(a) General rule.–The Supreme Court shall by general rule provide for expedited procedures for the determination of paternity and the determination and enforcement of support. The procedures shall include an office conference; a conference summary to the court by the hearing officer; an opportunity for the court to enter an order without hearing the parties; and an opportunity for the parties to demand a full hearing by the court.
(b) Alternate procedure.–The Supreme Court shall also provide an alternate expedited procedure which may be adopted by local rule of the courts of common pleas. The procedure shall include an office conference; an evidentiary hearing before a hearing officer who shall be an attorney; a transcript of the testimony; a report and recommendation to the court by the hearing officer; and an opportunity for the filing of exceptions with and argument before the court.
(c) Long arm procedures.–The Supreme Court shall by general rule establish procedures for the exercise of long arm jurisdiction to establish paternity and to establish and enforce support. Long arm jurisdiction shall be used in preference to proceedings under Part VIII (relating to uniform interstate family support) or VIII-A (relating to intrastate family support) unless it would be more effective to proceed otherwise. Long arm proceedings may be commenced or continued in any county where the plaintiff resides regardless of whether the parties maintained a family domicile in that county.
(d) Jurisdiction over nonresident.–(Deleted by amendment).
(e) Default.–The court shall enter a default order establishing paternity and enforcing support upon a showing that the defendant has been properly served and has not appeared.
(f) Hearsay exception.–For proceedings pursuant to this section, a verified petition, affidavit or document and a document incorporated by reference in any of them which would not be excluded under the hearsay rule if given in person is admissible in evidence if given under oath by a party or witness.
(g) Payment record.–A copy of the record of support payments certified as a true copy of the original by the custodian of the record is evidence of facts asserted in it and is admissible to show whether payments were made.
(h) Bills.–Copies of billing statements, bills for testing for parentage and for prenatal and postnatal health care of the mother and child furnished to the adverse party at least ten days before a court proceeding are admissible in evidence to prove the amount of the charges billed and to prove that the charges were reasonable, necessary and customary.
(i) Transmission of documentary evidence.–Documentary evidence transmitted to the domestic relations section by telephone, telecopier or other means which do not provide an original writing may not be excluded from evidence based on the means of transmission.
(j) Testimony.–In a proceeding under this part, a court may permit a party or witness to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual or other electronic means at a designated location.
(Mar. 25, 1988, P.L.296, No.35, eff. imd.; July 2, 1993, P.L.431, No.62, eff. imd.; Dec. 16, 1994, P.L.1286, No.150, eff. imd.; Apr. 4, 1996, P.L.58, No.20, eff. imd.; Dec. 16, 1997, P.L.549, No.58, eff. Jan. 1, 1998)
1997 Amendment. Act 58 added subsecs. (f), (g), (h), (i) and (j). Act 58 of 1997 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(3), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule No.1910.20 relating to the availability of remedies for collection of past due and overdue support.
1996 Amendment. Act 20 amended subsec. (c) and deleted subsec. (d).
1994 Amendment. Act 150 amended subsec. (a) and added subsec. (e).
Suspension by Court Rule. Section 4342 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(2), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it provides that long arm jurisdiction shall be used in preference to proceedings under Part VIII-A relating to intrastate family support actions.
Section 4342(f) was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(4), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule 1910.26 as it relates to record hearings in support actions.