Attorney Appearances and Withdrawals
Entry of Appearance
If you hire a lawyer to represent you in court, he or she must file an Entry of Appearance Form with the Traffic Division’s Attorney Filing Unit. The Entry of Appearance shall include the ticket numbers to which you are responding, the attorney’s office address, email, phone number and the Supreme Court attorney identification number. Lawyers cannot ask to limit their representation to a specific case.
The Court will not provide a lawyer with any information on a defendant unless an Entry of Appearance is filed with the Attorney Filling Unit. An attorney who has been retained by a defendant and entered an appearance as provided in this Rule shall continue such representation in the Traffic Division of Municipal Court until granted leave to withdraw by the court.
Form 02-64 APPEARANCE
Withdrawal of Appearance
Counsel for a defendant may not withdraw his or her appearance except by leave of court. The request shall be in writing or may be made orally in open court in the presence of the defendant. The Court may grant the request to withdraw when new counsel enters an appearance, when new counsel is appointed to represent the defendant, or when the defendant intelligently waives the right to counsel.
Form 32-63 Withdrawal of Counsel
Rescheduling Your Hearing or Trial
A continuance is a delay or rescheduling of a hearing or trial. If you need a continuance, you must make the request in writing to this Court; include the citation number, your telephone number, driver license number, and the date, time and, if known, the assigned courtroom. Specifically state the reason for the continuance and include documentation to support the request for the continuance (i.e., proof of future hospitalization, pre-paid vacation, military service, etc. – something that cannot be easily rescheduled.)
- Timing of request. All requests for continuance must be received by the Traffic Division at least 48 hours before the date of the trial or hearing. A later request shall only be considered if the defendant or defendant’s lawyer of record establishes that the cause for the continuance request did not previously exist, or the defendant was not aware of the grounds for the request.
- Address Where Continuance Requests are to Be Mailed or Delivered. All requests for continuances are to be mailed or delivered to the Philadelphia Municipal Court, Traffic Division, 800 Spring Garden Street, Post Office Box 56301, Philadelphia, PA 19130-6301. All requests for continuances shall be assigned to the Administrative Judge or his/her designee who shall rule on the request, in writing, and shall state the reasons for the granting or denial for the continuance. If you do not receive notification that the continuance has been granted, the hearing will proceed; if you do not appear, the hearing may be held in your absence.
- Requests for Continuance on the Trial Date. All requests for continuances received on the day of the trial or hearing shall be in writing, on the court-approved form, and shall be presented to the presiding judge or hearing officer. The presiding judge or hearing officer shall rule on the request, in writing, and shall state the reasons for the granting or denial of the continuance.
Form 2-66 Continuance Request
Appealing a Traffic Division Conviction
If you do not agree with the decision at your hearing, you may want to file an appeal. An “appeal” is an application to a higher court for a reversal of the lower court’s decision.
A timely appeal (within 30 days of the finding of guilt) is called a trial de novo. An appeal filed after thirty (30) days from the date of being found guilty, is called a Nunc Pro Tunc appeal. You must file a Petition to proceed with a Nunc Pro Tunc Appeal. That Petition may be denied by the presiding judge. See forms below.
WHERE TO FILE: All Notices of Appeal and Petitions to Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc must be filed at the Philadelphia Municipal Court, Traffic Division, 800 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
APPEAL FORMS – Forms are available at the Traffic Division and may be downloaded here:
Notice of Appeal from Summary Conviction – Traffic
Petition Seeking Permission to Appeal NUNC PRO TUNC
Assistance with completion of the forms will be provided at the Traffic Division. It is preferable that a Defendant come to the Traffic Division to complete and file the forms (although the appeal forms can be mailed).
FILING FEE - A $35.00 fee is required to file a Notice of Appeal; a $12.50 fee is required to file a Petition to Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc. Filing fees may be paid by Cash, Check or Money Order (made payable to “Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division”). The filing fee will not be waived and must be paid at the time of filing. An Appellant who alleges that he/she is financially unable to pay the filing fee must submit a Petition to Proceed in Forma Pauperis and will be permitted to file the appeal without paying the fee. The Petition to Proceed in Forma Pauperis will be assigned to the judge hearing the appeal. If the judge determines that Appellant is financially able to pay the fee, he or she may be ordered to pay the filing fee before the hearing proceeds.
NOTE: The applicable filing fees are imposed for each Notice of Appeal or Petition to Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc filed (regardless of the number of citations listed on each form); however, only those citations issued during the same stop may be listed on the same form. A separate Notice of Appeal, Petition to Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc must be completed for citations issued at different stops.
NOTE: The Owner of a motor vehicle impounded pursuant to Sections 6309, 6309.1 and 6309.2 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, while the motor vehicle was being driven by someone other than the owner, may appeal the Traffic Division’s decision to deny the owner’s request to return the vehicle to him or her by filing a Notice of Appeal and paying a filing fee.
Court Hearing – A hearing date will be scheduled at the time of filing of the Petition to Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc. NO OTHER NOTICE OF THE HEARING DATE WILL BE GIVEN. If an Appellant fails to appear on the hearing date, the appeal will be dismissed by the Court of Common Pleas AND WILL NOT BE RELISTED.
FILING AN APPEAL AFTER 30 DAYS: An Appellant who seeks to file an appeal more than thirty (30) days after a guilty plea or conviction must file a Petition To Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc and must state and prove that: (1) the delay in filing the appeal was caused by extraordinary circumstances; and (2) Appellant acted promptly in filing the Appeal after learning of the existence of those circumstances.
Payment Plan – You must continue to make your scheduled payments after the filing of a Notice of Appeal UNLESS ALL citations which are part of the Payment Plan have been timely appealed. You must continue to make scheduled payments after the filing of a Petition to Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc. The Payment Plan may be modified after the Petition is disposed by the Court of Common Pleas.
A citation can only be appealed once. If an appeal has been dismissed or denied by the Court of Common Pleas, you cannot appeal the citation again.
A Notice of Disposition will be sent to you at the address listed on the petition or Notice of Appeal no later than thirty (30) days after the Appeal Hearing. Notification of the decision will be sent to PennDOT within ten (10) days of the disposition date.
Unless appealed as provided above, Traffic Division verdicts are final and are not subject to reconsideration. If the fines assessed are not timely paid, further collection efforts may occur, including suspension of your driving privileges and issuance of a warrant for your arrest.
Administratively Canceled Citations
The following violations can be administratively cancelled (or withdrawn) by the Police if proof of documentation is presented personally to the Police Liaison Officer at the Traffic Division within the time frame set forth below. (This information is printed on the reverse side of the Defendant’s copy of the citation.)
Violations for driving without registration (Section 1301 and 1311), driving without insurance (Section 1786), or violations of a police investigation (Section 6308), may be cancelled if the required proof is presented within five (5) days of issuance of the citation.
Violations for driving without a license (Section 1501 and 1511), requirement for commercial driver’s license (Section 1606a), or violations of a police investigation (Section 6308), may be cancelled if the required proof is presented within fifteen (15) days of issuance of the citation.
To request cancellation, you must appear personally at Police Liaison Unit of the Traffic Division, 800 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123 between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 3:30 P.M., Monday through Friday.
Please Note: After the time periods set forth above, the citations CANNOT be administratively canceled (or withdrawn). You must then plead guilty and pay the fine or plead NOT GUILTY and ask for a hearing or a trial.