How to File in Small Claims Court in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

By George Lawrence J.D.
Pennsylvania, small claims courts, civil actions, small amounts

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Lancaster is a county in Pennsylvania. People who need to initiate a small claims lawsuit in Lancaster must file a Civil Complaint with the clerk in the Lancaster Court of Common Pleas. Small claims in Lancaster are actions that do not involve sums greater than $8,000, according to the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania website. Lancaster allows parties in a small claims action to hire and have attorneys represent them, but this is not required. Civil Compliant forms are available at the Lancaster Court of Common Pleas (click on the link in the Resource section).

Obtain a Civil Complaint form. Write "Lancaster" for the "County Of:" line. In the box under this line, write "02" (the magisterial district number for Lancaster), and write the court's address:

Court of Common Pleas County of Lancaster 50 N. Duke St., PO Box 83480 Lancaster, PA 17608-3480

Write your name and address in the "Plaintiff" box. Write the name and address of the person you are suing in the "Defendant" box. Leave the "Docket No." and "Date Filed" boxes empty; these are filled in by the clerk.

Write the amount you are suing for on the line next to the "$" symbol in the "TO THE DEFENDANT" section. Beneath this, list the facts of the case. Sign and date the form.

Send the completed form by mail to the address listed in Step 1. Send a copy of the completed form to the defendant (or hand deliver the form to the defendant) to provide the person you are suing with notice of the action. Note that if you do not notify the defendant about the lawsuit, the case may be dismissed. Include the filing fee with your form; contact the court at 717-299-8000 to inquire about current fees.

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.

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