Blog Posts

CDC – Federal Moratorium on Evictions – Update

August 27, 2021

The End of Moratorium On August 26, 2021, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Moratorium on evictions is unconstitutional. The Court found that the CDC did not have the constitutional authority to issue a national moratorium, and any further moratorium would need to come from the legislature. The federal moratorium on evictions was previously extended until October 3, 2021, for all United States counties facing a high spread of coronavirus. Practically speaking, this accounted for 95% of the nation. With the latest Supreme Court Ruling, that extension is over. What Does this Mean for Landlords? Many landlords across Pennsylvania have not been receiving regular rent since the first CDC moratorium went into effect in 2020.  Some landlords have not received any rent at all.  With the latest Supreme Court ruling, landlords are once again free to seek eviction of tenants who are past due on rent. While the moratorium stayed evictions, it did not stay the requirement for rent. With the moratorium now over, landlords may freely seek all past due rent, and eviction. Depending upon the lease agreement, landlords may also seek a judgment for any attorney fees,…

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Expungements in Pennsylvania

August 3, 2021

What is an Expungement? An expungement is the process the removing criminal charges from a person’s record. Only certain people qualify for expungement. If an expungement is granted, the court will order all agencies with a record of the arrest or conviction erased. Why are expungements important? A criminal history can greatly impact a person’s life.  A record can hinder a person’s ability to secure employment, professional licensing (nursing, contractors, therapists etc..), education, adoption, and housing.  Without an expungement, a background check will show all charges, regardless of whether you were found innocent or guilty. Who is Eligible for expungement? Only certain people are eligible for expungement. The following qualify: Individuals accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program (ARD). Persons charged, but never convicted. Those people 21 or older, who were convicted of underage drinking at or over the age of 18, who have satisfied all the conditions of their sentence, including but not limited to drivers license suspension. Persons who are 70 years or older and have been free from conviction for 10 or more years. Persons found guilty of a summary offense, who have been free from arrest for 5 or more years following the conviction. Persons whose…

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July 27, 2021

A recent case taken on by the head of our Family Law Department, Lucas A. Clark, IV, Esquire, is a prime example of the type of Children and Youth Services matters handled by Musi, Merkins, Daubenberger & Clark.  The matter began at the trial court level in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County with three different hearings on three separate dates earlier this year.  During these proceedings, which involved CYS, two minor children and their mother, the focus was on the children’s mother’s mental health and substance abuse issues, as well as her ability to parent.  While reunification between the children and their mother was the original goal pursued by the Court and CYS in these hearings, that goal was eventually abandoned, and the agency pursued termination of the mother’s parental rights.  The trial court, after hearing all of the evidence and witness testimony that was provided to the Court, and discussing the needs of the children, ultimately terminated the mother’s parental rights.  The trial court felt that the current placement of the children was good situation for them, and it would be in their best interest if they stayed there.  Lastly, the Court confirmed that the goal…

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Partner Richard Daubenberger Predicts Outcome of Bill Cosby Case in 2016

July 6, 2021

In 2016, Partner Rich Daubenberger was interviewed by NBC10 to provide legal commentary on the Bill Cosby case.  Mr. Daubenberger anticipated the outcome of the case during his NBC interview. Rich has had a successful career thanks to his undergraduate education at Syracuse University, as well as receiving his Juris Doctorate from Villanova University School of Law. Due to almost 25 years of experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney in the area of criminal law, as well as past experience as a District Attorney, Rich was able to make this prediction using his knowledge of the court system and the law. See 2:32 into the following link. During the time of Rich Daubenberger’s interview with NBC10, Bill Cosby was facing criminal charges for drugging and sexually assaulting a Temple University employee. Prior to Cosby’s final conviction, District Attorney Bruce Castor had made an agreement with Cosby which promised that if Cosby gave up his right to remain silent during a deposition in a civil lawsuit, then the District Attorney would not pursue criminal charges. This agreement was recorded in an email by Castor, but the new Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele still filed criminal charges against Cosby. Due…

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Partner Rich Daubenberger successfully avoids 90 day mandatory minimum jail sentence for client.

June 30, 2021

Partner Rich Daubenberger successfully avoided a 90 day mandatory minimum jail sentence following a DUI suspended license trial. The alleged Defendant was pulled over in Marple Township. The Police Officer alleged that the Defendant had a blood alcohol content of .02 or greater while operating the vehicle, as well as a suspended operating privilege due to a prior DUI. With a violation like this one, a 90 day mandatory minimum jail sentence would usually be required, however, Rich Daubenberger was able to get the Defendant out of this 90 day jail sentence. Title 75, the Vehicle Code, offers specific guidelines and regulations in terms of operating vehicles. Section 1543 (b)(1)(i) is clear that any person who drives a motor vehicle on a trafficway at the time that their operating privilege is suspended or revoked as a condition of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (related to driving under the influence) will be sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a sentence minimum of 60 days, but no more than 90 days. Section 1543 (b)(1)(ii) is the statement that a second violation of this paragraph will then turn into a summary offense and the alleged Defendant will be forced to undergo imprisonment for no less than…

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