Diminished value case new development
I was going to move on to another diminished value claim, but there is an interesting development in Dan’s diminution of value case that shows how difficult a diminished value auto claim can be. Remember that Dan’s attorney tried to appeal the case from the small claims level to the trial court level but missed some deadlines, and I filed a praecipe (a notice) to strike the appeal. Well, Dan’s insurance company filed some papers to reinstate the appeal. The procedure to do so is pretty clear. To reinstate the appeal one has to file a motion to reinstate. Motions have specific forms to follow; it’s not just a letter to the judge. This has nothing to do with Pennsylvania diminished value law, or diminished value claims at all. It has to do with the Rules of Civil Procedure and local court rules. Dan’s new attorney filed something called a “Reply to Praecipe to Strike Appeal.” They cited law, had a moderately long legal brief, a proposed court order for the court to sign to re-instate the appeal. But it was not a motion in the strict sense because it didn’t follow the specific format for a motion. After I read it I realized that the law was actually on my side, not theirs, and that Dan’s new attorney had selectively pick old or inapplicable cases. So, I replied with my own legal brief, pointing out along the way that Dan’s new attorney had violated the local court rules by failing to follow the strict rules for a motion. I was hoping to get their Reply to Praecipe rejected and the appeal denied. However, I just got an order from the judge that states he will not consider the matter, because Dan’s new attorney did not follow the guidelines for a motion. So we’re not quite back to square one, because we have a judgment against Dan that has not been effectively appealed, and Dan is insured but his insurance company refuses to pay the insurance money on the judgment. Legally, Dan is entitled to his judgment, $8,000.00, but his insurance company refuses to pay up. I can go after Dan personally, but that takes time, costs money, and shouldn’t be necessary because he has insurance. Still think Claims for auto property damage or diminished value car claims are easy? It’s bee n months since we won our case, and we haven’t been paid a penny. In my next installment, I’ll review any developments in this case, or if nothing happens, move on to another Pennsylvania diminished value claim for auto damages from my files.