I have an importartant question..I was served on Sat 12/6/14. The attorneys filed motion for alternate service on 11/20/14. It states received on 11/26/14 with a stamp of "Office of Judicial records" and was docketed on 12/02/14. I know I have 20 days to respond but which date do I go by? It states you must take action within 20 days after Complaint & Notice are served but which date? I really appreciate your help in this matter as I don't want to be caught off-guard w/wrong date THANK YOU!
It won't matter. You will have 10 days from the date of the default notice you will get if you do not reply in the 20 day period.
Here is how default judgment works: First you get served. Then 20 days passes. Then a default notice is sent. Then, after 10 days, if no answer or preliminary objections are filed, a default judgment is entered.
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You actually have more than 20 days. After the 20 day period you must be served again with a Praecipe to Enter Default Judgment. From there you have ten days before you lose the case.
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In Pennsylvania civil proceedings you have 20 days to file a response, running from the date of service of the Complaint. After that 20 day period has expired, the Plaintiff must serve you with notice that your are in default and must wait ten more days to file a judgment. If you intend to defend the ejectment action, you should file a response. Keep in mind, you have very few defenses as the lawful title of the home has passed and you are presently in wrongful possession. In addition to ejectment, you could face a claim for attorney fees and loss of use damages. You should consult with an attorney.
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The real question is "why are you messing around with this?" IF you are going to respond and try to stay in the house you need to get on the stick and make sure you stay in the game - risking default over the "which date counts" debate sounds pretty dangerous to me. By the way, the 10-day Notice the other fine attorneys have mentioned may very well come in a plain white envelope and get thrown in the junk mail pile - forewarned is forearmed.
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