Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania
County of Allegheny
Civil | Special Motions Court Information

Uncontested General Docket and Arbitration Motions:
All uncontested matters may be presented to the Special Motions Judge on Fridays when the Judge is hearing motions at 10:00 A.M., 12:00 Noon, and 2:00 P.M. Please call 412.350.5953 and press "2" to hear which Fridays the Judge is hearing motions.

Contested General Docket Motions:
The moving party may obtain a Friday argument date and time, in person or by telephone, from the Assignment Room (700 City-County Building, 412.350.5463) between 1:30 P.M. and 4:30 P.M.; or the moving party may place the matter on a 2:00 P.M. Add-On List on a Friday when the Judge is hearing motions any time after 8:30 A.M. on the Friday on which it will be argued. The Add-On List is located in Courtroom 815.

NOTE: There is no limit on the number of cases that can be placed on the Add-On List. Consequently, a party may schedule an argument by giving at least ten (10) days notice to the other parties that a matter will be placed on the Add-On List.

Contested Arbitration Motions:
The original and a copy of any motion shall be taken to an Arbitration Department Clerk (702 City County Building). The clerk will place on the original and the copy of the motion a time and date (usually on a Friday at 10:00 A.M.) for an argument before the Special Motions Judge. The clerk will file the original with the Department of Court Records and return the copy to the party filing the motion. This party shall immediately serve copies of the motion on all other parties with notice of the date and time of the argument.

NOTE: The Arbitration Office's scheduling a motion for an argument on a date after the date of the Arbitration hearing does not continue the Arbitration hearing unless the moving party obtains a continuance pursuant to paragraph (c)(iii).

  1. For any General Docket case that is not on a published trial list, motions and petitions relating to the following matters shall be presented to the Special Motions Judge:
    1. discovery;
    2. pleadings (other than preliminary objections) including amendments, joinder of parties, late joinder of additional defendants;
    3. preliminary objections filed by an additional defendant if the Special Motions Judge entered an order permitting the late joinder;
    4. withdrawal and disqualification of counsel;
    5. discontinuances, consolidation, severance, coordination of actions in different counties (Pa.R.C.P. No. 213.1), placing/striking cases at issue;
    6. entry and opening of judgments of non pros;
    7. transfers between Arbitration and General Docket;
    8. certificates of merit (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1042.1 et seq.); and
    9. dismissal upon affidavit of noninvolvement (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1036).
  2. In any General Docket case that is not on a published trial list, any motions that are not required to be presented to the Motions Court (see motions-general) or to the Special Motions Court (see subdivision (a) above) may be presented to either the Motions Court or the Special Motions Court.
    1. Except as provided in the following subdivisions (ii); (iii); and (iv), all motions involving Arbitration cases shall be heard by the Special Motions Judge.
    2. In forma pauperis petitions will be presented to the Motions Judge.
    3. Requests for the continuance of an Arbitration case will be presented to the Calendar Control Judge. The party seeking a continuance will present to the Calendar Control Judge an Adjournment of Hearing Form which may be obtained from an Arbitration Clerk in 702 City County Building.
      NOTE: For cases that have not been previously continued, if all parties agree, the Chief Arbitration Clerk has the authority to sign the "Green Sheet" continuing the case.
    4. Motions filed after an Arbitration award has been appealed shall be presented to the Special Motions Judge unless they affect the timing of the trial of the case, in which event they shall be presented to the Calendar Control Judge.