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Pittsburgh Attorney for Landlord Tenant Law

Landlord Tenant Law - Evictions

Magistrate Hearing

In Pennsylvania, Magisterial District Courts are courts of original jurisdiction for Landlord-Tenant disputes (except matters involving title to real estate) and for civil disputes involving $8,000.00 or less, in addition to serving other functions.  The people within a district elect Magisterial District Judges for six-year terms.

Filing suit at Magisterial District Court is often the quickest and most effective way to regain possession of a property or recovery funds due under a lease.  At a Magistrate Hearing both parties have an opportunity to testify and present evidence to the Judge.  AAAL will represent your interests at a District Magistrate hearing for a flat fee as low as $500.00.

Arbitration

In the context of Pennsylvania Landlord-Tenant disputes, an arbitration is an equitable legal proceeding adjudicated by a panel of attorneys.  Actions for money damages where the amount in controversy is less than a prescribed jurisdiction amount, e.g. $25,000.00, must first be submitted to and heard by a panel of arbitrators before the matter can proceed to a Court of Common Pleas Trial.

Landlord-Tenant disputes may be determined by arbitration if a party appeals the decision rendered by a Magisterial District Court or if the action is initially filed with the Court of Common Pleas, Arbitration Division.  Arbitration requires the drafting and filing of complex legal pleadings and a skilled legal practitioner to conduct the hearing.   AAAL will represent your interests before the Court of Common Pleas, Arbitration Division for a flat fee as low as $1,250.00. 

Court of Common Pleas

The Courts of Common Pleas are the trial courts of Pennsylvania.  Major civil and criminal cases are heard in these courts.  Judges also decide cases involving adoption, divorce, child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, estates, guardianships, charitable organizations and many other matters.

If a Landlord-Tenant dispute is appealed from the Court of Common Pleas, Arbitration Division the matter will proceed to either a Judge or Jury Trial before the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division.  Additionally, if the case involves a dispute over the title to some real estate, e.g. land installment contract disputes, the case MUST be initially filed before the Court of Common Pleas Civil Division.

Conducting a trial before the Court of Common Pleas requires an experienced trial attorney to draft pleadings, conduct discovery and litigate all aspects of the case.  AAAL provides representation before the Court of Common Pleas on an hourly basis at competitive rates.

Superior Court

The Superior Court is one of Pennsylvania's two statewide intermediate appellate courts. This court reviews most of the civil and criminal cases that are appealed from the Courts of Common Pleas.  The court often is the final arbiter of legal disputes.  Although the Supreme Court may grant a petition for review of a Superior Court decision, most such petitions are denied and the ruling of the Superior Court stands.

Decisions rendered by the Court of Common Pleas are reviewed by the Superior Court to determine if the trial court made an erroneous legal ruling.  AAAL will represent your interests before the Superior Court on an hourly basis at competitive rates.

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