Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc

Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc

A petition for Nunc Pro Tunc is a motion asking the Court to allow a party to take an appeal after the deadline has passed. Nunc Pro Tunc is latin meaning “Now For Then.” A Petition Nunc Pro Tunc asks the Court to allow the petitioner to appeal a case now as if they are still within the appeal deadline. In Philadelphia, the deadline to appeal a Residential Landlord Tenant Case involving possession of property is ten days. The deadline to appeal a Commercial Landlord Tenant Case involving possession is thirty days, and most other cases involving money judgments have a thirty day appeal deadline. The deadline to appeal an arbitration case is also thirty days. The appeal deadline to appeal from the Court of Common Pleas to the Superior Court is also thirty days.

Standard for Petition Nunc Pro Tunc

The legal standard in evaluating a petition for Nunc Pro Tunc is whether the movant has shown; 1.) that the notice of appeal was filed late as a result of non-negligent circumstances, either as they relate to the appellant or the appellant’s counsel; (2) the appellant filed the notice of appeal shortly after the court date; (3) the appellee was not prejudiced by the delay.” Criss v. Wise, 566 Pa. 437, 781 A.2d 1156, 1159 (2001). Courts have broad discretion in granting or denying a Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc. In some cases, the Court may allow the petitioner to appeal months or even years after the Court Date. Our firm has successfully filed Nunc Pro Tunc petitions to appeal cases disposed several years prior. In such cases judgment is usually entered by default, and the petitioner can allege they were not on notice of the original hearing. Wherever the petitioner can prove they were not aware of the hearing, there is a strong probability the Court will grant either a Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc or Petition to Open Default Judgment.

Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc Versus Petition to Open

One common scenario is where a Defendant is unaware of a Court date and misses the hearing. Judgment is entered against them by default. In such cases, the Defendant has two avenues for relief: They can file a petition to open default judgment and/or a petition for Nunc Pro Tunc appeal. A Petition to Open Default Judgment asks the Court to grant a new hearing so the Defendant may challenge the case. Such petitions are routinely granted where the petition is filed less than thirty days after the Court date. However, if the Appellant is unaware of the judgment entered against them, and no petition is filed within thirty days, a Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc may be a more effective course of action. Often times an attorney will file both a Petition to Open Default Judgment and Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc appeal to maximize the odds the judgment is vacated and the Defendant has an opportunity to defend their case before the Court. Generally, the Petition to Open Default Judgment should be filed first since it has the option to grant more immediate relief to the petitioner by immediately vacating the judgment entered against them in Court.

Effect of the Petition Nunc Pro Tunc

If the Petition Nunc Pro Tunc is granted, the petitioner is granted leave to file an appeal. The appeal has the effect of vacating the judgment entered against them in the lower Court. Therefore, if the petitioner is successful in prosecuting their petition for Nunc Pro Tunc appeal, they are also successful in clearing the disposition entered against them in the lower court, at least until a sitting judge or jury reviews the case for a second time. To file a Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc call our Philadelphia Petition Lawyers today.

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Mark D. Copoulos

Mark D. Copoulos

From 2008-2011 Mark D. Copoulos worked for the First Judicial District, the Honorable Arnold, and the Honorable Shelley-Robins as interns and/or staff....

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