Rule 314. Return, Waiver and Failure of Service; Reinstatement.
A. The person serving the complaint shall, at or before the time of the hearing, make proof of service which shall show (1) the manner of service, (2) the date, time, and place of service and, (3) the name and relationship or title, if any, of the person on whom the complaint was served. The proof of service shall be filed with the original complaint.
B. When service is made by registered or certified mail, the return receipt shall be filed with the original complaint.
C. The appearance of a defendant in person or by representative or the filing by a defendant of a claim in the case shall be deemed a waiver of any defect in service but not a waiver of a defect in venue.
D. If the complaint is not served on the defendant in time to permit holding a hearing within 60 days of the filing of the complaint, the magisterial district judge shall dismiss the complaint without prejudice.
E. Upon written request of the plaintiff, a complaint that has been dismissed without prejudice for failure to make service pursuant to subdivision D of this rule may be reinstated at any time and any number of times. The date of reinstatement shall be the date upon which the request for reinstatement is filed.
The provision concerning appearance not being a waiver of venue was inserted in subdivision C of this rule to prevent the concentration of business in the office of a favorable magisterial district judge. Also, the public cannot generally be expected to be aware of venue provisions. See Rule 302H regarding improper venue.
Subdivision D is intended to prevent the accumulation of stale claims in the office of the magisterial district judge.
Subdivision E provides for the reinstatement, upon written request of the plaintiff, of a complaint that has been dismissed without prejudice for failure to make service under subdivision D. Compare Pa. R.C.P. No. 401(b). The written request for reinstatement may be in any form and may consist of a notation on the permanent copy of the complaint form, Reinstatement of complaint requested, subscribed by the plaintiff. The magisterial district judge shall mark all copies of the reinstated complaint, Complaint reinstated. Request for reinstatement filed on
(date). If it is necessary to use a new form for the reinstated complaint, the reinstated complaint, except for service portions thereof, shall be an exact copy of the original complaint, although signatures may be typed or printed with the mark /s/ indicating an actual signature. The language in subdivision E that a complaint may be reinstated at any time will permit reinstatement after a faulty service without waiting for further proceedings in the case. Reinstatement must occur within the period of the statute of limitations from the date of the last filing or reinstatement. The cost for reinstating a complaint is specified in Section 1725.1 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. § 1725.1. In addition, there may be additional server costs for service of the reinstated complaint.
The provisions of this Rule 314 amended October 17, 1975, effective in 90 days; amended effective March 24, 1977; amended April 25, 1979, effective in 30 days; June 30, 1982 effective 30 days after July 17, 1982; March 27, 1992, effective June 25, 1992; amended February 12, 2002, effective immediately, 32 Pa.B. 1176; amended July 3, 2003, effective January 1, 2004, 33 Pa.B. 3491; amended April 22, 2004, effective July 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 2464. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (300287) to (300288).
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