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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I'm a defendant in Montgomery County, PA in an ejectment

Customer Question

I'm a defendant in Montgomery County, PA in an ejectment case about a property that I was doing a rent to own on. The plaintiff's attorney didn't answer any of my questions in the new matter and he filed preliminary objections: failure to confirm to law or rule of court by failing to identify cause of action and legal insufficiency of a pleading(I failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted & I didn't state a cause of action) and he wants court to enter an order sustaining preliminary objections and dismissing my counterclaim with prejudice. My time to respond is about to run out! What do I file next? How do I enter discovery, how can I get him to answer my questions from the new matter, how can I ask for a cause of action? Pls help! I can't lose my house!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

Dear Customer,

You need to focus on the most immediate pleadings/motions at issue.

If the opposing party has a motion to dismiss your counter claim, you need to file an opposition to that motion.

If you believe the motion has merit (your pleading was insufficient), file an opposition asking the court to grant the motion "with leave to amend" so that you can file a new pleading that properly conforms to the law (the court will almost certainly grant you leave to amend (courts will generally give "pro per" parties at least one shot at amending their pleading).

Please visit your local law library for help with this - attorneys spend a lot of time researching their moving papers, if you are representing yourself you need to do the same!

Once you have dealt with the more pressing issue, you can move on to the discovery phase - sending out discovery is rather formulaic, you send interrogatories, requests for documents, and requests for admission. Focus on those questions which deal with each element of the cause of action or defense (to do this look at the jury instructions for each claim). Again, your law library is going to be the very best resource (and may even have templates for you to use) - but focus your first efforts on beating this motion to dismiss.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I will file the opposition asking the court for a motion with leave to amend. If I use a template for that, do I need to include anything else with it besides the verification and certificate of service? Also, once that is filed do I just wait for court to respond? And once they do, then I move to discovery stage? By that phase I hope to hire an attorney b/c it is getting complicated.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One more thing. Do I need to state reasons for motion to amend, or can I just say 'pro per' ?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

Dear Customer, you likely need to address the actual deficiencies and how you intend to correct them (again this is based on the assumption that you concede the opposing party is correct and you intend to correct these defects).

I would recommend hiring your attorney now (as opposed to waiting).

There should already be a hearing on calendar for the motion (that you are opposing), this is going to be the key date to argue.

Keep in mind, ejection suits move incredibly fast, there isn't a lot of time for pre-trial motion work, so there may be an expedited hearing for your motion (you need to check your specific trial calendar).

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't have a hearing scheduled on calendar yet. Unfortunately I have to file this tomorrow (within the 20 day period) so my attorney won't be able to start til after that. Is there something that I can file to ask for more time and say in legal terms that I will be hiring an attorney. Thanks
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

You need to file your opposition. (You can ask for a continuance, but again with an ejection proceeding these matters are not like most general civil cases where a court will give you more time).

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. Not sure if this is important but it's not a regular ejectment. I am doing a rent to own and made significant capital improvements to property and the seller blatantly lied about condition of property. Also, do they have to answer my questions that I previously filed in new matter? Do I have to depose them? If so, am I at that step yet?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

When you say "answer my questions" do you mean respond to your written discovery? (such as interrogatories)?

If that is the case, the opposing party does have an obligation to respond to discovery requests, the mechanism to get them to do so is to file a "motion to compel" with the court. (Again the local law library will have resources and information to help you with this process, and usually forms or templates to use in making these motions).