The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has amended the Rules of Criminal Procedure governing the setting of collateral and incarceration for failure to post collateral in summary cases. The Court’s order, dated April 10, 2015, is effective July 10, 2015. The amended rules are Rules 431 (Procedures When Defendant Arrested with Warrant), 441 (Procedures When Defendant Arrested without Warrant), 452 (Collateral), 456 (Default Procedures: Restitution, Fines, and Costs), 461 (Stays), and 1033 (Procedures When Defendant Arrested with Warrant).
The amendments are a response to the practice of issuing authorities incarcerating summary case defendants for failure to post collateral. The goal of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee is “to more equitably balance the interests of the courts in ensuring that a defendant meets his or her obligations with the need to avoid unduly harsh methods of enforcement.” For more detailed information on the amendments, be sure to read the Committee’s Final Report.