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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-1140




Rules of Civil Procedure N3154 and N3155: Attachment of Income to Satisfy Landlord-Tenant Judgment Under Residential Lease; 1997-Cm-4743

[27 Pa.B. 3520]

Order of Court

   And Now, this 30th day of June, 1997, Northampton County Rules of Civil Procedure N3154 (Attachment of Income to Satisfy Landlord-Tenant Judgment Under Residential Lease) and N3155 (Order of Attachment of Income to Satisfy Landlord-Tenant Judgment Under Residential Lease--Form) are hereby adopted as follows, effective thirty (30) days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   Seven (7) certified copies of the within rules shall be filed with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts; two (2) certified copies shall be distributed to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and one (1) certified copy shall be filed with the Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee. One (1) copy of these rules shall be kept available in the Office of the Clerk of Courts. A copy is directed to be published in the Northampton County Reporter.

By the Court

President Judge

Rule N3154.  Attachment of Income to Satisfy Landlord-Tenant Judgment Under Residential Lease

   (a)  After obtaining a final judgment for damages arising under a residential lease, the judgment creditor/landlord may petition the Court to attach the debtor/tenant's income to satisfy that portion of the judgment representing damages for abuse of the physical make up of the leased premises.

   (b)  The petition procedure utilized by the judgment creditor/landlord shall be in compliance with Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 206.1--206.7 and Northampton County Rule N206. All petitions for attachment of income shall be accompanied by a proposed ''Order of Attachment of Income'' substantially in accordance with the form provided in Rule N3155.

   (c)  At the time of the hearing on the petition it shall be the burden of the judgment credit/landlord to establish:  (1)  notice to the defendant/tenant of the income attachment hearing date; (2)  that the attachment is for a judgment that represents damages for abuse of the physical makeup of the leasehold premises; and (3)  that the tenant's security deposit, if any, has been deducted from the amount subject to attachment, or has been applied to payment of rent due on the same premises for which the judgment of attachment is to be entered.

   (d)  At the time of the hearing on the petition, it shall be the burden of the debtor/tenant to:  (1)  establish that the attachment would place the debtor's net income below the poverty income guidelines as provided annually by the Federal Office of Management and Budget; or (2)  other good cause why the attachment order should not issue.

Explanatory Comment

   This local rule is promulgated pursuant to the authority of 42 Pa. Con. Statutes 8127(a)(3.2). Counsel seeking to pursue the remedy of attachment of income must make sure that the District Justice or Court enters an order allocating the judgment amount to reflect that portion of the judgment which represents damages for abuse of the physical make-up of the residential leasehold premises.

Rule N3155.  Order of Attachment of Income to Satisfy Landlord-Tenant Judgment Under Residential Lease--Form

To:  (employer)

   Pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the net wages of  ______ , defend- ant/tenant, ______ (payroll or other iden- fication number, if applicable), of ______ (address), is hereby attached to the following extent.

   You are directed to pay to the Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County 10% of the net wages due the defendant/tenant. The attachment payment must be sent to the Prothonotary within fifteen (15) days of the date the defendant/tenant is paid. Checks should be made payable to ''Prothonotary of Northampton County'', Northampton County Government Center, 669 Washington Street, Easton, PA 18042.

   The order of attachment for damages arising out of a residential lease is binding upon you until further notice and shall have priority over any attachment, execution, garnishment or wage attachment under state or local law except one relating to a support order or a prior attachment for damages arising out of a residential lease. You must commence the attachment of the defendant/tenant's income as soon as possible but no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the issuance of this order of attachment.

   You are notified further that pursuant to law:

   1.  The defendant/tenant has been notified that an order of attachment would be issued.

   2.  Willful failure to comply with this order may result in (i)  your being adjudged in contempt of court with appropriate sanctions; (ii)  your being held liable for any amount not withheld or withheld but not forwarded to the Prothonotary; and (iii)  attachment of your funds or property.

   3.  The attachment of income or the possibility thereof as a basis, in whole or in part, for the discharge of an employee or any disciplinary action against or demotion of an employee is prohibited. Violation may result in (i)  your being adjudged in contempt with appropriate sanctions; and (ii)  an action against you by the employe for damages.

   4.  You must notify the Prothonotary when the defendant/tenant terminates employment and provide the Prothonotary with the employees' last known address and the name and address of the new employer, if known.

   5.  The maximum amount of the attachment shall not exceed 10% of the employee's net wages per pay period. the total amount of wages attached pursuant to this order shall not exceed ______ .

   6.  For the purposes of this order, ''net wages'' means all wages paid less only the following items:

   (i)  Federal, State, and local income taxes;

   (ii)  F.I.C.A. payments and nonvoluntary retirement payments;

   (iii)  Union dues; and

   (iv)  Health insurance premiums.

Date of Order: ______


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-1140. Filed for public inspection July 18, 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

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