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Magisterial District Court
Self Help - Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

This Self-Help Section on the Magisterial District Court is intended to provide the most basic information concerning simple cases when a small claims civil lawsuit is brought to recover money totaling up to $12,000.00. Therefore, the information may not be appropriate in all cases. This information is intended for use in the Lehigh County Magisterial District Court and Court of Common Pleas. While the Magisterial District Court forms from the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts are standard statewide, the links and information here are Lehigh County specific and may not apply in other counties. The rules for filing an appeal may differ in other counties and can be changed by the courts or the legislature at any time.

These topics do not include all information specific to Landlord-Tenant actions at the Magisterial District Court. If your action is landlord-tenant, please refer to the Landlord-Tenant Act.


The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, P.L. 116-136 ("CARES Act") was enacted on March 27, 2020. Among other things, the CARES Act provides a temporary moratorium related to certain eviction actions. During the 120-day period following enactment, i.e., through July 25, 2020, a landlord may not "make, or cause to be made, any filing with the court of jurisdiction to initiate a legal action to recover possession of the covered dwelling from the tenant for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges." CARES Act, §  4024(b)(1). The moratorium also applies to the charging of "fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent." CARES Act, §  4024(b)(2). On May 29, 2020, Lehigh County's Judicial Emergency Order requires that every action by a landlord against a tenant for the recovery of possession of real property for failure to pay rent filed in a Lehigh County magisterial district court shall be accompanied by an Affidavit of Compliance with the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, P.L. 116-136.

This is not a step-by-step guide for filing a case at the Magisterial District Court level. Please check with your attorney before relying on any information found here as the laws are subject to change.

Nothing in this information is intended to be legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. Please retain an attorney if you need additional information or guidance.

The forms and instructions that are available from this website are not a substitute for professional legal advice. Court employees cannot give you legal advice or help you fill out /complete the forms. It is your responsibility to read and complete the forms and to take required steps to file and serve the documents. If you decide to use these forms in an actual action, be prepared to spend appropriate time gathering information, completing forms and following the Rules of Court. The Court assumes no responsibility for the use of these forms and accepts no liability for actions taken by using these documents, including reliance on the instructions and/or contents. To obtain legal advice and to insure the proper use of this material, you should contact a lawyer.

If you want to obtain the service of an attorney, but do not know whom to contact, you should visit the Lehigh Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service website.

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