Title 246—MINOR COURT CIVIL RULES
PART I. GENERAL
[ 246 PA. CODE CH. 200 ]
Proposed Amendment of Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 207
[45 Pa.B. 1251]
[Saturday, March 14, 2015]
The Minor Court Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the amendment of Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 207, addressing representation of parties in magisterial district court proceedings, for the reasons set forth in the accompanying explanatory report. Pursuant to Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(a)(1), the proposal is being published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for comments, suggestions, or objections prior to submission to the Supreme Court.
Any reports, notes, or comments in the proposal have been inserted by the Committee for the convenience of those using the rules. They neither will constitute a part of the rules nor be officially adopted by the Supreme Court.
Additions to the text of the proposal are bolded; deletions to the text are bolded and bracketed.
The Committee invites all interested persons to submit comments, suggestions, or objections in writing to:
Pamela S. Walker, Counsel
Minor Court Rules Committee
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Judicial Center
P. O. Box 62635
Harrisburg, PA 17106-2635
All communications in reference to the proposal should be received by April 29, 2015. E-mail is the preferred method for submitting comments, suggestions, or objections; any e-mailed submission need not be reproduced and resubmitted via mail. The Committee will acknowledge receipt of all submissions.
By the Minor Court Rules Committee
BRADLEY K. MOSS,
TITLE 246. MINOR COURT CIVIL RULES
PART I. GENERAL
CHAPTER 200. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION; GENERAL PROVISIONS
Rule 207. Representation in Magisterial District Court Proceedings.
(A) In magisterial district court proceedings:
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(3) Corporations or similar entities [and], unincorporated associations, and bodies corporate and politic may be represented by an attorney at law, by an officer of the corporation, entity, or association, or by an employee or authorized agent of the corporation, entity, [or] association, or body with personal knowledge of the subject matter of the litigation and written authorization from an officer of the corporation, entity, [or] association, or body to appear as its representative.
* * * * *
Official Note: This rule is intended to permit a non-lawyer representative, employee, or authorized agent to appear on behalf of an individual, partnership, corporation or similar entity, [or] unincorporated association, or body corporate and politic, but not to allow a non-lawyer to establish a business for the purpose of representing others in magisterial district court proceedings.
It is intended that the designation of a non-lawyer representative, employee, or authorized agent to represent a party is to apply only on a case-by-case basis. A party may not give blanket authorization for a non-lawyer representative, employee, or authorized agent to represent the party in all cases involving the party.
As to ''personal knowledge of the subject matter of the litigation'' see Pa.R.E. 602 and Comment.
A business organized as a sole proprietorship may be represented in the same manner as an individual under paragraph (A)(1).
A body corporate and politic is an entity designated as such by statute, including, but not limited to, a county housing authority as defined in the Housing Authorities Law, 35 P. S. § 1543(a).
See rules in Chapter 800 as to representation of minors and incapacitated persons by guardians.
To gain admission pro hac vice pursuant to Pa.B.A.R. 301, the applicant must seek administrative approval by the [IOlTA] IOLTA Board prior to the sponsor's request for the applicant's admission before the magisterial district court. The disposition and content of the request is governed by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1012.1.
Proposed Amendment of Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 207
Representation in Magisterial District
The Minor Court Rules Committee (''Committee'') is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the amendment of Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 207. This rule addresses representation of parties in magisterial district court proceedings. The Committee is proposing to add a ''body corporate and politic'' as a named entity under Rule 207, and specifying who may provide representation to such a body.
Currently, Rule 207 establishes who may represent a party in a magisterial district court proceeding. Rule 207 provides guidance with respect to representation of individuals, partnerships, corporations or similar entities, and unincorporated associations. See Rule 207(A). In addition to representation by attorneys, entities may be represented by partners, employees, authorized agents, or officers. See Rule 207(A)(2)—(3).
The Committee was forwarded correspondence from the solicitor for a county housing authority. The solicitor wrote that the county housing authority was experiencing difficulties having a property manager file a complaint and represent the county housing authority in a landlord tenant matter because the county housing authority did not fit squarely into one of the categories set forth in Rule 207.
The Housing Authorities Law defines a county housing authority as ''a public body and body corporate and politic.'' See 35 P. S. § 1543(a). A subsequent section of the Housing Authorities Law further provides that ''[a]n authority shall constitute a public body, corporate and politic, exercising public powers of the Commonwealth as an agency thereof . . .'' See 35 P. S. § 1550(t). The phrase ''body corporate and politic'' appears throughout Pennsylvania statutes to define a wide range of entities, including municipal authorities (1 Pa.C.S. § 1991), conservation districts (3 P. S. § 853), and redevelopment authorities, (35 P. S. § 1703).
The Committee reviewed the solicitor's correspondence, and agreed that current Rule 207 does not include a body corporate and politic, such as a county housing authority. The Committee did not find a reason to exclude a county housing authority or a similar entity from the provisions of Rule 207, and proposes adding a body corporate and politic to Rule 207, as well as a provision to the Official Note to give an example of such an entity.
III. Proposed Changes
The Committee plans to propose the amendment of Rule 207 by adding ''a body corporate and politic'' to the entities enumerated in paragraph (A)(3) of the rule. The Committee will also propose amending the Official Note to add a reference to a body corporate and politic, as well as to name a county housing authority as an example of such an entity.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 15-450. Filed for public inspection March 13, 2015, 9:00 a.m.]
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