If you have a judgment from a magistrate's office in Pennsylvania, and you want to ensure that the judgment acts as a lien against any real property the defendant owns, then you need to transfer the Magistrate's judgment into the court of common pleas of the county where the defendant owns property. You may have to transfer the judgment to several counties separately if the defendant owns property in multiple counties. Ask the magistrates office for a sealed copy of the judgment and bring that document to the Prothonotary or Department of Court Records and inform that office that you wish to file your judgment at the county level. Once you file the judgment, you can issue a writ of execution and direct the sheriff's office to levy and/or tow the defendant's vehicle. If you have any questions, feel free to call me.
Noah Paul Fardo, Esq.
Flaherty Fardo, LLC
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Since the judgment was obtained in the Philadelphia Municipal Court suggest you transfer the Municipal Court Judgment to the Office of the Prothonotary in Philadelphia County after the thirty (30) day appeal period from the date the judgment was entered, expires and your judment becoes absolute.. Assuming the Defednat's real estate is located in Philadelphia you have your lien against whatever real estate he owns in that jurisdiction. However, if the home is jointly owned with his spouse as tenants by the entireties, you will not be able to enforce your lien so long as the property is owned as TBE. Mr Fardo is correct that if the property is located in another county or counties, you will have to file a certified copy of the judgment entered in Philadelphia in those other jurisdictions to obtain your lien.
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Both attorneys have given sound advice. I agree that you should wait the 30 day appeal period and then proceed to file at the Court of Common Pleas. Sometimes its more difficult to collect on a judgment than it is to get the judgment. You can also ask the municipal court if there are any other remedies. At least in Montgomery County, the DJ can execute on a judgment through a sheriff's sale. However, I'm not sure if that option is available in Philadelphia. It might be worth going to find out.
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