131, 199 A.2d 283, 1964. For this reason it is suggested that an explicit statement thereof would be of value even though possibly redundant. Similarly the last sentence seems obvious but members of the Orphans' Court bench have reported otherwise.]

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.6. Depositions, Discovery, Production of Documents and Perpetuation of Testimony.
___The local Orphans' Court, by general rule or special order, may prescribe the practice relating to depositions, discovery, production of documents and perpetuation of testimony. To the extent not provided for by such general rule or special order, the practice relating to such matters shall conform to the practice in the Trial or Civil Division of the local Court of Common Pleas.

[Amended November 24, 1975, effective January 1, 1976.]

[Committee Comment: The added words are required by the separate identification of divisions of the Court of Common Pleas.]

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The Pennsylvania Estate and Trust Cybrary
Daniel B. Evans, Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 27370
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Telephone: (215) 233-0988
Telecopier: (215) 233-1887
Email: dan@evans-legal.com