As part of the courts’ ongoing Covid 19 response, arguments before the Supreme Court this month will be publicly accessible via video conference. For more information, visit: http://www.pacourts.us/courts/supreme-court/december-2020-supreme-court-session.
Dec. 1, 2020
Allocatur granted June 23, 2020. Past Bad Acts Evidence; Unwritten Non-Prosecution Agreement
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur to determine whether live testimony and deposition testimony in which Bill Cosby testified related to the drug-facilitated sexual assaults of five women, and his admissions about his knowledge and use of Quaaludes was relevant and admissible evidence and whether a non-prosecution agreement allegedly entered into by the District Attorney to secure Cosby’s deposition testimony barred Cosby’s prosecution.
Allocatur granted June 23, 2020. Public Utilities; Late Payment Charges Following Docketing of Municipal Lien
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur to determine whether a public utility may incur further late payment charges on past due bills consistent with its Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC)-approved tariff after the city docketed a lien in the county court in relation to an unpaid balance.
Allocatur granted June 2, 2020. Criminal Procedure Rule 600 Time Requirement; New Hearing on Commonwealth’s Due Diligence
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in this case to determine whether the Superior Court erred in remanding for a new hearing on the Commonwealth’s due diligence under Pa. R. Crim. P. Rule 600.
Allocatur granted Apr. 28, 2020. Individual Standing to Challenge Gun Ordinance Absent Violation/Prosecution
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur to address whether individuals have standing to challenge the legality of five local gun control ordinances of the City of Harrisburg through a declaratory judgment action.
Petition for Certification granted July 24, 2020. MVFRL Stacking of Underinsured (UIM) Benefits: Waiver, Interpolicy Stacking, Household Vehicle Exclusion
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider certified questions of law from the Third Circuit involving the interpretation of Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) concerning the stacking of underinsured (UIM) benefits between two separate policies of insurance.
Dec. 2, 2020
Allocatur granted June 22, 2020. Piercing the Corporate Veil: “Enterprise ” vs. “Single Entity” Theory
In this matter of first impression, the Supreme Court will consider whether to adopt the “enterprise theory” or “single entity” theory of piercing the corporate veil
Allocatur granted May 11, 2020. Pa.R.E. 106; Rebuttal Testimony; Introduction of New Evidence
The Supreme Court will consider whether introducing a video of a child sexual assault victim’s forensic interview during rebuttal, when defense has made limited references, is appropriate under the Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence, Rule 106.
Allocatur granted July 10, 2020. Constables’ Authority to Detain following a “Breach of the Peace” Offense
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will examine whether constables possess the power at common law to make a warrantless arrest and detain an offender for a breach of the peace until the state police, at the instruction of the prosecutor, arrive to investigate the offender for a more serious offense.
Allocatur granted June 23, 2020. Medical Negligence Trial; Evidence of General Risks and Complications; Limiting Instruction
In a case of first impression, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will determine whether in a medical negligence claim, a limiting instruction is warranted when evidence of general risks and complications is admitted to establish the applicable standard of care.
Allocatur granted May 11, 2020. Endangering the welfare of a child under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4304(a)(1); Failure to Use Appropriate Restraint System in Car for Hire
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in this case to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to convict a mother for knowingly endangering the welfare of her daughter (endangering the welfare of children or EWOC) under the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4304(a)(1), which provides that “[a] parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age … commits [the offense of EWOC] if [s]he knowingly endangers the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection, or support.”
Allocatur granted August 5, 2020. Double Jeopardy; Municipal Court Jurisdiction
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether the Commonwealth was required to try drug offenses and suspended license offenses simultaneously because the Philadelphia Municipal Court and the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia are both in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.