Rule 315. Claim by Defendant.
A. The defendant, by filing a complaint at least five days before the date set for the hearing, may assert in the case any claim against the plantiff that is within the jurisdiction of a magisterial district judge. Such a claim need not arise from the same transaction or occurrence from which the plaintiffs claim arose, nor need it be the same type of claim.
B. The rules governing the form, processing, and service of a plaintiffs complaint shall apply also to the defendants complaint. The magisterial district judge shall set a date and time for the consolidated hearing of both complaints that shall not be less than 12 or more than 30 days from the filing of the defendants complaint. The magisterial district court shall promptly notify the parties of the date and time set for the consolidated hearing of both complaints.
C. A money judgment for the plaintiff or for the defendant, but not for both, shall be entered with respect to such cross-complaints, any lesser amount found due on the claim asserted in one being deducted from the greater amount found due on the claim asserted in the other.
Paragraph A of this rule permits the defendant to file a cross-complaint against the plaintiff at least five days before the date originally set for the hearing, if it is for a claim cognizable by a magisterial district judge. See Section 1515(a)(3) of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. § 1515(a)(3), as to waiver of jurisdictional limits, a defendant filing a cross-complaint being considered a plaintiff as to the cross-complaint within the meaning of this statute. The requirement that a cross-complaint be filed at least five days before the hearing is intended to give the magisterial district judge time to notify the parties of any new hearing date and time. Notice under paragraph B is not a substitute for proper service. If the defendant does not file an action at least five days before the hearing, the defendant may still file a complaint against the plaintiff but it will not be processed as a cross-complaint.
No provision has been made for a stay of the magisterial district court proceedings upon notice by the defendant of intention to commence an action in the court of common pleas on a claim against the plaintiff not within magisterial district judge jurisdiction. It was thought that no such provision was necessary, for if the plaintiff prevails in the magisterial district court action the defendant may appeal, the appeal operates as an automatic supersedeas of the money judgment, the case is heard de novo, and the defendant may assert a claim in the court of common pleas, possibly as a counterclaim. See Rules 1002, 1007, and 1008.
Since a cross-complaint is in the nature of a responsive pleading, there is no fee for filing it.
No cross-complaint may be filed in a supplementary action filed under Rule 342. See Rule 342 and Note.
The provisions of this Rule 315 amended through January 29, 1976, 6 Pa.B. 361; amended April 25, 1979, effective May 25, 1979, 9 Pa.B. 1499; amended December 15, 2000, effective January 1, 2001, 30 Pa.B. 6882; amended April 5, 2002, effective January 17, 2003, 32 Pa.B. 2199; amended June 1, 2006, effective October 1, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2955. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (309529) to (309530).
No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.
This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.