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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33794
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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This question is , ATTORNEY

Customer Question

This question is for BARRISTER, ATTORNEY. 


I filed the appeal at the prothonotary's office and sent three copies where they needed to go. What a bureaucrat spaghetti bowl. The woman at the prothonotary's office said that the appeal is not like the initial hearing, there are series of things that need to be done, and it almost sounded like some sort of review. However, do you know if there is like a checklist of these "series of things" that need to be done?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
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Since I asked JA to lock your last question, I can't see it so I am going to have to go off memory..
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I remember that there was an issue with an older landlord that thought that you owed him rent but you had proof of payment and all your records of getting caught up after your being off work for a while due to an injury.
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After that I get a little fuzzy because I answer so many landlord/tenant questions, the facts tend to blend together after a while..
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Did your case have the 3 issues where you won on two of them and lost on the rent payment but the landlord was ordered to go get the certified mail with the money order?
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Or was that another customer?.....they are kind of hard to keep up with if they are locked because I lose the whole previous span of time with regard to what just happened..

But if we are talking about an eviction action, the way the appeal process works , after the magistrate judge enters a judgment and awards a landlord possession, the tenant has the right to file an appeal to the possession portion of the judgment within ten (10) days. After the tenth day, the tenant can still appeal the money portion of the judgment within thirty (30) days of the judgement, but the tenant can no longer appeal the award of possession.
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A tenant would file an appeal with the Court of Common Pleas in the county the property is located in. When a tenant files an appeal, they ask the court to enter a Rule to Show Cause, which would require a landlord to file a civil complaint in the court within twenty (20) days. PA Rule 10004. An appeal is conducted de novo, which means a new hearing is required. PA Rule 1007.

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When an appeal is filed by a tenant, the tenant is required to post with the court the amount of rent in arrears or three (3) months rent, whichever is less. Rule 1008(B). If rent is not posted with the court, the tenant will not be granted a supersedeas, whichessentially means a "stay" so that the constable or sheriff cannot move forward with the actual eviction process while the appeal is pending. Furthermore, the tenant must deliver the notice of appeal to the magistrate court to be granted the suersedeas and serve a copy upon the landlord.

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So what this means is that you get an entirely new trial and get the opportunity to present your entire case again and any evidence that you want to present. Unlike some appeals, which are just a review of the first case to see if there were errors, a "de novo" hearing gives you a second "bite of the apple" with a do-over.

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So I am not sure what the woman at the prothonotary was talking about because it is very similar to the first case and is just a do-over with the entire case being presented again.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Did your case have the 3 issues where you won on two of them and lost on the rent payment but the landlord was ordered to go get the certified mail with the money order?

* Yes.

So I am not sure what the woman at the prothonotary was talking about because it is very similar to the first case and is just a do-over with the entire case being presented again.

* Yes. The way she explained it was that is was not like the first "regular hearing", etc, etc. It was rather confusing.

The only other thing was the Water Bill. The judge told the landlord because he did not give it to me, and could not produce the bill in court, it was his responsibility. However, I looked at the judgement and oddly it did include the water bill. Furthermore, the landlord used some e-mail, which I had never seen, to demonstrate that I was not paying my rent timely. The judge did reviewed this e-mail and said, "It does look like he was paying slow". Swear on my life, I have no freaking clue what e-mail that was and never seen it before.

This guy has sent me like 40 e-mails the last few months, and started ignoring them as they were bizarre. One demanded an apology for "bad manners" or he was going to take legal action. Only e-mail I responded to was about a problem in the downstairs unit as he sent it to my work, and sent him a couple with my payment history. However, in court he said I never sent him any e-mails, but he was responding to these e-mails I sent!

Looking back, I have some big concerns about the last hearing. That e-mail he showed the judge was manufactured, and I never received it. He showed a document and said it proves I refused a certified letter about the rent. I spoke with my postal carrier, the post office, and they all say it that never happened. So, a "do-over" is just what I was hoping for....

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Well the good thing is that since it is unlikely that he will present his case differently, you can now counter him by being prepared to request to examine anything he provides as evidence and dispute its validity.
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But there really isn't any question about it being a slow pay...you freely admit that due to your injury and job issues.. So that isn't really relevant. The relevant portion is that you did bounce back and repay everything owed and honor your obligations.
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So on this do-over, you should be able to provide proof that the landlord received and cashed the money order (I think) by using your receipt and verifying it has been cashed. And also be able to dispute any wacky email he is talking about. I would also print out his 40 crazy emails to you and organize them in chronological order to use as evidence that he is harassing you with his communications.
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Have to be out of office for about 1.5 hours, but will check back in later.
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thanks
Barrister

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