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J. Warren
J. Warren, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Experience in general business transaction and formation matters.
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In Pennsylvania, if you name 2 parties in a small claims

Customer Question

In Pennsylvania, if you name 2 parties in a small claims lawsuit, and you then get a default judgment, can I collect 100% of the judgment amount from any one party, or 50% from each of the parties, or is there some other formula?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 years ago.

Unless the court and heard a judgment which specified otherwise, each judgment debtor is liable for the entire amount of the judgment. You may collect 100% from either one of them.

Customer: replied 2 years 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:  Irwin Law replied 2 years ago.

This is a different question entirely, not a follow up to the first. You have not entered a rating for the first question yet.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please answer. Thank you.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

You can serve the complaint in two ways (both are through the court):

• You can request that the complaint be sent by certified mail. The letter will be delivered to the defendant and the receipt will be returned to the MDJ as proof that it was received; or

• The complaint can be delivered by the sheriff or a constable for an additional fee, which can be recovered if you win the suit. Sometimes having the complaint personally served is more effective because a person may not be home or may refuse to accept a certified letter and a sheriff/ constable can make certain that the complaint is served.

See this link for a good overview of small claims in PA:

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The magistrates in PA offer service by constable, I was asking if I can hire the constable myself instead...
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

Not for small claims - the small claims system is set up in the system identified above.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you sure in your answer? CourtLinked - - hires process servers outside the small claims system in Pennsylvania.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

Dear Customer,

I am going to "opt out" and allow another expert to follow up with you.

Please do not post any further at this time as it will delay the next expert's ability to follow up.

If you need any assistance in the meantime, please contact our customer service at:

Thank you for using our forum, and I do wish you the best of luck.


Expert:  J. Warren replied 2 years ago.

New contributor here hoping I can provide additional input. If you wish you can have a third party system handle the service of process such a Courtlinked. However, if you file on your own, Magistrate takes care of service however, if you desire to hire constable yourself, that permission would need to permitted by the Magistrate which they may or may not allow. Also, the Constable would need permit. In other words, that is not the normal process but nothing prevents you from doing so if the Magistrate grants permission, it is an extra step for you however.

All my best & encouragement.

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. Please note that you are asked to rate my courtesy and professionalism, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. I only receive credit when rated “ok” (3 stars) or higher. If for any reason you feel that a low rating is appropriate, please first give me the opportunity to address your concerns by clicking the "reply" tab.

All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you have a reference to PA Law that allows a third party constable with permission?
Expert:  J. Warren replied 2 years ago.

I do not. It is not the normal procedure for small claims but there also is nothing that is stated that precludes the Magistrate from allowing it. If you wish to use Courtlinked to handle the matter, they need to assure their business is allowed in Pennsylvania.