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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
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In Pennsylvania small claims cases does the defendant lose

Customer Question

In Pennsylvania small claims cases does the defendant lose automatically if he does not call or write the court before appearing?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

If you do not show up for the case and did not reply to the case at all, the plaintiff would receive a default judgment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Specifically, In Pa, if I don't write or call the court, do I lose as the defendant?
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that is what is known as a default judgment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was asking a more specific question already knowing what a"default judgment" is. In Pennsylvania, is a default judgment defined by not writing or calling the district justice, or by not appearing?
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

It's defined by not showing up for court or by failing to inform the court that you are defending the case. Thus, when you ask if it is "by not writing or calling or by not appearing", it can be both as I stated in my previous answers. If someone files a suit against you and you failed to file an Answer and/or failed to show up for court, the Plaintiff would get a default judgment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Lets say someone failed to file an answer. They then appear, does the case get dismissed because they did not answer? Please cite PA law.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Lets say someone failed to file an answer. They then appear, does the case get dismissed because they did not answer? Please cite PA law.

Response: No. The case would not be dismissed. Also, if the Defendant shows up, but the Plaintiff does not show up and if the Defendant has not sent the notice of intend to defend the case to the Plaintiff, the Court would continue the case. See 246 Pa Code Rule 319. Also see 246 Pa Code Rules 318 and 305:

http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/246/chapter300/s319.html

http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/246/chapter300/s318.html

http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/246/chapter300/s305.html

http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/246/chapter300/chap300toc.html

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I serve defendants myself without the court in small claims cases?What is the PA Case law on exclusivity agreements?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Can I serve defendants myself without the court in small claims cases?

Response 1: No. You need to comply with the requirements of the Rules. See 246 Pa Code Rules 307, 315, and 318:

http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/246/chapter300/chap300toc.html

What is the PA Case law on exclusivity agreements?

Response 2: I am sorry, but I am not going to answer this question under this thread. You are now asking a question regarding exclusive agreement that is not part of your initial post. The policy of this site requires that you open a new thread for this question. Thank you for your cooperation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rule 314 appears to allow proof of service by plaintiff.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello there. I am waiting for a response.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Your previous expert has opted out and I have opted in. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

What is the PA Case law on exclusivity agreements?

There is no specific PA statutory law on exclusivity agreements. A contract that has such a clause follows common law contract doctrine, and is enforceable. The only way to make the contract or the exclusivity clause not enforceable is to show that the contract is unconscionable. See 13 Pa.C.S. § 2302 (court may refuse to enforce contract or any clause of contract if court as a matter of law deems the contract or any clause of the contract to have been "unconscionable at the time it was made").

What is and what is not unconscionable is decided by the Court on a case by case basis (astoundingly unfair or oppressive, for example). However, most exclusivity contracts are upheld as fair.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In response to Phillips Esq. I then responded "Rule 314 appears to allow proof of service by plaintiff. and did not get an answer.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

No, it does not. Rule 314 discusses showing proof of service to the Court.

Assuming one is suing an individual, the following controls:

Rule 308. Service Upon Individuals.

Service of the complaint upon an individual defendant shall be made:

(1) by handing a copy to the defendant, or

(2) by handing a copy:

(a) to an adult member of the defendant’s family at his residence, but if no adult member of the family is found, then to an adult person in charge of such residence, or

(b) to the clerk or manager of a hotel, inn, apartment house, boarding house or other place of lodging at which the defendant resides, or

(c) at any office or usual place of business of the defendant to his agent or to the person for the time being in charge thereof, or

(3) by mailing a copy to the defendant by certified mail or comparable delivery method resulting in a return receipt in paper or electronic form. The return receipt shall show the signature of the defendant or those persons designated in subdivision (2) of this rule. If the

signature of the defendant or those persons designated in subdivision (2) of this rule. If the signature on the return receipt is that of any persons designated in subdivision (2) of this rule, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that the signer was an agent of the defendant.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The question's context was - in a Pennsylvania small claims case am I even permitted in the first place to provide my own proof of service by hiring my own constable or sheriff , as opposed to merely using the courts certified mail or the courts constable.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Your original question was:

"Can I serve defendants myself without the court in small claims cases?"

But now you ask "am I even permitted in the first place to provide my own proof of service by hiring my own constable or sheriff..."

This is a conflicting question. Please clarify - how do you wish to serve the Defendant? And then, I will let you know whether this is possible or not. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In a Pennsylvania small claims case, the district magistrate often serves defendants. I wish to provide my own proof of service by hiring my own sheriff or constable. Is this permitted by PA law? Please cite.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Yes, this is possible. See Rule 307:

http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/373mag-attach.pdf?cb=1?cb=

When filing the complaint, one wants to ask the clerk "what type of service is available to me?" They should normally state: personal, constable, or certified mail." Then they will give you the form for whichever you choose.

If for some reason a type of service is unavailable but one really wants to do it, they can file a Motion for Leave to ask the Court for permission to do so and then it is up to the Court to decide.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you point out where it says that http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/373mag-attach.pdf?cb=1?cb=
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hmm. It seems you have at least 4 or 5 open questions that ask all the same various questions.

You also seem to have also engaged the same line of questioning on another thread HERE.

To avoid confusion, I will opt out and let customer service deal with any duplicates. All the best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This question is directly a follow up from your response and not any duplicate "Can you point out where it says that http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/373mag-attach.pdf?cb=1?cb= ?"Your answer referred to a link, I am asking where on the link did you get your answer from. There is no duplicate question in this situation.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

I neglected to enter the URL. Here it is: https://www.irs.gov/irm/part7/irm_07-027-016.html

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You might have posted in the wrong question, this was a pa law issue, not a tax question.
See http://screencast.com/t/8rKs0Smo5http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/373mag-attach.pdf?cb=1?cb=
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

You are correct. I tried to remove it, but was unable to. Sorry.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can the PA law expert please answer.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I am a PA professional. How can I help, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
See http://screencast.com/t/8rKs0Smo5
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I am looking at it. What is your question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The screenshot shows a link was provided. I then asked where in that URL does it say that. That was, and still, is the question.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

We appear to be miscommunicating. I received your screenshot. I read it. Nowhere in it do I see a question. What do you want to know?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please be in good faith in addressing the issue. The screenshot is merely a picture from this thread on Justanswer's follow up question. Scroll up, and you will see the same question and response above. A URL was referenced, and I asked where in the URL did the expert get that information. Good faith looking at the experts' answer, and then my question, in context, clearly show a specific question is being asked as to where the expert got the information in the url he referenced.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I will go ahead and opt out. As I still have no idea what specifically you wish for me to answer, and you have continued to demand a PA professional even after others answered, in detail, I am at a loss as to what you need. Good luck to you.