Hi, Mark, My name is XXXXX XXXXX X am a Pennsylvania Licensed, Practicing Attorney in Delaware County,
What are the circumstances for opening up the judgment ? Were you the Defendant and a Default Judgment was entered against you, or were you the Plaintiff and a Judgment of Non Pros was entered against you ?
Defendant and a default judgment was entered....
Hi, Mark, I apologize for the delay. I wrote and sent you my Answer twice and twice it disappeared into cyberspace.
The reason you could not find a template online is because the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas does not have templates or forms online as some of the Courts of other States do.
You can go to the Law Library at the Chester County Court House and ask the Law Librarian to show you where the Forms books are and specifically for a Petition under the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 237.3 Relief from Judgment of Non Pros and by Default.
You will see the Petitions and what should be contained in them. Your Petition must allege the following:
(1) Your reasons for not filing an Answer t the Plaintiff's Complaint;
(2) Allege that you are filing this Petition within ten (10) days of the date of entry of the Default Judgment; and
(3) You have a meritorious defense.
In addition, you must attach to your Petition a copy of the Answer to the Plaintiff's Complaint.
Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,
Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,
Hi, and thank you for your prompt response. I did not receive a copy of the order of default judgment until July 5th as it was sent via usps regular mail. Does that give me until the 15th to make a timely filing of the Petition, or am I glued to the 10 days from July 1st when the Judgment was stamped? Thanks!
Here is how the rule reads
"Rule 237.3 Relief from Judgment of Non Pros or by Default
(a) A Petition for relief from a judgment of non pros or of default entered pursuant to Rule 237.1 shall have attached thereto a verified copy of the complaint or answer which the petitioner seeks leave to file.
(b) If the petition is filed within ten days after the entry of the judgment on the docket, the court shall open the judgment if the proposed complaint or answer states a meritorious cause of action or defense."
Mark, you are pretty much "glued" to the 10 days from July 1 when the judgment was entered,
Hi Andrea, and thanks again for your prompt response. I have prepared the Petition and the Answer to the Complaint which needs to accompany the Petition. I am preparing and filing on behalf of all 4 defendants. If we all sign the Petition and Answer to the Complaint, can it be submitted as in one package? I assume so, but just want to be sure! Thanks again for all of your help! Also, do I need to serve opposing Counsel with my Petition?
You completed the Petition already ??? Wow, you're fast
Yes, attach the Answer to the Complaint to your Petition and refer to it in your Petition as "Exhibit A" and submit it as one package.
Do not forget to attach a Verification to your Petition and to the Answer. In case you do not know what it is -
I, _____________, hereby verify that the statements made in the within(Petition) (Answer) are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief. I understand that false statements herein are made subject to the penalties of 18 P.S. 4904 relating to unsworn falsifications to authorities,
Then put a signature line, type your name underneath the line and sign on the line. I noticed that you have not rated any of my Answers. Please be kind enough to give me a positive rating so that I can receive credit for researching your question and furnishing you with Answers and information. It does not cost you anything additional, but without a positive rating, I will not receive credit for my time and effort in assisting you, Thank you for understanding,
Hi, one last thing! How do I Title and start the Petition. Assuming Title is "Petition to Open Default Judgment". The first paragraph starts "And now comes the Defendants...." but not quite sure what to include in that first paragraph before the Numbered paragraphs start! If you can please help me with that I can get this thing to the Prothonotary by 4PM! Thanks Again for everything!!
TO THE HONORABLE, THE JUDGES OF SAID COURT,
Now comes ___________________ , and as and for their Petition to Open Judgment, respectfully XXXXX XXXXX aver the following:
Hi Andrea, Sorry to bug again....I just got back from the Prothonotary and Court House, and after all that work, they said I did not have the form (order?) that needed to be signed by the court....which I did not know I needed to file with everything. Do you know what that is, and is there anything else from an administrative point that I need to file with this package? I filed the Petition with a cover sheet and verification and also included as Exhibit A the Answer to the Complaint along with the verification for that as well. What else do I need to file? The Pronthonotary did time stamp what I brought in so I assume I am at least timely filed, but I now still need to bring in this other stuff to actually start the process...thanks.
Hi Andrea, I apologize for not leaving the Ratings yet, I was absolutely under some hellacious pressure cramming to get this filed by this afternoon and was just going to do the ratings and anything else related when I was done. I hope you will answer this last piece of the puzzle as I have left you excellent feedback for the others. Thank you wholeheartedly for your help to this point, it is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for understanding, Mark,
Judges are notoriously lazy. Whenever a litigant files a Motion or Petition, they must include a proposed Order for the Judge to sign. It should have been among the sample Petitions in the Forms books I referred to in one of my previous Answers.
It has the name of the Court at the top, case caption on the left, case number XXXXX the right, then center the word "ORDER"
Then, the language of the Order should be as follows,
AND NOW, to wit, this ______ day of July, 2013, upon consideration of the within Petition to Open Default Judgment of Petitioners _______, _______ etc., and the within Answer attached thereto as Exhibit "A", it is hereby,
Ordered, adjudged and decreed that said Default Judgment be, and is hereby opened and vacated; and it is further
Ordered, adjudged and decreed that a copy of this Order be served upon Plaintifii ____________ forthwith; and it is hereby further
Ordered, adjudged and decreed that Petitioners serve the within Answer on Plaintiff within _______ days of the date hereof
Then in the lower right area of the Order, type in,
By the Court:
and directly under that, put in a signature line for the Judge to sign his name and at the end of the signature line and under the line, type in J. (for Judge)
Hi Andrea, just got back in town and wanted to thank you so much for everything...you are amazing, the attention and cooperation is truly over and above the call!! So Very much appreciated! Thanks again!!
You are most welcome, Mark, Yes, I have been told that I am truly amazing, (lol)
If you need anything further, or have questions in the future, please feel free to direct your questions to me by typing my name at the beginning of your question, like this,
"For Andrea .......... "
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).