Pa. courts ordered to clear civil-case backlogs

    Pennsylvania’s county courts are adopting civil-case management processes to help them wrap up cases within two years.

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille said Monday that a two-year review of county court practices had found that too many civil cases had lingered for too long.

    He blamed certain court rules that made it difficult for inactive cases to be purged. In other cases, he said, counties didn’t have case-management systems or they had a culture that allowed lawyers to dictate the pace of litigation.

    Now, he said, each county has a case-management plan, and president judges know that cases shouldn’t go beyond two years.

    There are exceptions for cases that are unusually complicated or if extenuating circumstances apply, as when lawyers have long-term illnesses.

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