L310.1

Chapter II

APPEALS TO TRIAL COURT

Rule L300 STATUTORY APPEALS
Unless a contrary procedure is required by statute or general rule of court, this Rule shall apply to all statutory appeals from a municipal hearing board, local agency or equivalent body and where the court has jurisdiction to review such adjudications.

(a) Transmitting the record

(1) When an appeal from a decision of a municipal hearing board, local agency, or equivalent body is filed, the appellant shall serve a copy of the appeal upon the District Court Administrator.

(2) Upon the filing of the appeal, the Prothonotary shall immediately issue a writ of certiorari and properly serve it on the municipal hearing board or local agency equivalent body from which the appeal was taken directing the board, agency or body to transmit a copy of the record required to be established by the board, agency or body in hearing the matter and issuing a decision, within 20 days of notice of the writ.

(3) When the record is transmitted, the municipal hearing board, local agency or equivalent body shall accompany the record with a certificate certifying that the record transmitted is complete, including a full transcript, and in accord with the statutory provision regarding the creation of a record before the board, agency or body. A copy of the certificate shall be served by the board, agency or body upon the District Court Administrator.

(4) Upon receipt of the certificate by the District Court Administrator, the court shall schedule oral argument of the appeal and set a briefing schedule.

(b) Evidentiary Hearing

(1) If the court determines that the transmitted record is incomplete, it shall order the municipal hearing board, local agency or equivalent body to transmit a complete record within 20 days of the order, with the order enforceable by contempt of court, remand the case to the board, agency or body with directions to complete the record or schedule a de novo evidentiary hearing.

(2) In the event that a party desires to present additional evidence, a motion indicating the reasons therefore shall be presented to the court, during motion court in accordance with Rule L211(a), within 10 days after the court schedules argument and sets a briefing schedule. The motion shall state with particularity the authority upon which movant relies and the particular factors which the moving party believes indicate that the receipt of further evidence is warranted.

(3) In cases in which evidence is received by the court pursuant to subsection (a)(2)(i) of this Rule, after the close of the evidentiary proceedings, all parties shall submit proposed findings of fact to the court along with their respective briefs on the merits of the appeal in accordance with a schedule fixed by the court.

Rule L310.1  REAL ESTATE ASSESSMENT AND TAX EXEMPTION APPEALS
(a) All appeals from a real estate assessment or tax exemption by the Board of Assessment Appeals shall be presented or filed in the form of a petition for allowance of appeal.

(b) The petition for allowance of appeal shall be filed with the Prothonotary. The appellant shall serve a copy of the petition for allowance of appeal upon the District Court Administrator.

(c) The petition shall have attached a proposed preliminary order, which shall provide:
(1) That the appeal is allowed;
(2) That the taxing authorities within whose jurisdiction the real estate is situate and the property owner, if the appellant is not the property owner, shall be notified that leave to intervene in the appeal, if desired, must be pursued in accordance with Pa.R.C.P. 2328-2330;
(3) The scheduling of a pre-hearing conference to be held no earlier than 45 days from the date of filing the petition; and
(4) That within five (5) days from the date of the preliminary order, appellant shall serve a copy of the petition and the Prothonotary shall serve a copy of the preliminary order upon the Board of Assessment Appeals, the Board of Commissioners of Lawrence County, the governing bodies of the school district and each municipality in which the real estate is situate, and upon the property owner, if the appellant is not the property owner.

(d) Appellant shall file of record a certificate of service stating to whom service of the petition was made and the method and date of service.

(e) The Prothonotary shall file of record a certificate or affidavit of service of the preliminary order stating to whom service was made and the method and date of service.

Rule L310.2 REAL ESTATE ASSESSMENT AND TAX EXEMPTION APPEALS – PRE-HEARING STATEMENT AND CONFERENCE
(a) All parties of record shall file a pre-hearing statement no later than 10 days prior to the pre-hearing conference.

(b) The pre-hearing statements shall include:
(1) A summary of the evidence which will be offered at the hearing;
(2) A list of exhibits to be offered;
(3) A list of the names and addresses of all witnesses to be called;
(4) In an assessment appeal, copies of any appraisal reports, or if no report is available, a summary of the testimony of any expert who will be called as a witness;
(5) In an assessment appeal, a statement of the current valuation which is the basis for the appeal;
(6) In an assessment appeal, a statement setting forth the appellant’s position as to the correct valuation, which shall include appellant’s position as to the correct market value, assessment ratio, and assessment;
(7) In a tax exempt appeal, copies of any expert report, or if no report is available, a summary of the testimony of any expert who will be called as a witness;
(8) In a tax exemption appeal, a statement setting forth the appellant’s basis for claiming a tax exemption of the property, including, but not all inclusively, citations of precedent or controlling case and statutory law;
(9) A statement that there have been negotiations between the parties and a good faith attempt to settle the case; and
(10) The pre-hearing statements shall be signed by the parties or their counsel.

(c) At the pre-hearing conference each party of record shall be personally present.

(d) At the pre-hearing conference, the parties of record shall consider:
(1) Possible stipulations as to evidence and facts;
(2) Simplification of the issues; and
(3) Settlement.

(e) If the appeal is not settled after a pre-hearing conference, the court shall enter an appropriate order, which may include the scheduling of a hearing.