Westmoreland County Small Claims Court, Pennsylvania


Westmoreland County Magisterial District Court Appeal

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 appeal the Magisterial District Judge’s decision to 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 will prevent the plaintiff from taking any steps to collect money from the defendant 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.

Advantages of Filing in Magisterial District Court in Westmoreland County

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. Also, you need an attorney to file your case in common pleas court. Magisterial District Court does not require an attorney.

Where Should I File a Westmoreland 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 for the case was signed or where work was to be performed
  • the damage or accident involved happened
  • the property from the case is kept

The plaintiff should contact the Magisterial District Court clerk to ensure it is the proper court for the case. The plaintiff can also inquire what the filing fee for the case will be. The filing fee will be paid when the Complaint is filed with the court. The complaint form can be found under “Civil Complaint” here. 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 Westmoreland County Magisterial District Court

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. 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). The judge will explain the procedures at the beginning of the case (or at the beginning of the docket if there are multiple cases set for a hearing on the same day). The plaintiff and defendant will both be sworn in to present testimony to the judge. During the hearing, the plaintiff will be given an opportunity to testify about what happened that caused the plaintiff to file the claim. During this time, the plaintiff should present any evidence supporting the case including paperwork, receipts, records, photographs, or videos of the case. The court will then give the Defendant a chance to ask questions to the plaintiff. Once the plaintiff is done, the witnesses that the plaintiff brought will also be given a chance to provide testimony. The defendant will be given the chance to ask questions of these witnesses as well. After the plaintiff is done presenting his or her case, the judge will give the defendant an opportunity to testify (and the plaintiff will be given the chance to ask questions as well). 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).

Before Filing a Small Claims Court Claim in Westmoreland County

You should send a demand letter to the defendant asking for payment before filing your claim. This is usually the quickest and easiest way to resolve your dispute. Make sure you set a reasonable deadline in your letter for the defendant to comply by. If the defendant does not agree to the terms in your letter (or fails to respond), you may consider filing your case. Before filing your case, you need to learn the name and address of the party you are filing your case 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:

  • your name and address
  • name and address of the defendant
  • the amount of the claim
  • 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. The plaintiff can also pay the filing fee in person at the courthouse. In addition to the filing fee, the plaintiff will have to pay a fee to have the Defendant served. The plaintiff can have the claim served on the defendant by certified mail or personally by a sheriff or constable. Service by certified mail is cheaper but might not be as quick as personal service by a sheriff or constable.

Westmoreland County Small Claims Court

Westmoreland County Small Claims Court

Westmoreland 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. A filing fee is required and depends on the amount of money in dispute. In addition to the filing fee, the plaintiff will need to pay for the defendant(s) to be served. These costs can potentially be recovered by you if you win the case.

Types of Cases Handled by a Magisterial District Judge in Westmoreland County

A Magisterial District Judge has jurisdiction over the following cases: preliminary hearings and preliminary arraignments in criminal cases, traffic offenses, municipal code violations, landlord/tenant cases and cases where the amount sought does not exceed $12,000.00.

Types of Cases in Westmoreland County Small Claims Court

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 common and used in a wide variety of situations including between:

  • home improvements between a contractor and a homeowner
  • insurance services between an insurance company and a consumer
  • credit card companies when providing credit to consumers

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. Negligence is where a party that is supposed to act with reasonable care fails to do so and someone else is injured from that. Negligence actions usually arise in an automobile accident or other times where someone sustains personal injuries or property damage.

Magisterial District Court in Westmoreland County

Westmoreland County has 17 Magisterial Districts which are:

10-1-01

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-1-01 is Joseph R. DeMarchis . The 10-1-01 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

101 Jayhawk Drive
Jeannette, PA 15644

The phone number for 10-1-01 Magisterial District is: 724-527-3541. The fax number for 10-1-01 Magisterial District is: 724-527-3547.

10-1-03

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-1-03 is (Vacant) Dalfonso . The 10-1-03 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

303 Riverview Drive
Monessen, PA 15062

The phone number for 10-1-03 Magisterial District is: . The fax number for 10-1-03 Magisterial District is: .

10-1-04

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-1-04 is Cheryl J. Peck-Yakopec . The 10-1-04 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

46 Towne Center Drive
Leechburg, PA 15656

The phone number for 10-1-04 Magisterial District is: 724-236-0274. The fax number for 10-1-04 Magisterial District is: 724-236-0278.

10-1-05

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-1-05 is Frank J. Pallone . The 10-1-05 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

1100 Fourth Avenue
New Kensington, PA 15068

The phone number for 10-1-05 Magisterial District is: 724-335-5050. The fax number for 10-1-05 Magisterial District is: 724-335-5886.

10-2-01

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-2-01 is Louis A. Bompiani . The 10-2-01 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

327 Armbrust Road
Youngwood, PA 15697

The phone number for 10-2-01 Magisterial District is: 724-925-9667. The fax number for 10-2-01 Magisterial District is: 724-925-3823.

10-2-03

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-2-03 is Helen M. Kistler . The 10-2-03 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

1012 Station Street
Harrison City, PA 15636

The phone number for 10-2-03 Magisterial District is: 724-744-3031. The fax number for 10-2-03 Magisterial District is: 724-744-7790.

10-2-06

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-2-06 is Charles M. Christner . The 10-2-06 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

179 Municipal Drive
Belle Vernon, PA 15012

The phone number for 10-2-06 Magisterial District is: 724-633-5105. The fax number for 10-2-06 Magisterial District is: 724-633-5110.

10-2-08

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-2-08 is Michael R. Mahady . The 10-2-08 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

5954 Route 981, Suite 1
Latrobe, PA 15650

The phone number for 10-2-08 Magisterial District is: 724-539-7135. The fax number for 10-2-08 Magisterial District is: 724-539-7136.

10-2-09

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-2-09 is Wayne B. Gongaware . The 10-2-09 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

210 Robbins Station Road
North Huntingdon, PA 15642

The phone number for 10-2-09 Magisterial District is: 724-864-0018. The fax number for 10-2-09 Magisterial District is: 724-864-9277.

10-2-10

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-2-10 is Christiann O. Flanigan . The 10-2-10 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

40 North Pennsylvania Avenue, First Floor
Greensburg, PA 15601

The phone number for 10-2-10 Magisterial District is: 724-830-3030. The fax number for 10-2-10 Magisterial District is: 724-830-1556.

10-3-01

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-3-01 is Mark S. Mansour . The 10-3-01 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

174 South Greengate Road
Greensburg, PA 15601

The phone number for 10-3-01 Magisterial District is: 724-836-1010. The fax number for 10-3-01 Magisterial District is: 724-836-4820.

10-3-02

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-3-02 is Charles R. Conway . The 10-3-02 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

5919 Washington Avenue
Export, PA 15632

The phone number for 10-3-02 Magisterial District is: 724-327-8322. The fax number for 10-3-02 Magisterial District is: 724-327-1524.

10-3-05

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-3-05 is Jason Buczak . The 10-3-05 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

4066 Route 66
Apollo, PA 15613

The phone number for 10-3-05 Magisterial District is: 724-727-3423. The fax number for 10-3-05 Magisterial District is: 724-727-3607.

10-3-08

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-3-08 is Mark J. Bilik . The 10-3-08 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

5092 Route 982
Bradenville, PA 15620

The phone number for 10-3-08 Magisterial District is: 724-539-7200. The fax number for 10-3-08 Magisterial District is: 724-539-7217.

10-3-09

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-3-09 is Denise Snyder Thiel . The 10-3-09 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

206 West Main Street
Ligonier, PA 15658

The phone number for 10-3-09 Magisterial District is: 724-238-9086. The fax number for 10-3-09 Magisterial District is: 724-238-9176.

10-3-10

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-3-10 is Charles D. Moore . The 10-3-10 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

121 Tech Center Drive
Mt Pleasant, PA 15666

The phone number for 10-3-10 Magisterial District is: 724-204-9046. The fax number for 10-3-10 Magisterial District is: 724-204-9043.

10-3-11

The Magisterial District Judge for 10-3-11 is Roger F. Eckels . The 10-3-11 Magisterial District courthouse is located at:

2320 Mt. Pleasant Road
Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666

The phone number for 10-3-11 Magisterial District is: 724-423-7150. The fax number for 10-3-11 Magisterial District is: 724-423-1922.