PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION RESOLUTION CONCERNING SERVICE IN LANDLORD-TENANT ACTIONS FILED IN THE PHILADELPHIA MUNICIPAL COURT IN WHICH THE LANDLORD IS SEEKING A JUDGMENT IN ORDER TO REGAIN POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY THROUGH THE USE OF LAWFUL PROCESS

WHEREAS, the Minor Court Rules Committee, with the support of the Philadelphia Municipal Court, proposed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the establishment of a new set of rules for civil practice in the Philadelphia Municipal Court;

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has agreed with the Minor Court Rules Committee’s proposal and asked the Minor Court Rules Committee to proceed with rulemaking for the adoption of such rules; and

WHEREAS, Philadelphia Bar Association wishes to make suggestions about the new set of rules that will concern service of original process and other papers in landlord-tenant actions in which the landlord is seeking a judgment in order to regain possession of the property through the use of lawful process;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association requests the Minor Court Rules Committee to consider the following when drafting a new set of rules for civil practice in the Philadelphia Municipal Court:

  1. A landlord-tenant complaint shall be mailed by the court to the tenant. The date of mailing shall be recorded on the court’s docket as well as if the mailing is returned to the court.
  2. Service of a landlord-tenant complaint shall be made by handing a copy of the landlord-tenant complaint to the tenant, to an adult member of the family with whom the tenant resides, or to an adult person in charge of the residence if no adult member of the family is found. A landlord-tenant complaint shall be served by posting the complaint conspicuously on the leased premises so that it is reasonably calculated to provide notice to the tenant of the pendency of the action only if service is attempted in the manner set forth in the preceding sentence and is unsuccessful.
  3. The writ of possession shall be served in the same manner as a landlord tenant complaint, and a return of service shall be filed in the same manner as a landlord-tenant complaint.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association requests that the Philadelphia Municipal Court study the effect, if any, of a GPS time/date stamped photograph being taken at the time that service of a landlord-tenant complaint or writ of possession is made by posting and attached to the return of service.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Governors authorizes the Chancellor, or the Chancellor’s designee, to communicate the contents of this resolution to the Minor Court Rules Committee, the Philadelphia Municipal Court, the legal profession and the public and to take such other action as may be appropriate to effectuate this resolution.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: May 30, 2019