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Pennsylvania Municipal Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Landlord - Tenant and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it illegal for me to take my break outside of my building under the awning?

New tenant in the building is telling people who work in my office they are not allowed to stand in front of their office on the first floor. We have an awning on the building that protects from rain. I am not impeding the flow of traffic or talking to anyone. I work in the same building on a... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 12, 2020

Depends on how the lease defines that space. If it's part of the public entrance, anyone can stand there. Your employer may want to suggest to the landlord some alternative or approach the business owner on the first floor.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: 2707.1. Discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure? Do I need a lawyer and what am I looking at?

I fired two shots inside my house 9mm.

Mr. Ryan L Hyde
Mr. Ryan L Hyde answered on Jul 3, 2019

You are charged with a felony of the third degree. Which means you could get up to 7 years in jail. There are defenses, and importantly the Commonwealth has to prove the case against you. Attorneys will be familiar with the charge against you, and all the players and potential outcomes.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it illegal to cross a solid double yellow line when passing a vehicle in Pennsylvania

I was cited for PA vehicle code 3305 there was a suv pulling into a parking spot i waited until it was mostly in the spot and i went around the officer was on the opposite side of the road made a u-turn and followed me for like 10 blocks and waited until we got to the county line before pulling me... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 12, 2019

Under those circumstances I'd plead not guilty as you only momentarily were over the line and no oncoming traffic.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Pro Bono Attorney

I bought a building permit which cost me $350, from the township and feel that I was not fully informed or shown just exactly what height the home had to be installed.

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Aug 31, 2018

The zoning laws would be in the township ordinance. It would be your responsibility to review the ordinance. You can request a variance.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello I live in PA an was wondering if it's illegal to Grill food on my roof
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 26, 2018

No, but if it's a rental property likely a violation of your lease agreement. It can be dangerous as well. You also increase distance sparks etc can travel.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it constitutional for a large, wealthy, suburban municipality to prohibit residential parking 24/7 everywhere?

I have a soliciting job knocking on residential doors and signing up willing homeowners for free appointments. I try to be pleasant and conduct myself in a lawful manner.

My company pays significant $ to the township for legal permits to do so, but I see no way to do my job if I am not... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 20, 2018

It is constitutional though I wonder what happens if the UPS driver stops or if people have out of town guests unless everyone has a large driveway. Can they? Sure.

Q: Is forbidding tricks on a bicycle unconstitutional?

There is an ordinance in the city of oil city which forbids any trick to be performed on a bicycle. This in essence would prevent any city resident from competing fairly in bicycle competitions. It would prohibit equal opportunity to practice and hone skills necessary to be competitive within the... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Nov 30, 2017

If it prohibited tricks on private property, likely yes.Contact the Pa. Civil Liberties Union. On public property--I don't see it being invalid unless it is used to cover non-pedestrian areas such as open spaces used by jugglers, dancers, others.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Traffic Tickets, Car Accidents and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I received a false citation, do i fight it? And if so, what are the downfalls if I can't prove the truth?

I was in an accident on August 19th,2017. I somehow rear ended someone. I don't remember how but i remember the impact. I was sent to the er. The other person refused the ambulance. I sustained injuries and car damage. His small truck flipped on its top with minimal damage. The officer said he... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 3, 2017

You plead not guilty. Spelling errors aren't critical. He has to show a witness stated your speed.

If you hit badly enough to flip a vehicle, some ticket's going to come out of it. Sorry, but you have to realize you rear end someone you will be at fault for something. So plead not guilty,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello, do I need a permit to advertise about an event that my non-profit is hosting? We have flyers and other papers

A volunteer group will be walking around door to door to advertise the event. We are not selling anything. We have flyers and other paper materials that we will be handing out to spread the word.

Kathleen M Hyneman
Kathleen M Hyneman answered on May 30, 2017

The answer to this question depends upon the county where you will be distributing the flyers. Even though you are not selling anything, the township may deem that handing out the flyers is a form of soliciting contributions, and there are townships that require permits for such an activity.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Could you tell me the meaning of a city code?

The code reads " It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to keep, maintain, or own more than two dogs on any property or premises in the city of Monessen" does that mean each person in the home may own up to and including two dogs?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 23, 2016

I'd read that as being two dogs per property. Now if you had a large rental property with numerous tenants that wouldn't make sense so I have to believe there may be some ancillary ruling on how it's interpreted. Why not talk to the local dog warden?

But if you mean does every family...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Municipal Law, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Shade Tree Commission and Home Owner rights?

I am a home owner in a town that has a Shade Tree Commission. The commission prevents me from maintaining, removing, or planting trees in the strip of grass between the sidewalk and street in front of my property. Over the past 10 years I have invested in a retaining wall to beautify my property.... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 17, 2016

The problem is to get around this you'd have to file some expensive and time consuming legal proceedings that would cost more than the sidewalk bill. If you want to repair the sidewalk you need to get the boro to clear it--and take care of any roots.

Remember--the boro is elected. Get...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Does my Pennsylvania township share responsibilities with me for repairing a damaged detention basin?

The basin is within a drainage easement on my property which drains runoff from public roads. It's in a development without a HOA. Over several years a gully has formed cutting through a basin embankment & section of rip rap. The source of the runoff is an adjacent farm, but natural processes... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Aug 13, 2016

You have outlined most of the issues that a lawyer would need to review to answer your question. One other thing that may be important is whether the farmer did anything to artificially divert the water.

A lawyer would want to review the development plan and agreement with the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Collections and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Lien on home

I had a few municipal liens on my home. I paid the court ordered judgement amounts via check. The checks were accepted but I received a letter saying I actually owe more than the lien through the courts and they will not close out the liens until I pay more. Is this legal? Are they required by law... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jun 6, 2016

It sounds like they are telling you that you owe interest on the judgments, possibly penalties and/or court costs. That would be pretty typical.

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