Phil. Cnty. Pa. *1008

As amended through December 2, 2019
Rule *1008 - Municipal Court Appeals as Supersedeas
(a)General Rule. Except as provided in section (b), (c) and (d) below, service of a copy of the Notice of Appeal on the Municipal Court operates as a supersedeas.
(b)Supersedeas in Appeals of Judgments of Possession of Real Property Pursuant to Non-Residential Leases. When the appeal is from a judgment for possession of real property pursuant to a non-residential lease, receipt by the Municipal Court of a copy of the Notice of Appeal shall operate as a supersedeas only if the appellant/ tenant, at the time of the filing of the Notice of Appeal, deposits with the Office of Judicial Records a sum of money (or a bond, with surety approved by the Office of Judicial Records) equal to the lesser of three months' rent or the rent actually in arrears on the date of the filing of the Notice of Appeal, based on the Municipal Court judgment, and thereafter deposits each month with the Office of Judicial Records an amount equal to the monthly rent which becomes due while the appeal is pending in the Court of Common Pleas. The additional deposits shall be made within thirty (30) days following the date of the filing of the Notice of Appeal, and each successive thirty (30) day period thereafter.
(c)Supersedeas in Appeals of Judgments of Possession of Real Property Pursuant to Residential Leases. When the appeal is from a judgment for possession of real property pursuant to a residential lease, and there is no allegation that the appellant/tenant is indigent, receipt by the Municipal Court of a copy of the Notice of Appeal shall operate as a supersedeas only if the appellant/ tenant, at the time of the filing of the Notice of Appeal, deposits with the Office of Judicial Records a sum of money (or a bond, with surety approved by the Office of Judicial Records) equal to the lesser of three months' rent or the rent actually in arrears on the date of the filing of the Notice of Appeal, based on the Municipal Court judgment, and thereafter deposits each month with the Office of Judicial Records an amount equal to the monthly rent which becomes due while the appeal is pending in the Court of Common Pleas. The additional deposits shall be made within thirty (30) days following the date of the filing of the Notice of Appeal, and each successive thirty (30) day period thereafter.
(d)Supersedeas in Appeals of Judgments of Possession of Real Property Pursuant to Residential Leases. Indigent Tenants.
(1) Residential tenants who seek to appeal from a Municipal Court judgment for possession and who do not have the ability to pay the lesser of three months' rent or the full amount of the Municipal Court judgment for rent shall file with the Office of Judicial Records, as applicable, either a Tenant's Supersedeas Affidavit (Non-Section 8), substantially in the form set forth below, or Tenant's Supersedeas Affidavit (Section 8), substantially in the form set forth below.

Explanatory Note: On April 15, 2008, at the recommendation of the Minor Court Rules Committee ("Committee"), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania approved amendments to Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 1008 (effective May 15, 2008). The recommendation was based on federal district court lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 1008B as applied to indigent tenants. The Committee noted in its Report that federal district courts had held that indigent residential tenants' rights were being violated by Rule 1008B's requirement that tenants post three times the monthly rent or the rent determined to be in arrears so that they could remain in the home while appealing a magisterial district judge's award of possession to the landlord.

The Committee cited in its Report the federal district court case Wendolyn Pleasant and Tenants' Action Group v. Joseph H. Evers, 1998 WL 205431 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 24, 1998), C.A.NO. 97-4124 (Ludwig, J.) and noted: "In Evers, Community Legal Services challenged Philadelphia Municipal Court's Rule of Procedure 124, which required a deposit to be paid in almost the same fashion as Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No 1008B. During the early phases of the protracted litigation, a temporary restraining order was entered enjoining the use of the Municipal Court rule. Ultimately, Evers led Municipal Court to change its practices and create a standing procedure for indigent residential tenants' appeals. That procedure is still used today."

The procedure recommended by the Committee and approved by the Supreme Court in its April 15, 2008 order is essentially the Evers procedure which, as the Committee noted, has been in effect in Philadelphia County since 1998; however, that procedure was never adopted as an official court rule. Independently of the Committee's effort to address the constitutionality of Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 1008 as applied to indigent residential tenants in all counties other than Philadelphia, the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County was in the process of incorporating the Evers requirements in comprehensive local rules addressing appeals from the Philadelphia Municipal Court. Philadelphia Civil Rules *1001 and *1008 represent the culmination of that effort and, in order to foster statewide uniformity, incorporate most, if not all, of the provisions found in Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 1001 to 1008.

(2)
(a) If the rent has already been paid to the landlord in the month in which the Notice of Appeal is filed, the tenant shall pay into an escrow account with the Office of Judicial Records the monthly rent as it becomes due under the lease for the months subsequent to the filing of the Notice of Appeal; or
(b) If the rent has not been paid at the time of filing the Notice of Appeal, the tenant shall pay:
(i) at the time of filing the Notice of Appeal, a sum of money equal to one third (1/3) of the monthly rent;
(ii) an additional deposit of two thirds (2/3) of the monthly rent within twenty (20) days of filing the Notice of Appeal; and
(iii) additional deposits of one month's rent in full each thirty (30) days after filing the Notice of Appeal. The amount of the monthly rent is the sum of money found by the Municipal Court to constitute the monthly rental for the leasehold premises. However, when the tenant is a participant in the Section 8 program, the tenant shall pay the tenant share of the rent as set forth in the "Section 8 Tenant's Supersedeas Affidavit" filed by the tenant.
(3) The Office of Judicial Records shall provide residential tenants who have suffered a judgment for possession with "Supplemental Instructions for Obtaining a Stay of Eviction," substantially in the form set forth below.

Note: The Supplemental Instructions include both Instructions and Income Limits. The Income Limits are stated in monthly amounts and are based upon the most recent poverty income guidelines issued by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.

(4) When the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) have been met, the Office of Judicial Records shall issue a supersedeas.
(5) Upon application by the landlord, the Court of Common Pleas shall release appropriate sums from the escrow account on a continuing basis while the appeal is pending to compensate the landlord for the tenant's actual possession and use of the premises during the pendency of the appeal.
(6) If the tenant fails to make monthly rent payments to the Office of Judicial Records as described in paragraph (2), the supersedeas may be terminated by the Office of Judicial Records upon praecipe by the landlord or other party to the action, substantially in the form set forth below which is to be filed together with a certificate that a copy of the praecipe has been mailed to each other party who has appeared in the action. Notice of the termination of the supersedeas shall be forwarded by first class mail to attorneys of record, or, if a party is unrepresented, to the party's last known address of record; however, upon implementation of the Civil Electronic Filing System as provided in Philadelphia Civil Rule *205.4, notice of the termination of the supersedeas will be served on the Philadelphia Municipal Court electronically by the Civil Electronic Filing System. The landlord may obtain a writ of possession from the Municipal Court ten (10) days after the supersedeas is terminated by the Office of Judicial Records.

Explanatory Note: Although the Office of Judicial Records must provide notice of the termination of the super-sedeas for non-payment of the monthly rental payments as provided in this subsection, in order to allow the notice to be delivered to the tenant before the eviction can proceed, the landlord must wait ten (10) days before obtaining a writ of possession from the Municipal Court after termination of the supersedeas by the Office of Judicial Records.

(7) If the Court of Common Pleas determines, upon written motion or its own motion, that the averments within any of the tenant's affidavits do not establish that the tenant meets the terms and conditions of paragraph (1), supra, the Court may terminate the supersedeas. Notice of the termination of the supersedeas shall be forwarded by first class mail to attorneys of record, or, if a party is unrepresented, to the party's last known address of record; however, upon implementation of the Civil Electronic Filing System as provided in Philadelphia Civil Rule *205.4, notice of the termination of the supersedeas will be served on the Philadelphia Municipal Court electronically by the Civil Electronic Filing System.
(8) If an appeal is stricken or voluntarily terminated, any supersedeas based on it shall terminate. The Office of Judicial Records shall pay the deposits of rental to the party who sought possession of the real property.

Explanatory Note: Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 1008 is the source of this local rule. The content of the Note which appears immediately after Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 1008 explaining the various provisions has been edited as appropriate and is adopted as a Note to this local rule.

Note: Subdivision (a) provides for an automatic supersedeas in appeals from civil actions upon receipt by the Municipal Court of a copy of the Notice of Appeal filed with the Office of Judicial Records of the Court of Common Pleas. Subdivisions (b) and (c), however, do require the deposit of money or approved bond as a condition for supersedeas where the appeal is from a judgment for the possession of real property. Subdivision (d) provides for appeals by indigent residential tenants who are unable to meet the bond requirements of subdivision (b) or (c).

The request for termination of the supersedeas, upon the praecipe filed with the Office of Judicial Records, may simply state: "Please terminate the supersedeas in the within action for failure of the appellant to pay monthly rental as required by Philadelphia Civil Rule *1008 when it became due" and will be signed by appellee. The Office of Judicial Records will then note upon the praecipe: "Upon confirmation of failure of the appellant to deposit the monthly rent when it became due, the supersedeas is terminated," and the Office of Judicial Records will sign and date and time stamp the praecipe. A copy of the praecipe may thereupon be filed with the Municipal Court which rendered the judgment, and a request for issuance of an order for possession pursuant to Phila.M.C.R.Civ.P. No. 126 may be made.

The deposit of rent required is intended to apply in all cases, irrespective of the reasons which caused the filing of the complaint before the Municipal Court in the first instance. Disposition of the monthly rental deposits will be made by the Court of Common Pleas following its de novo hearing of the matter on appeal.

The money judgment portion of a landlord and tenant judgment would be governed by subdivision (a). Adopted by the Board of Judges of the Court of Common Pleas on May 15, 2008. Promulgated by Order dated May 20, 2008. Effective thirty (30) days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

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Phil. Cnty. Pa. *1008

Adopted by the Board of Judges of the Court of Common Pleas onMay 15, 2008, effective September 1, 2008. Amended by Administrative Order 01 of 2017 issued on March 8, 2017 by Judge Jacqueline Allen, Trial Division Administrative Judge; published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on March 25, 2017 and effective April 24, 2017.