Pennsylvania lawmakers recently raised the limit on small claims lawsuits filed in district court from $8,000 to $12,000, and Montgomery County Magisterial District Judge Albert Augustine says he believes it was a good move. “$8,000 isn’t that much money anymore, and $12,000 seems to be a much more reasonable amount. It’s also a benefit for the public because previously if you had an action for $10,000 you would have had to bring that in Common Pleas Court, where you would have had to hire an attorney, and it’s a lot more burdensome.”
He says going to Common Pleas Court is also a lot more expensive, so raising the limit in District Court benefits people who file small claims.
“This way an everyday citizen can bring his action in District Court and do fairly well.”
Judge Augustine says people can represent themselves in District Court lawsuits and get a good outcome, but in Common Pleas Court they need a lawyer if they expect to win. He appeared Wednesday on the WNPV talk program Legally Speaking.