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Pro Se Litigants Must Play By The Rules (PA)


May 27, 2022 at 3:27:10 PM

<p style="text-align: justify;">Although pro se litigants in Pennsylvania are regularly given a generous amount of slack as it concerns the formalities of litigation, they are still bound by the rules of the road. This sentiment is embodied in the recent ruling by the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County, in the case<em> <a href="">American Express v. Robert Hirsh</a></em>. American Express brought a breach of contract action against Robert Hirsh to recover damages for an unpaid balance due on his credit card account. In an attempt to answer the complaint, pro se defendant Robert Hirsh submitted a hand-written document which stated “<em>I am pleading not guilty to these charges. Thank you.</em>” American Express then filed a Motion for Judgement on the Pleading, claiming Hirsh’s answer was a “general denial” to the claims asserted in the complaint, and as such, acts as an admission to the facts contained in the complaint. The court agreed, and ruled in favor of American Express, citing Pennsylvania law that “general denials effectively manifest admission to the facts averred in a complaint.”</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The takeaway here is short and sweet: always seek out the assistance of a capable attorney to handle your legal needs. In this case, even the assistance of an incapable attorney would have avoided the poor outcome for Robert Hirsh.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Brian Zappala for his contribution to this post. Please contact <a href="">Heather Aquino</a> with any questions.</p>

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