Pike County Small Claims Court, Pennsylvania


Pike County Magisterial Districts

Pike County has 4 Magisterial Districts which are:

60-3-01

The Magisterial District Judge for 60-3-01 is Deborah Fischer . The 60-3-01 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

103 West High Street
Milford, PA 18337

The phone number for 60-3-01 Magisterial District is: 570-296-8108. The fax number for 60-3-01 Magisterial District is: 570-296-3503.

60-3-02

The Magisterial District Judge for 60-3-02 is Shannon L. Muir . The 60-3-02 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

Palmyra Professional Complex
106 Shook Road, Suite 100
Hawley, PA 18428

The phone number for 60-3-02 Magisterial District is: 570-226-9650. The fax number for 60-3-02 Magisterial District is: 570-226-6354.

60-3-03

The Magisterial District Judge for 60-3-03 is Alan B. Cooper . The 60-3-03 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

502 Little Walker Road
Shohola, PA 18458

The phone number for 60-3-03 Magisterial District is: 570-296-7726. The fax number for 60-3-03 Magisterial District is: 570-296-3558.

60-3-04

The Magisterial District Judge for 60-3-04 is Paul D. Menditto . The 60-3-04 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

213 Silver Lake Road
Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328

The phone number for 60-3-04 Magisterial District is: 570-828-2880. The fax number for 60-3-04 Magisterial District is: 570-828-2942.

Pike County Small Claims Court Case Types

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:

  • contractors and homeowner to make improvements
  • insurance companies to provide insurance services
  • credit card companies when providing credit to consumers

Breach of contract occurs when one party does not complete what they are required to do under the contract. Negligence is where a person or party has a responsibility to use reasonable care to protect others from damages and fails to do so. Negligence actions usually arise in an automobile accident or other times where someone sustains personal injuries or property damage.

Types of Cases Handled by a Magisterial District Judge in Pike 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).

After the Judge Makes a Decision

If the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, the judge may set up a 12 month installment plan for the Defendant to make payments. Also, the defendant has thirty days to file an appeal to the Common Pleas Court. If the defendant wishes to appeal, he or she must file a Notice of Appeal with the prothonotary at the county courthouse. The Notice of Appeal will be served on the Magisterial District Judge who made the decision along with the plaintiff. The Notice of Appeal prevents the plaintiff from collecting any money until the appeal is decided. If the plaintiff does not prevail at the initial hearing, the plaintiff has the option of appealing the Magisterial District Judge’s decision as well.

Should I File in Pike County Magisterial District Court

Claims for $12,000 or less can also be filed at the Common Pleas Court. However, the Magisterial District Court is not as formal and is cheaper than a case in common pleas court. Additionally, you need an attorney to file your case in the court of common pleas. An attorney is not required at the Magisterial District Court.

Steps Before Filing a Case in Pike County Small Claims Court

You should send a demand letter to the defendant asking for payment before filing your claim. A demand letter can be the easiest and shortest way to resolve your case. In addition to the amount you are requesting, you should also set a reasonable deadline for the defendant to respond by. If the demand letter does not resolve your case, you can 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 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). Before going to the Magisterial District Court to file your claim, you should know the following information:

  • plaintiff’s name and address
  • name and address of the person you want to sue
  • the dollar amount of damages
  • 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). The plaintiff will also have to pay for a cost to serve the defendant. The plaintiff can have the claim served on the defendant by certified mail or personally 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).

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

The Pennsylvania courts are divided by county and then into districts. Each district has an elected 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 was signed or where the contract was supposed to be performed
  • the accident happened
  • the goods involved are permanently kept

The plaintiff should contact the Magisterial District Court clerk to ensure it is the proper court for the case. The plaintiff should also inquire from the clerk what the filing fee will be. You will pay the filing fee when you file the Complaint with the court. The plaintiff needs to complete the form “Civil Complaint.” If the plaintiff intends to place confidential information on the “Civil Complaint,” the plaintiff also needs to complete the “Confidential Information Form” which is located on the same page.

Small Claims Court in Pike County

Pike County Small Claims Court

Pike County Small Claims Court

Small Claims courts are in Pennsylvania are generally called Magisterial District Courts. In Magisterial District Court, a party is not required to have an attorney. A plaintiff cannot file a claim for more than $12,000. 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.

Pike County Magisterial District Court Small Claims Court Hearing

Once you file your claim, the clerk will schedule a hearing (usually between 12 and 60 days from the date you filed your claim). Before the hearing, both parties should gather all documents and papers related to the case. Both the plaintiff and defendant should also arrange to have any witnesses with knowledge about the case present in court on the date of the hearing. 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. Because the hearing is open to the public, there may be members of the public watching court from the gallery (along with maybe other parties waiting for their cases to be called). At the beginning of the case (or calendar), the Magisterial District Judge will usually briefly explain the procedures used at the hearing. Plaintiff and Defendant will both be sworn in at the beginning to present testimony to the court. The court will give the plaintiff a chance to present its case through testimony. 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 also be granted the opportunity to ask questions of these witnesses as well. After the plaintiff is finished presenting his or her case, the court will allow the defendant a chance to present a defense (including testimony from the defendant). The defendant can also bring witnesses to provide testimony to the judge as well. Once all the evidence has been presented, the judge will either make a decision at the hearing or within five days.