Can I represent myself in Pennsylvania courts?

Yes you can, if you are a natural person, i.e. a human being, you can represent yourself. This is called “pro se” representation. However, in most cases, you cannot represent a company with which you are associated. An exception to this is representation of companies in proceedings in Magisterial District Courts where a shareholder or officer or partner may represent a company. Also, an employee of the company or authorized agent who has personal knowledge of the facts of the case may represent the company if authorized in writing by an officer or partner of the company.

What Do You Need to Know About Magisterial District Courts?

 

While certain criminal matters and traffic offenses are handled in Magisterial District Courts in Pennsylvania, this post will address how such courts handle civil matters. First,  you need to know that MD Courts are small claims courts, i.e. the maximum amount of damages you can seek, exclusive of interest and costs, is $12,000. Second, you need to know that MD Courts cover geographic areas smaller than counties. Third, you need to know that that any party in DJ Court has a right to appeal a judgment to the Court of Common Pleas where the case will be tried anew. While a matter in DJ Court will likely proceed to trial much more quickly than a matter in the Court of Common Pleas, as long as the opposing party is willing to bear the expense of appealing to the Court of Common Pleas, it is easy to frustrate a final resolution of the dispute in MD Court. If you have any questions about Magisterial District Courts, please give me a call at 814-283-5788