Pennsylvania Year in Review: private collection agencies for court debts, senior judge program, Juvenile Court Judges Commission

New laws affecting the courts enacted by the Pennsylvania legislature in 2012 include the following:

HB 61 Allows private collection agency to pursue fees or costs owed the court for 48 months (currently limited to 180 days).

HB 1026 Extends the sunset dates for the senior judge operational grant program and the Access to Justice Act from 2012 to 2017. Authorizes retired or senior judges to administer oaths and affirmations and take acknowledgments under specified conditions.

HB 1546 Eliminates the requirement Juvenile Court Judges Commission (JCJC) to compile and publish such statistical and other data as may be needed to accomplish reasonable and efficient administration of the juvenile courts system. Replaces with requirement to analyze the data required to be collected by JCJC to identify trends and evidence-based programs and practices to ensure efficient administration of the juvenile justice system. Requires the JCJC to make recommendations to judges, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts and other appropriate entities and to post that information on JCJC’s website.