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Part 2: Judge Alexander Bicket's policies and procedures

Judge Alexander Bicket replaces the departing Judge Ignelzi (who has moved to Criminal Division). If your case was previously assigned to Judge Ignelzi ("judicial suffix" 009), then it will probably continue under Judge Bicket. If you have a new case and your case number ends with 009 then your case is with Judge Bicket. You should ask your attorney about any matters scheduled for Judge Ignelzi.

MOTIONS PROCEDURE FOR ATTORNEYS

When Motions Court is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., all contested and uncontested motions must be delivered to the Court by 3:00 p.m. on the preceding day. Contested and uncontested motions delivered after that time will not be heard on that day. However, if time permits, the court will sign consent orders that were not pre-delivered, prior to court. Also, consent orders may be dropped off at chambers with the tipstaff or secretary.

When Motions Court is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., all contested and uncontested motions must be delivered to the Court by 10:00 a.m. on the preceding day. Contested and uncontested motions delivered after that time will not be heard that day.

All motions must be hand delivered and cannot be faxed. However, the Motions sign up sheets are continuously available outside Judge Bicket's chambers, except between the above deadlines and Motions Court. This is unusual for Allegheny County.

MOTIONS PROCEDURE FOR PRO SE (i.e. SELF-REPRESENTED) PARTIES

Pro se motions are written requests to the Court by litigants who are not represented by an attorney. Motions of low-income litigants may be prepared with the assistance of the Pro Se Motions Department. Litigants may also draft motions themselves.

Motions presented in court must be properly prepared and meet all legal requirements. Pro se motions should be presented to the Pro Se Motions department to secure a date to appear. Judge Bicket will hear pro se motions at the conclusion of regular (Attorney) motions. Pro se litigants will be checked in by the tipstaff in the hall outside the motions courtroom at 1:00 p.m. for Monday through Thursday sessions and at 9:00 a.m. for Friday sessions. Parties are to remain outside the courtroom until called. NO children are permitted in the courtroom and third parties may be asked to wait outside. You must make proper childcare arrangements beforehand.

HEARINGS

Judge Bicket uses the regular Allegheny County orders for conciliations, pre-trials and trials. However, the Judge has an unusual and helpful guide to trials, with a pre-set schedule for breaks. Trials beginning at 9:30 a.m. will generally be conducted as follows:

11:00 a.m. - 10 minute break

12:15 p.m - 1 hour and fifteen minute lunch break

1:30 p.m. - Reconvene trial

3:00 p.m. - 10 minute break

4:30 p.m. - Recess for the day