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TO:      Criminal Bar
FROM:  Lycoming County Judges
RE:       Nebbia status/hearings
DATE:   September 28, 2015

Section 5761 of the Judicial Code (42 Pa.C.S.A. §5761) sets forth a special procedure regarding bail in drug offenses. In the past, the Commonwealth has filed a motion to request what was commonly referred to as a Nebbia hearing. Although the statute technically applies to any violation of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (“the Act”) and does not require the Commonwealth to request a hearing, the Commonwealth has filed motions requesting a Nebbia hearing only in those cases where it has a concern that the bail or surety bond is being financed from proceeds of drug dealing. Rather than requiring a hearing in every drug case, even cases where the only charge is possession of drug paraphernalia or a small amount of marijuana, the court will continue to rely on the Commonwealth to request Nebbia status pursuant to section 5761. However, in an effort to streamline and clarify the process for all the parties involved, the court will adopt the following procedures. When the Commonwealth wants to invoke Section 5761 after the case has reached the Court of Common Pleas, it shall file a praecipe of record and then forward it to April McDonald, the court scheduling technician. The Court will independently review the charges to make sure that the defendant is charged with a drug offense. If so, the court will enter an order similar to the one attached, which will require defense counsel or the defendant to notify April in writing when the defendant is ready to post bail or to provide funds or property to a surety. April will then schedule a hearing as soon as possible with the Court. The purpose of the hearing is to determine the source of the funds or property being used for the payment of bail or procurement of a surety bond and ensure that the source is not funds derived from violations of the Act. Defense counsel or the defendant must be prepared to present testimony or evidence at the hearing regarding the source of the funds/property. This procedure will result in only one hearing being held at the time the defendant is ready to post bail or provide funds or property to a surety.

  • Nebbia status/hearings form order (9/28/2015) [PDF] [WORD]