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A03596
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
287
Session of
2023
INTRODUCED BY KRAJEWSKI, CEPHAS, KHAN, GREEN, WAXMAN,
HOHENSTEIN, KENYATTA, FIEDLER, SANCHEZ, MADDEN, HILL-EVANS,
STEELE AND CEPEDA-FREYTIZ, OCTOBER 10, 2023
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, OCTOBER 31, 2023
AN ACT
Amending Titles 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) and 68
(Real and Personal Property) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in personnel of the system, further providing for
appointment of personnel and establishing eviction agent
advisory boards in cities of the first class and eviction
agent education and training programs in cities of the first
class; providing for eviction procedure in cities of the
first class; making a repeal; and making an editorial change.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 2301 of Title 42 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding subsections to read:
§ 2301. Appointment of personnel.
* * *
(d) Personnel in certain cases involving real property.--A
court may not appoint a private entity to serve a writ of
possession or alias writ, perform a lockout or in any way
enforce a judgment for possession of real property arising from
an ejectment case or eviction case.
(e) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
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words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Ejectment case." An action in ejectment to regain
possession of real property.
"Eviction case." An action to regain possession of real
property brought under the act of April 6, 1951 (P.L.69, No.20),
known as The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951.
"Private entity." An individual or a for-profit or nonprofit
company, organization, contractor or similar entity that is not
employed directly by a State, county or local government.
Section 2. Subchapter B heading of Chapter 23 of Title 42 is
amended to read:
Section 1. Subchapter B heading of Chapter 23 of Title 42 of
the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
SUBCHAPTER B
[(Reserved)]
EVICTION AGENT ADVISORY BOARDS
IN CITIES OF THE FIRST CLASS
Section 3 2. Subchapter B of Chapter 23 of Title 42 is
amended by adding sections to read:
§ 2311. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Board." An eviction agent advisory board established in
section 2312(a) (relating to eviction agent advisory board).
"Ejectment case." An action in ejectment to regain
possession of real property.
"Eviction agent." An employee of the sheriff of or any other
entity empowered to perform evictions and judicial duties in a
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city of the first class who is assigned to perform a judicial
duty in a city of the first class.
"Eviction case." An action to regain possession of real
property brought under the act of April 6, 1951 (P.L.69, No.20),
known as The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951.
"Judicial duty." The service of a writ of possession or
alias writ, performance of a lockout or enforcement of a
judgment for possession of real property arising from an
ejectment case or an eviction case in a city of the first class.
"PRIVATE ENTITY." THE TERM SHALL MEAN THE SAME AS UNDER
SECTION 2301 (RELATING TO APPOINTMENT OF PERSONNEL). An
individual or a for-profit or nonprofit company, organization,
contractor or similar entity that is not employed directly by a
State, county or local government.
"Program." The Eviction Agent Education and Training Program
established under section 2313(a) (relating to Eviction Agent
Education and Training Program).
§ 2312. Eviction agent advisory board.
(a) Establishment.--An eviction agent advisory board is
established in each city of the first class, which shall be
known as the Eviction Agent Advisory Board.
(b) Purpose.--The board shall provide oversight of eviction
agents and judicial duties and receive complaints regarding
eviction agents.
(c) Meetings.--The board shall meet on a quarterly basis and
may meet more frequently if merited.
(d) Members.--The board shall consist of the following
members:
(1) The municipal court president judge in a city of the
first class or a designee.
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(2) The first judicial district court administrator in a
city of the first class or a designee.
(3) A designee of the mayor in a city of the first
class.
(4) The chairperson of the Committee on Housing,
Neighborhood Development and the Homeless, or its successor
committee of the city council, in a city of the first class
or a designee.
(5) The city controller in a city of the first class or
a designee.
(6) A representative of a homeowners' association
located in a city of the first class.
(7) A representative of a legal services coalition
partnered with a city of the first class to provide eviction
prevention.
(8) A LANDLORD WHO OWNS A RENTAL PROPERTY IN A CITY OF
THE FIRST CLASS.
(e) Duties.--The duties of the board are as follows:
(1) Collaborate with the sheriff an eviction agent in a
city of the first class to establish policies on duties,
requirements, organization, training, responsibilities,
ethics and discipline of eviction agents.
(2) Create an approval and review process for eviction
agents who may perform a judicial duty.
(3) Approve eviction agents who may perform a judicial
duty.
(4) Create a complaint process established in section
2317 (relating to complaint process).
(5) Collaborate with the sheriff an eviction agent in a
city of the first class to hire or contract with behavioral
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health professionals to assist eviction agents in the
performance of a judicial duty.
(6) Conduct oversight of eviction agents, including
investigative authority and the power to subpoena testimony
and records with legal counsel.
( 7) As follows:
(i) Collect information from eviction agents
regarding:
(A) The number of lockouts performed monthly.
(B) The names of eviction agents employed.
(C) The number and nature of complaints against
eviction agents.
(D) The outcomes of the complaints against
eviction agents.
(E) Any other information regarding judicial
duties as deemed necessary by the board.
(ii) The board shall post the information under
subparagraph (i) on a quarterly basis on its publicly
accessible Internet website.
§ 2313. Eviction Agent Education and Training Program.
(a) Establishment.--The board shall establish the Eviction
Agent Education and Training Program.
(b) Authorization.--The board shall establish, implement and
administer the program in accordance with the minimum
requirements under this subchapter.
(c) Components.--Under the program, the board shall:
(1) Establish, implement and administer requirements for
the minimum courses of study and training for eviction
agents.
(2) Establish, implement and administer requirements for
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courses of study and in-service training for eviction agents.
(3) Establish, implement and administer requirements for
a continuing education program for eviction agents concerning
subjects that the board may deem necessary and appropriate
for the continued education and training of eviction agents.
(4) Approve, or revoke the approval of, any school which
may be utilized for the educational and training requirements
under this subchapter.
(5) Establish the minimum qualifications for instructors
and certify instructors.
(6) Consult, cooperate and contract with universities,
colleges, law schools, community colleges and institutes for
the development of basic and continuing education courses for
eviction agents.
(7) Promote the most efficient and economical program
for eviction agent training by utilizing existing facilities,
programs and qualified State and local personnel.
(8) Certify eviction agents who have satisfactorily
completed the basic and continuing education and training
requirements under this subchapter and issue appropriate
certificates to the eviction agents.
(9) Make rules and perform other duties as may be
reasonably necessary or appropriate to administer the
program.
(10) Prepare an annual report to the Governor and the
General Assembly concerning:
(i) The administration of the program.
(ii) The activities of the board.
(iii) The costs of the program.
(iv) Proposed changes, if any, regarding the program
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or other matters under this subchapter.
(d) Specific training.-- The program shall include training
for a total of 80 hours to include alternatives to the use of
force, the judicial process and implicit bias.
§ 2314. Continuing education.
The board shall establish a mandatory continuing education
program for eviction agents, which shall include no more than 40
hours per year, concerning subjects the board may deem necessary
and appropriate for the continued education and training of
eviction agents.
§ 2315. Use of firearms.
The board, with the review and approval of the Pennsylvania
Commission on Crime and Delinquency, shall establish standards
for the certification or qualification of private eviction
agents to carry or use firearms in the performance of a judicial
duty.
§ 2316. Certification.
After the establishment, implementation and administration of
the program, an eviction agent may not perform a judicial duty
unless the eviction agent has been certified under this
subchapter by the board.
§ 2317. Complaint process.
(a) Authorization.--The board shall establish and maintain a
complaint process to accommodate the reporting of misconduct or
incompetency by an eviction agent in the performance of a
judicial duty during the eviction process.
(b) Posting of information.--Complaint forms and the
submission process shall be posted on the publicly accessible
Internet website of the sheriff's office in a city of the first
class as determined by the board .
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(c) Inquires Inquiries .--The board may inquire into the
official conduct of an eviction agent if the following apply:
(1) A supervisor of the eviction agent files a complaint
alleging that the eviction agent engaged in misconduct or
inappropriate behavior or is incompetent to discharge
official duties because of intemperance or neglect of duty.
(2) A person files a complaint alleging that the
eviction agent engaged in misconduct or inappropriate
behavior or is incompetent to discharge official duties for a
reason other than intemperance or neglect of duty. This
paragraph includes an act of oppression of a litigant or
witness.
(d) Investigations and disciplinary action.--As necessary,
the board may investigate complaints and take disciplinary
action against an eviction agent who is in violation of this
subchapter.
(D) INVESTIGATIONS AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION.--
(1) EXCEPT COMPLAINTS WHERE THE EVICTION AGENT IS A
DEPUTY SHERIFF, AS NECESSARY, THE BOARD MAY INVESTIGATE
COMPLAINTS AND TAKE DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST AN EVICTION
AGENT WHO IS IN VIOLATION OF THIS SUBCHAPTER.
(2) THE BOARD SHALL TIMELY NOTIFY THE SHERIFF OF A
COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST A DEPUTY SHERIFF. A COMPLAINT AGAINST
A DEPUTY SHERIFF SHALL BE FORWARDED TO THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE
FOR THE PURPOSE OF AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AND
DETERMINATION OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION.
(e) Notification.--The board shall notify the Sheriff and
Deputy Sheriff Education and Training Board within 15 days of
receiving a complaint of the occurrence of an event described
under 44 Pa.C.S. § 7429(a) (relating to revocation of
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certification).
(f) Regulations.-- The board shall establish regulations
providing for the following:
(1) Standards and guidelines for receiving,
investigating and issuing disciplinary orders for complaints
against sheriffs or deputy sheriffs.
(2) Notice of a disciplinary action and the right of
sheriffs or deputy sheriffs to request a hearing.
§ 2318. SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION.
THE ELIMINATION OF THE USE OF A PRIVATE ENTITY EVICTION AGENT
SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A FUTURE APPROPRIATION BY THE CITY COUNCIL
OF A CITY OF THE FIRST CLASS TO THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE OF THE CITY
OF THE FIRST CLASS.
Section 4 3. Title 68 is amended by adding a chapter to
read:
CHAPTER 25
EVICTION PROCEDURE IN CITIES OF THE FIRST CLASS
Sec.
2501. Definitions.
2502. Behavioral health professional accompaniment.
2503. Notice.
§ 2501. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Behavioral health professional." A qualified professional
who:
(1) Has a bachelor's degree, graduate degree or the
international equivalent from an institution accredited or
evaluated by an organization recognized by the Department of
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Human Services in a generally recognized clinical discipline
that includes mental health clinical experience.
(2) Has mental health clinical experience.
(3) Is licensed or certified by the Commonwealth.
"Eviction agent." An employee of the sheriff of or any other
entity empowered to perform evictions and judicial duties in a
city of the first class who is assigned to perform a judicial
duty in a city of the first class.
"Judicial duty." As defined in 42 Pa.C.S. § 2311 (relating
to definitions).
§ 2502. Behavioral health professional accompaniment.
(a) Requirement GENERAL RULE .--Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, a behavioral health professional must MAY
accompany an eviction agent when the eviction agent is
performing a judicial duty IF A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
IS AVAILABLE TO ACCOMPANY THE EVICTION AGENT .
(b) Preemption.--This section shall preempt any local
ordinance or regulation insofar as it is inconsistent with this
section, notwithstanding the effective date of the ordinance or
regulation. This section shall not affect or apply to
enforcement of the act of October 11, 1995 (1st Sp.Sess.,
P.L.1066, No.23), known as the Expedited Eviction of Drug
Traffickers Act.
Section 5. Repeals are as follows:
(1) The General Assembly declares that the repeal under
paragraph (2) is necessary to effectuate the addition of 42
Pa.C.S. § 2301(d) and (e) and Ch. 23 Subch. B.
(2) Section 17 of the act of July 9, 1976 (P.L.586,
No.142), known as the Judiciary Act of 1976, is repealed.
§ 2503. Notice.
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An eviction agent shall provide adequate notice of the date
and time of each eviction.
Section 6 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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