42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 4139 - Contempt Powers Of Traffic Court Of Philadelphia

§ 4139. Contempt powers of Traffic Court of Philadelphia.

(a) General rule.--The Traffic Court of Philadelphia shall have the power to issue attachments and impose summary punishments for criminal contempts in the following cases:

(1) Misbehavior of any person in the presence of the court thereby obstructing the administration of justice.

(2) Failure of a person to obey lawful process in the nature of a subpoena issued by a traffic court judge.

(3) Failure to comply with an order of a traffic court judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order.

(b) Limitation.--The power of contempt shall not include system and related personnel, attorneys or law enforcement officers when performing official duties or acting as officers of the court.

(c) Punishment.--Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(1) or (3) may be a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(2) shall be a fine of not more than $100. Failure to pay within a reasonable time could result in imprisonment for not more than ten days.

(d) Procedure.--A traffic court judge shall have the power to issue an attachment by means of a warrant and to conduct a hearing prior to the imposition of punishment for contempt. Any punishment imposed by a traffic court judge for contempt shall be automatically stayed for a period of ten days from the date of imposition of the punishment during which time an appeal of the action of the traffic court judge may be filed with the court of common pleas of the judicial district. The stay shall remain in effect pending the disposition of an appeal. Upon the filing of the appeal, the court of common pleas shall hear the matter de novo. On appeal, the accused shall have the right to be notified of the accusation and shall have a reasonable time to make a defense. The defendant shall not have a right to a jury trial on appeal.

(June 15, 1994, P.L.273, No.45, eff. 60 days)

1994 Amendment. Act 45 added section 4139.

Suspension by Court Rule. Section 4139 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure No. 1101(1), adopted March 1, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with the 30-day appeal period and 30-day automatic stay period set forth in Rule 141 relating to preliminary hearing; continuances.

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Last modified: October 8, 2016