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231 Pa. Code Rule 1037. Judgment Upon Default or Admission. Assessment of Damages.

Rule 1037. Judgment Upon Default or Admission. Assessment of Damages.

 (a)  If an action is not commenced by a complaint, the prothonotary, upon praecipe of the defendant, shall enter a rule upon the plaintiff to file a complaint. If a complaint is not filed within twenty days after service of the rule, the prothonotary, upon praecipe of the defendant, shall enter a judgment of non pros.

   Official Note

   See Rule 237.1(a)(2) which requires the praecipe for judgment of non pros to contain a certification of written notice of intent to file the praecipe.

 (b)  The prothonotary, on praecipe of the plaintiff, shall enter judgment against the defendant for failure to file within the required time a pleading to a complaint which contains a notice to defend or, except as provided by subdivision (d), for any relief admitted to be due by the defendant’s pleadings.

   Official Note

   See Rule 237.1 which requires the praecipe for default judgment to contain a certification of written notice of intent to file the praecipe.

   While the prothonotary may enter a default judgment in an action legal or equitable, only the court may grant equitable relief. See subdivision (d).

   (1)  The prothonotary shall assess damages for the amount to which the plaintiff is entitled if it is a sum certain or which can be made certain by computation, but if it is not, the damages shall be assessed at a trial at which the issues shall be limited to the amount of the damages.

   (2)  In all actions in which the only damages to be assessed are the cost of repairs made to property

     (i)   the prothonotary on praecipe of the plaintiff, waiving any other damages under the judgment, and the filing of the affidavits provided by subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) shall assess damages for the cost of the repairs;

     (ii)   the praecipe shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the person making the repairs; the affidavit shall contain an itemized repair bill setting forth the charges for labor and material used in the repair of the property; it shall also state the qualifications of the person who made or supervised the repairs, that the repairs were necessary, and that the prices for labor and material were fair and reasonable and those customarily charged;

     (iii)   the plaintiff shall send a copy of the affidavit and repair bill to the defendant by registered mail directed to the defendant’s last known address, together with a notice setting forth the date of the intended assessment of damages, which shall not be less than ten days from the mailing of the notice and a statement that damages will be assessed in the amount of the repair bill unless prior to the date of assessment the defendant by written praecipe files with the prothonotary a request for trial on the issue of such damages; an affidavit of mailing of notice shall be filed.

   Official Note

   By Definition Rule 76, registered mail includes certified mail.

 (c)  In all cases, the court, on motion of a party, may enter an appropriate judgment against a party upon default or admission.

   Official Note

   For the form of notice to defend, see Rule 1018.1.

 (d)  In all cases in which equitable relief is sought, the court shall enter an appropriate order upon the judgment of default or admission and may take testimony to assist in its decision and in framing the order.


   The provisions of this Rule 1037 amended through December 16, 1983, effective July 1, 1984, 13 Pa.B. 3999; amended June 3, 1994, effective July 1, 1994, 24 Pa.B. 3213; amended December 2, 1994, effective July 1, 1995, 24 Pa.B. 6259; amended April 12, 1999, effective July 12, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 2266; amended December 16, 2003, effective July 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 9. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (296716) to (296717).

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