Ejectment Lawyer


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The first step in the ejectment process is to file a complaint in ejectment. You must attach the legal deed to the property as an exhibit to the complaint. The complaint must be filed with the court and served on the defendant. According to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, the complaint must be hand served. The process server must file an affidavit of service with the courts swearing under penalty of perjury the defendant is served.

Following proper service, the defendant has twenty days to answer the complaint. If the defendant does not take action, you may file notice of praecipe to enter default judgment. This notice must be delivered to the squatter. If the squatter fails to answer the complaint ten days from receipt of the notice a default judgment is entered. From there the plaintiff may file a motion for writ of possession asking the Court to authorize them to setup a sheriff lockout of the Property.

If the defendant answers the complaint the matter will be listed for trial. At trial the burden is on the Plaintiff to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., more likely than not) a superior right to possession of the property. The most common way to prove superior right to possession is to present the court with a certified and recorded deed. The defendant may assert various defenses to the ejectment action such as the deed is fraudulent, existence of a landlord-tenant relationship, and/or adverse possession.

Following successful disposition of the case the plaintiff must file a writ of possession. The writ is delivered to the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia who schedules a lockout. In Philadelphia the owner must have a moving truck, movers and thirty days free storage available to the squatter in limited circumstances.

The Law Office of Mark D. Copoulos was founded on our commitment to the client. We pride ourselves on unparalleled service. Our firm answers all incoming calls from clients, at all hours, and strives to promptly resolve your legal issue.

Areas of Practice

1628 JFK Blvd., Ste. 1301
Philadelphia, PA 19103