Greene County Magisterial District Court Appeal
If the plaintiff prevails, the defendant may arrange to make payments on a twelve month installment plan (which will be set by the judge). The defendant has thirty days to appeal the Magisterial District Judge’s decision to Common Pleas Court. A Notice of Appeal needs to be filed with the prothonotary at the county courthouse. The Notice of Appeal (once filed) will be served on the Magisterial District Judge (who made the decision) and the plaintiff. The plaintiff cannot take any steps to collect money from the Defendant based on the Magisterial District Court’s judgment until the appeal has been decided. The plaintiff can also appeal the Magisterial District Judge’s decision if the judge ruled for the defendant at the hearing.
Where to File a Small Claims Court Case?
The Pennsylvania courts are divided by county and then into districts. Each district has an elected Magisterial District Judge. The plaintiff should file the case in the Magisterial District where:
- the business is located or where the defendant lives
- the contract was signed or where the contract was supposed to be performed
- the accident occurred
- the property that the case is about is located
The plaintiff should contact the Magisterial District Court where the plaintiff thinks the case should be filed and inquire if it is the correct court. You should also contact them to determine what the filing fee will be. The filing fee can be paid by the plaintiff when the case is actually filed. The plaintiff needs to complete the form “Civil Complaint.” If the plaintiff plans to include information that could be deemed confidential, the plaintiff needs to complete the Confidential Information Form (which is found on the same page).
Prior to Filing a Small Claims Court Claim in Greene County Magisterial District Court
Prior to filing a claim, it is recommended that you send a demand letter to the defendant asking for payment. A demand letter can be the cheapest and quickest way of resolving your situation. In addition to the amount you are requesting, you should also set a reasonable deadline for the defendant to respond by. If the defendant does not agree to the terms in your letter (or fails to respond), you may consider filing your case. It is also important to know the name and address of the party you wish to file your action against. The court clerk is unable to accept a Post Office Box for an address. Additionally, if the party you are suing is not an individual, you will need to have the correct name of the corporation, partnership, limited liability entity, or whatever the corporate structure the party is utilizing. For help determining the proper name, you should contact Pennsylvania’s Corporation Bureau online or by phone at 717-787-1057. The plaintiff should have the following information available before heading to the courthouse to complete the claim:
- name and address of the plaintiff
- defendant’s name and address
- the amount of money you are filing your claim for (including all expenses)
- a short statement concerning why you believe you are entitled to that amount of money (you should include dates and enough information so the person you are suing knows why you are suing them)
The court allows a plaintiff to file a complaint through the mail, but a plaintiff should file it in person so the court clerk can notify you if there are any problems with your complaint. Additionally, you can pay the filing costs in person (which can be recovered if you prevail in your lawsuit). In addition to the filing fee, you will also have to pay for the cost for personal service of your claim on the defendant (which varies depending on how it is served). Your complaint can be served on the defendant either by certified mail or by a sheriff or constable. Service by a sheriff or constable can cost more than by certified mail (but may be quicker because a person might not be home or refuse to accept a certified letter).
Types of Cases in Greene County Small Claims Court
Most cases filed in small claims court in Greene County are either considered a breach of contract case or a negligence case. A breach of contract action is where parties enter into an agreement that can be either oral or in writing. Contracts are common and used in a wide variety of situations including between:
- contractors and homeowner to make improvements
- insurance companies to provide insurance services
- credit card companies and credit card holders to provide credit services
A breach of contract is when one party does not do what they promised under the agreement (pay money or provide services usually). Negligence is where a person or party has a responsibility to use reasonable care to protect others from damages and fails to do so. These actions usually include traffic accidents or other types of situations resulting in personal injury or property damage.
Types of Cases Handled by a Magisterial District Judge in Greene County
A Magisterial District Judge is a judge elected by the people of the district to handle certain types of cases including criminal (preliminary hearings and arraignments, traffic offenses, municipal code violations) and civil (landlord/tenant cases and cases where the amount in dispute does not exceed $12,000).
Magisterial District Court in Greene County
Greene County has 3 Magisterial Districts which are:
The Magisterial District Judge for 13-3-01 is David C. Balint . The 13-3-01 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:
The phone number for 13-3-01 Magisterial District is: 724-627-8961. The fax number for 13-3-01 Magisterial District is: 724-627-7134.
The Magisterial District Judge for 13-3-02 is D. Glenn Bates . The 13-3-02 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:Airport Administration Building 417 East Roy Furman Highway, Suite 203 Waynesburg, PA 15370
The phone number for 13-3-02 Magisterial District is: 724-852-1440. The fax number for 13-3-02 Magisterial District is: 724-852-5322.
The Magisterial District Judge for 13-3-03 is Leroy W. Watson . The 13-3-03 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:100-D Park Avenue Carmichaels, PA 15320
The phone number for 13-3-03 Magisterial District is: 724-966-2450. The fax number for 13-3-03 Magisterial District is: 724-966-8595.
Small Claims Court in Greene County
Small Claims courts are in Pennsylvania are generally called Magisterial District Courts. A lawyer is not required. A plaintiff cannot file a claim for more than $12,000. The plaintiff is required to file a filing fee when filing the complaint. In addition to the filing fee, the plaintiff will need to pay for the defendant(s) to be served. If the plaintiff wins, these costs can potentially be recovered from the defendant.
Greene County Magisterial District Court Small Claims Court Hearing
Once the claim has been filed, the clerk will set a hearing between 12 and 60 days from the date of the filing of the claim. Before the hearing, both parties should gather all documents and papers related to the case. You should also arrange to have any witnesses that may support your position present on the date of the hearing so they can testify. At the hearing, there will usually be the judge, clerk, plaintiff, defendant, and any witnesses for both sides. Courtrooms are open to the public so there may be additional persons in the gallery (who may include additional parties if there is more than one case set for a hearing that day). At the beginning of the case (or calendar), the Magisterial District Judge will usually briefly explain the procedures used at the hearing. Both parties will be sworn in to provide testimony. During the hearing, the plaintiff will be given an opportunity to testify about what happened that caused the plaintiff to file the claim. The plaintiff can present papers, bills, records, receipts, photographs, or video to the judge. The plaintiff will probably also be asked questions by the defendant. Once the plaintiff is finished, any witnesses the plaintiff brought will be sworn and have the chance to testify as well. The defendant will be given the chance to ask questions of these witnesses as well. Once the plaintiff is done, the defendant will have a chance to present testimony (and the plaintiff can ask questions of the defendant). The judge will also give the defendant a chance to have any witnesses that he or she brought to present testimony as well. Once all the evidence has been presented, the judge will either make a decision at the hearing or within five days.
Filing a Case in Greene County Magisterial District Court
Claims for $12,000 or less can also be filed at the Common Pleas Court. But, the Common Pleas Court is more formal and expensive than Magisterial District Court. Additionally, you need an attorney to file your case in the court of common pleas. In Magisterial District Court, an attorney is not required.