Simpson v. Dauphin County Housing Authority, 021120 PACCA, 413 C.D. 2019

Docket Nº:413 C.D. 2019
Opinion Judge:RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, JUDGE.
Party Name:Chalmers A. Simpson, Jr., Appellant v. Dauphin County Housing Authority
Judge Panel:BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE ELLEN CEISLER, Judge. Judges Brobson and Fizzano Cannon did not participate in the consideration of this decision.
Case Date:February 11, 2020
Court:Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Chalmers A. Simpson, Jr., Appellant

v.

Dauphin County Housing Authority

No. 413 C.D. 2019

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

February 11, 2020

OPINION NOT REPORTED

Submitted: October 11, 2019

BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE ELLEN CEISLER, Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, JUDGE.

Chalmers A. Simpson, Jr. (Appellant), pro se, appeals from a February 27, 2019 order (Order) of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County (common pleas) dismissing the pending case between Dauphin County Housing Authority (Authority) and Appellant on a landlord/tenant matter. However, Appellant's brief focuses on an adverse decision of a case in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (federal district court) between these same parties. Unfortunately, he has, therefore, waived any issues on appeal to this Court. We affirm.

Appellant entered into a lease with the Authority in June 2014 for an apartment located at 218 South 2nd Street in Steelton, Pennsylvania. Appellant received a rent change notification in April 2015, which he disputed. Although an Authority official found the dispute not grievable, Appellant ceased paying rent. The Authority notified Appellant in June 2015 that it would terminate his lease due to his nonpayment of rent and initiated a landlord/tenant complaint in the magisterial district court. The magisterial district judge (MDJ) entered judgment in favor of the Authority in the amount of $880 for the two months of rent in arrears plus costs. Appellant appealed that judgment to common pleas.

While the case was pending before common pleas, Appellant initially paid his monthly rent into an escrow account pursuant to Rule 1008.B of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Actions and Proceedings Before Magisterial District Judges, Pa.R.C.P.M.D.J. No. 1008.B, which allowed his appeal to operate as a supersedeas so long as he continued to pay rent into the account while the appeal was pending.[1] Appellant paid five months of rent into the escrow account, which was later disbursed to the Authority pursuant to a stipulation. Appellant ceased paying further rent. As a result, the Authority served Appellant with multiple notices of lease termination between February and July 2016 before filing with common pleas on July 13, 2016, under the same docket as Appellant's MDJ appeal, a complaint in ejectment seeking eviction. Appellant never responded to the complaint. The Authority then requested from the MDJ an order for possession, which was issued and served on Appellant, directing him to vacate the apartment no later than August 8, 2016. Because Appellant ceased paying rent into the escrow fund during the pendency of the appeal as required under Rule 1008.B, the Authority also sought to terminate the supersedeas and, in response, Appellant filed a Motion to Stay (Delay) Order for Summary Eviction and Order for Possession (Motion to Stay).2 Common pleas did not accept Appellant's Motion to Stay because of his failure to comply with local rules and granted the Authority's motion to terminate the supersedeas. Pursuant to the MDJ's order granting the Authority's request for an order for possession, Appellant was evicted.

In the interim, Appellant, pro se, instituted an action against the Authority in the federal district court, docketed at 1:16-cv-01747, asserting that the Authority had violated his federal constitutional rights by instituting eviction proceedings without providing him a grievance hearing. The United States District Magistrate recommended granting the Authority's motion to dismiss, and the federal district court, by order dated February 23, 2018, adopted this recommendation, dismissing Appellant's claims with prejudice. (Authority's Administrative Application for Status Conference, Record (R.) Item 24, Ex. A.)

Appellant not having pursued his action in common pleas, on December...

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