Northampton County Small Claims Court, Pennsylvania


Magisterial District Court in Northampton County

Northampton County has 14 Magisterial Districts which are:

03-1-04

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-1-04 is Vivian I. Zumas . The 03-1-04 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

248 Brodhead Road, Suite 2
Bethlehem, PA 18017

The phone number for 03-1-04 Magisterial District is: 610-691-2364. The fax number for 03-1-04 Magisterial District is: 610-861-7645.

03-2-01

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-01 is Roy A. Manwaring . The 03-2-01 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

402 East Broad Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

The phone number for 03-2-01 Magisterial District is: 610-691-1501. The fax number for 03-2-01 Magisterial District is: 610-691-6506.

03-2-03

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-03 is Patricia C. Broscius . The 03-2-03 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

3650 Nazareth Pike, Suite #2
Bethlehem, PA 18020

The phone number for 03-2-03 Magisterial District is: 610-746-9740. The fax number for 03-2-03 Magisterial District is: 610-746-2470.

03-2-04

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-04 is Alan Mege . The 03-2-04 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

1404 Walter Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015

The phone number for 03-2-04 Magisterial District is: 610-865-4010. The fax number for 03-2-04 Magisterial District is: 610-865-4361.

03-2-05

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-05 is Antonia Grifo . The 03-2-05 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

400 Northampton Street, Suite 100
Easton, PA 18042

The phone number for 03-2-05 Magisterial District is: 610-258-5900. The fax number for 03-2-05 Magisterial District is: 610-258-2870.

03-2-06

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-06 is Daniel G. Corpora . The 03-2-06 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

700 Philadelphia Road
Suite C
Easton, PA 18042

The phone number for 03-2-06 Magisterial District is: 610-258-8711. The fax number for 03-2-06 Magisterial District is: 610-253-0685.

03-2-08

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-08 is John C. Capobianco . The 03-2-08 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

136 South Main Street
Nazareth, PA 18064

The phone number for 03-2-08 Magisterial District is: 610-759-6424. The fax number for 03-2-08 Magisterial District is: 610-759-9356.

03-2-09

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-09 is Jacqueline M. Taschner . The 03-2-09 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

3 Weller Place
Easton, PA 18045

The phone number for 03-2-09 Magisterial District is: 610-258-7266. The fax number for 03-2-09 Magisterial District is: 610-258-1713.

03-2-10

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-10 is Nancy Matos Gonzalez . The 03-2-10 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

301 Broadway, Mezzanine 101
Bethlehem, PA 18015

The phone number for 03-2-10 Magisterial District is: 610-868-9191. The fax number for 03-2-10 Magisterial District is: 610-868-1196.

03-2-11

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-11 is Nicholas E. Englesson . The 03-2-11 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

1214 Stefko Blvd.
Bethlehem, PA 18017

The phone number for 03-2-11 Magisterial District is: 610-694-0553. The fax number for 03-2-11 Magisterial District is: 610-694-0638.

03-2-12

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-2-12 is Richard H. Yetter . The 03-2-12 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

1710 Butler Street
Easton, PA 18042

The phone number for 03-2-12 Magisterial District is: 610-258-4640. The fax number for 03-2-12 Magisterial District is: 610-258-1835.

03-3-01

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-3-01 is Robert A. Hawke . The 03-3-01 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

4330 Lehigh Drive, Suite 2
Walnutport, PA 18088

The phone number for 03-3-01 Magisterial District is: 610-767-6345. The fax number for 03-3-01 Magisterial District is: 610-767-4498.

03-3-02

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-3-02 is Douglas H. Schlegel . The 03-3-02 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

31 West First Street, Suite 1
Wind Gap, PA 18091

The phone number for 03-3-02 Magisterial District is: 610-863-5447. The fax number for 03-3-02 Magisterial District is: 610-863-7002.

03-3-03

The Magisterial District Judge for 03-3-03 is Alicia R. Zito . The 03-3-03 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

269 Blue Valley Drive
Bangor, PA 18013

The phone number for 03-3-03 Magisterial District is: 610-588-3998. The fax number for 03-3-03 Magisterial District is: 610-588-5537.

Small Claims Court in Northampton County

Northampton County Small Claims Court

Northampton County Small Claims Court

Magisterial District Courts in Pennsylvania handle a wide variety of cases including what are commonly known as small claims court cases. In Magisterial District Court, a party is not required to have an attorney. The amount of the claim you are filing cannot exceed $12,000.00. The plaintiff is also required to file a filing fee (which varies depending on how much money the plaintiff is asking for). There may also be an additional cost for serving the Defendant. If the plaintiff wins, these costs can potentially be recovered from the defendant.

Types of cases handled in Small Claims Court in Northampton County

A Magisterial District Judge generally hears negligence and breach of contract actions with respect to civil cases. A contract is where two parties enter into an agreement (either written or oral). Contracts are used frequently and arise in many contexts including:

  • homeowners and contractors to make repairs
  • insurance services between an insurance company and a consumer
  • credit card companies and credit card holders to provide credit services

Breach of contract is where a party to a contract either doesn’t pay or doesn’t perform what they are supposed to under the contract. A negligence case occurs when a party who is responsible to protect someone or something using due care, fails to do so. Negligence actions generally include traffic accidents on the road and can include an actions for personal injuries (pain and suffering to a person) and property damage (generally to a car or other property).

Advantages of Filing in Magisterial District Court in Northampton County

Claims for $12,000 or less can also be filed at the Common Pleas Court. But, the Magisterial District Courts are less formal, less expensive, and faster than common pleas courts. The Common Pleas Court requires an attorney to handle your case. An attorney is not required at the Magisterial District Court.

Where Should I File a Northampton County Small Claims Court Case?

The Pennsylvania courts are divided by county and then into districts. Each district has a Magisterial District Judge. A case should be filed in the Magisterial District where:

  • the Defendant lives (or where the business involved is located)
  • the contract involved was signed or performance was made
  • the accident occurred
  • the property from the case is kept

Once you locate what the appropriate court should be, you should contact the court to determine whether it is the appropriate place to file your claim. The plaintiff should also inquire from the clerk what the filing fee will be. The filing fee will be paid when the Complaint is filed with the court. The plaintiff needs to complete the form “Civil Complaint.” Note: if you need to include confidential information in your complaint, it is important to use the Confidential Information Form found on the same page.

Small Claims Court Hearings in Northampton County Magisterial District Court

After the claim is filed, the clerk will usually set a hearing between 12 and 60 days of the filing of the claim. Prior to the hearing, you should gather all documents and papers related to your 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. On the day of the hearing the courtroom will include the following: court clerk, judge, plaintiff, defendant, and any witnesses that either side intends to call. The courtroom is open to the public so anybody may be sitting in the gallery of the courtroom as well. At the beginning of the hearing, the Magisterial District Judge will explain the procedures. Both parties will be sworn in to provide testimony. At the hearing, the judge will give the plaintiff an opportunity to testify about the circumstances surrounding the case. During his or her testimony, the plaintiff should be sure to discuss and show to the court any documentary evidence (agreements, receipts) or other evidence (photographs or videos) to support the plaintiff’s case. The defendant will have the opportunity to ask questions of the plaintiff. Once the plaintiff is finished, any witnesses the plaintiff brought will be sworn and have the chance to testify as well. The defendant will also be granted the opportunity 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 defendant can also bring witnesses to provide testimony to the judge as well. The judge will usually make a decision at the hearing (or within five days).

After the Northampton County Magisterial District Court Hearing

If the plaintiff wins at the hearing, the judge may set up a twelve month installment plan for payments from the Defendant. The defendant has thirty days to file an appeal at the Common Pleas Court. A Notice of Appeal needs to be filed with the prothonotary at the county courthouse. A copy of the Notice of Appeal will be served on the judge (who made the decision) and the plaintiff in the case. The Notice of Appeal prevents the plaintiff from collecting any money until the appeal is decided. If the judge rules for the defendant, the plaintiff can appeal this decision as well.

What does a Magisterial District Judge Handle?

Magisterial District Judges are judges elected by the people of their district to handle criminal preliminary arraignments and preliminary hearings, summary criminal offenses, traffic offenses, municipal code violations, landlord / tenant actions, and civil actions where the damages do not exceed $12,000 (commonly known as small claims court).

Before Filing a Small Claims Court Claim in Northampton County

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 your demands, then you may consider filing your case once the deadline has passed. Before filing your case, you need to learn the name and address of the party you are filing your case against. The Magisterial Court cannot accept a post office box. 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. The Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau is a great resource for assisting with this task (Phone: 717-787-1057). The plaintiff should have the following information available before heading to the courthouse to complete the claim:

  • plaintiff’s name and address
  • defendant’s name and address
  • the dollar amount of damages
  • brief statement about why the plaintiff is entitled to the amount of the claim (you should include specifics like locations and dates to assist the court and the defendant from learning what the case is about)

While it is possible to file your claim through the mail, the plaintiff should file it in person at the courthouse with the clerk, so the clerk can let the plaintiff know if there are any problems with the claim. While at the courthouse, the plaintiff can pay the filing fees. 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). The plaintiff can have the claim served on the defendant by certified mail or personally by a sheriff or constable. Personal service can be more expensive than certified mail but can be quicker than certified mail.