The arbitration system in Allegheny County provides for simple and concise pleadings and a trial of the issues enabling the parties to resolve claims with a minimum of expense and time.
The system is compulsory, non-binding arbitration with a ceiling of $50,000 on civil damage awards.
Remote Arbitration Program Announcement
Effective October 25, 2022 the Remote Arbitration Program is discontinued. Only litigants experiencing exigent circumstances may petition the Court for a Partial Remote Hearing by filing a motion with the Calendar Control Judge. Examples of exigent circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following: being infirmed or disabled, severe illness, childcare, or workplace accommodations issues. A Partial Remote Hearing will only be permitted by the issuance of an Order of Court at the discretion of the Calendar Control Judge. Please see the Honorable Patrick M. Connelly’s Operating Procedures for more information on remote hearing requests.
Any Remote Hearing requests made prior to October 25, 2022, will still occur remotely as scheduled.
Procedure for Obtaining a Continuance
Consented Continuance Requests
- These instructions DO NOT apply to Landlord/Tenant Arbitration Cases. See section 5 of rule 208.3 in the local rules for instructions on Landlord/Tenant Arbitration continuances.
- Contact all parties (or their lawyers) to explain you are requesting a continuance and offer them your reason for the request.
- If all parties agree to your request, you must complete an Adjournment of Hearing form and cover sheet.
- Enter your e-mail address and phone number on the cover sheet or the approved form will not be granted or returned to you for filing.
- Choose a proposed hearing date from the Arbitration calendar, (2023 Calendar, 2024 Calendar) and enter it on the Adjournment form.
- Enter both parties’ names into the stipulation lines which indicates to the court under penalty of perjury that all parties consent to the continuance.
- Email the completed form and cover sheet to Arbitration at Civilarb@alleghenycourts.us and copy opposing parties/attorneys of record when sending your email. If the opposing party is not copied, the Arbitration Office cannot approve your adjournment request.
- Once approved, the Adjournment will be emailed back to you for filing with the Department of Court Records. Note: the continuance is not in force until you pay for and file it with the Department of Court Records.
- You may either e-file online or go in person to file with the Department of Court Records, Civil Division, First Floor City-County Building.
- Serve a copy of the approved Adjournment on all other parties by email, or if unavailable by regular mail.
Contested Continuance Requests
- For contested continuance requests, you must follow the operating procedures of the Calendar Control Judge, the Honorable Patrick M. Connelly.
Becoming an Arbitrator
- The arbitration supervisor maintains a master list of members of the bar of Pennsylvania, practicing in Allegheny County, from which the arbitrators are chosen. The list is subject to approval by the Administrative Judge of the Civil Division.
- The arbitrators serve until completion of the hearings scheduled that day and therefore are required to set aside the day for service. The supervisor of arbitration empanels an appropriate number of boards to efficiently adjudicate the day’s caseload. Cases are assigned for hearing to each board by the Arbitration Assembly Room clerk when advised that the case is ready for hearing.
- Each arbitration board is made up of three attorneys, who are actively engaged in the practice of law in Allegheny County. Each board has one chairperson, who has been admitted to the bar for at least three years. The board hears all evidence relating to the trial and decides all factual disputes and legal issues involved in the case. An attorney who satisfies the above requirements and wishes to serve as an arbitrator must complete a Court supplied Arbitrator Application Form and a
W-9 form and submit them to the Arbitration Center.