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File #: 180405    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 4/26/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 5/3/2018
Title: Calling on the First Judicial District to develop user-friendly forms to improve access to justice for unrepresented victims of illegal possession of real property, and to facilitate an improved process for said victims to be heard by the court to address the rising level of illegal possessions of residential properties, and to address the problems with the current system, so as to prevent delayed justice and irreparable harm to homeowners.
Sponsors: Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Domb
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 18040500.pdf, 2. Signature18040500.pdf
Title
Calling on the First Judicial District to develop user-friendly forms to improve access to justice for unrepresented victims of illegal possession of real property, and to facilitate an improved process for said victims to be heard by the court to address the rising level of illegal possessions of residential properties, and to address the problems with the current system, so as to prevent delayed justice and irreparable harm to homeowners.

Body
WHEREAS, There is an increase in illegal possession of real property in Philadelphia by third parties who are knowingly taking control of properties when they have no legal right to be in possession of the property; and

WHEREAS, These illegal possessions include, but are not limited to, instances of people refusing to leave properties after being granted limited entry by the resident, people taking up residence in vacant properties listed for sale, or people taking up residence in vacant properties under construction or during rehabilitation of the property; and

WHEREAS, These cases frequently involve tangled title issues or seniors who are victims of abuse, exploitation, and intimidation; and

WHEREAS, Trespass is a crime in Pennsylvania under 18 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 3503; and

WHEREAS, While Philadelphia has a long history of responsible citizens taking occupancy of long-term vacant properties and returning them to viable use, this is a relatively new and different problem, where persons are unlawfully occupying properties that may or may not have been abandoned by their owners; and

WHEREAS, It is of the utmost importance to protect the rights of property owners who fall victim to illegal trespassers without infringing on the rights of those who are rightfully occupying a property; and

WHEREAS, There are important safety issues for the Philadelphia community implicated in the illegal trespass and illegal possession of real property; and

WHEREAS, Disputes between property owners and people in posses...

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