Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Good evening! I can help you out with your legal question tonight.
No, a court in Pennsylvania does not have the power to compel someone to appear in its borders.
$150 is not worth the paper the judgment is written on.
It will cost that neighbor more than that amount in order to try and collect against her.
The flip side is that if she doesn't appear, she will definitely lose. If she appears, she should make a "special appearance" where she can argue the merits of the case, but not be subject to the jurisdiction of PA.
HOW CAN SHE PROVE THAT SHE IS A RESIDENT IN FLORIDA. SHE HAS BEEN THERE FOR 6 MONTHS. THIS MAN HAS SIGNS ON HIS HOUSE DEFAMING MY DAUGHTERS, SPOTLIGHTS SHINING IN OUR HOUSE, WAKES US UP AT NIGHT BANGING WITH A BAT, SCREAMS AT US AS WE GO TO WORK. ETC.
In order to get a judgment against her, he needs to prove to the court that he properly served her.
The burden is on him, not her.
She may be able to call into the court and make a special appearance. If not, she would have to go back to appear.
It is not worth the trip though in my opinion.
WE ARE THINKING OF COUNTER SUING. DO WE NEED A LAWYER FOR THAT?
No, she would have to appear though and subject herself to PA jurisdiction. She could counterclaim for herself. If anyone argues on her behalf beside her, then you would need a lawyer.
DO WE NEED TO NOTIFY THE COURT BEFORE HAND THAT SHE PLANS TO COUNTERSUE?
Yes, she needs to file an answer and counterclaim.
HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
You title it "Answer and Counterclaim" and first answer all of the paragraphs in the Complaint. Then you allege your causes of actions against the neighbor.
WHAT WOULD BE A REASONABLE AMOUNT TO SUE FOR?
I don't know what you are suing for, so I'm not sure of an amount.
You have to figure out what your damages are and then tie a price onto that.
WELL, HE IS SUING FOR 12,000. HOW DO YOU DETERMINE DAMAGES?
What are you suing him for?
THE COST OF GETTING TO PA FROM FLA, THE AGRIVATION THIS IS CAUSING HER, THE TIME INVOLVED TO GET HER CASE TOGETHER, COPYING COURT CASES ON THIS, A COPY OF THE TRANSCRIPT TYPED BY STENOGRAPHER, STUFF LIKE THAT.
That would likely be around $5,000 or so.
I would recommend each item you list as damages, estimating a dollar value for it and then sue for that total.
SHOULD SHE ITEMIZE IT, LIKE A SHOPPING LIST? WHATS HER CHANCE OF WINNING
I don't know what he is suing her for or any of the facts, so I can't really say her chance.
ANY OTHER THOUGHTS SHE COULD ADD TO THE LIST? dOES THIS NEED PRESENTED AT THE SAME HEARING OR WOULD IT BE SEPARATE?
It could be the same hearing.
And no, her damages would be her time and money it cost to defend herself.
THIS HEARING IS 2 WEEKS AWAY. IS IT TO LATE TO COUNTERCLAIM? AND SHE IS HOME NOW.
It is not too late to counterclaim. That will make her damages not as high.
MAYBE THE COUNTERCLAIM SHOULD WAIT UNTIL HE APPEALS, WHICH HE WILL.
No, it must be made sooner. You cannot counterclaim in an appeal. An appeal is merely an appeal of the lower court's judgment based on the facts and law. They won't include new claims in an appeal.
OK, THANKS. XXXXX THAT MY NEIGHBOR IS NOW LISTING HIS ADDRESS IN COLORADO, WHERE HIS SISTER LIVES. HE HAS BEEN OUR NEIGHBOR FOR 20 YEARS. IS THAT ALLOWED?
Yes, he can list any address that he wishes. He will have to be in PA though in order to prosecute his claims against her.
OK, ONE MORE QUESTION. IF MY DAUGHTER COUNTERSUES, CAH HE APPEAL IT?
He can only appeal a final judgment. So if she sues him, she must win before he can appeal.
IF HE LOSES THIS HEARING IF WE DON'T COUNTERSUE CAN HE APPEAL THAT?
He can appeal any final judgment.
TO A HIGHER COURT?
OK, THANKS. XXXXX MY DAUGHTER SHOULD COUNTERSUE, AFTER EVERYTHING YOU READ ABOUT IT?
Yes, or at the very least, ask for sanctions for bringing a bogus and harassing lawsuit.
WHAT KIND OF SANCTIONS? NOT SURE WHAT THEY ARE.
She can ask the court for it to sanction the neighbor by making him pay money for bringing a bogus lawsuit.
The judge has discretion to do this.
IS ASKING FOR SANCTIONS THE SAME AS COUNTERSUING?
No, countersuing is bringing a new claim against the neighbor for something. Asking for sanctions is asking the court to penalize the neighbor for bringing the neighbor's claims.
WHATS THE ASKING PRICE FOR SANCTIONS?
It is completely discretionary and up to the judge.
OK. DOES MY DAUGHTER HAVE TO DO ALL THE TALKING OR CAN I, HER FATHER BE INVOLVED.
She has to do the talking. You can't talk for her since you are not an attorney.
HOW MUCH WOULD AN ATTORNEY USUALLY CHARGE FOR THIS KIND OF CASE?
It depends on the attorney and how much time they have to put into it. Likely $1,500 or more.
IS THAT REALLY NEEDED HERE, IN YOU OPINION?
No, it is not worth the money you'd pay an attorney
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. SOUNDS LIKE MY DAUGHTER IS GOING TO HAVE TO COME ACROSS AS PRETTY SMART WITH ALL THE STUFF YOU TALKED ABOUT. ALSO WHO SPEAKS FIRST, THE NEIGHBOR OR MY DAUGHTER?
You are welcome! Your neighbor will speak first and then your daughter. She will do great. Good luck and have a good night!
Please make sure to leave me feedback so that I can continue to help others.
YOU TOO! APPRECIATE YOUR HELP.