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Carbon County Court news

Published December 10. 2012 05:05PM

Bankruptcy ruling

A judgment in the amount of $307,145.50 which was ordered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has been filed in the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas as being non-dischargeable.

The defendant is Harold C. Lampe Jr. of Wayne, Pa., who was named in the 2009 action. Following a four-year docket process, Judge Jean K. FitzSimon ruled in favor of Jestyn G. Payne, Esq., as custodian for Lauren Lampe, a minor.

Court documents indicate the nature of the suit is a "Dischargeability - fraud as fiduciary, embezzlement, larceny."

Property partition

Tracey L. Hartman, P.O. Box 383, Neffs, has filed a complaint in Carbon County Court, asking it to partition property she and David G. Karper, 1973 E. Lizard Creek Road, Lehighton, purchased in 2007.

The complaint says Hartman and Karper, who are not married, took title to the property located at the above Lizard Creek Road address as joint tenants with rights to survivorship on Aug. 6, 2007, and resided there together until Jan. 1, 2011,at which time the plaintiff relocated.

Hartman alleges since their separation date Karper has not paid the plaintiff any fair rental value or other monetary consideration for his exclusive occupancy of the premises. The suit also states a mortgage foreclosure complaint has been filed on the premises and that the defendant consistently pays the mortgage on the 16th day of the third month, maintaining a three-month delinquency pattern on the property to the detriment of the plaintiff.

The plaintiff has asked the court to issue a decree partitioning the real estate and also determining interest in the personal property contained in the residence and making provision for its distribution to the parties. Hartman is also seeking fees, costs and expenses the court may deem appropriate under the circumstances of the suit.

Eminent domain

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Harrisburg, has filed a declaration of taking action regarding rights-of-way the department says are necessary to obtain as part of the plan to replace the Route 903 bridge in the Borough of Jim Thorpe.

Specified in the eminent domain proceeding are two parcels, namely tract 82A1-14-A7 and 83A2-17-K1 and K2. The first parcel is owned by Ravelle Carter of Allentown and lists a Julie Swartley and David B. Kennedy as the tenants. It carries a physical address of 51 W. Front St., Jim Thorpe. The second tract is owned by Anthony V. Sebelin, 139 Silk St., Jim Thorpe.

In the declaration, Penn-DOT says it is authorized by the Eminent Domani Code to acquire by gift, purchase, condemnation, or otherwise, land in fee simple or such other estate or interest as it shall determine, in the name of the commonwealth for all transportation purposes.

The commonwealth acknowledged recoverable mineral rights, including gas and oil, and utility rights-of-way that are located within the condemned property are excepted and reserved from the condemnation.

PennDOT notes the payment of just compensation in the matter is secured by the state's power of taxation.

Civil action

Tricia Hettler, in her own right and as parent and natural guardian of Keira Hettler, a minor, 302 Coal St., Lehighton, started a civil action by writ of summons against Beverly Dolgopol, 210 N. Fourth St., Lehighton. The claims are in excess of $50,000.

Prothonotary's report

A total of 232 cases were started in November in the office of Carbon County Prothonotary Joann M. Behrens, according to a monthly statistical report released by the officeholder. A breakdown of the cases is as follows:

Assessment appeals, 12; civil actions, 20; custody complaints, 18; district justice appeals, 8; divorce complaints, 15; ejectment complaints, 2; eminent domain/declaration of taking, 1; mortgage foreclosure complaints, 7; partition complaints, 2; judgments, 114; miscellaneous, 2; protection from abuse petitions, 18; tax sale cases, 3; paternity suit, 1; stipulations/waivers of liens, 8; and writ of execution, 1. The office staff also received and processed 36 applications for U.S. Passports.

Behrens' financial report shows $22,571.83 was generated last month as follows: prothonotary's fees, $18,200.56; interest income $4.69; PFA surcharge, Sheriff, $37; custody fees, $400; and data processing fees, $3,929.58.

The prothonotary also remitted $2,521.38 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Revenue, representing state fees collected locally, and $42 to the Administrative Offices of the Pennsylvania Courts, this being surcharges on new custody cases in accordance with Act 119 of 1996. Another $941.50 was deposited in the Prothonotary's Automation Fund for future use in automating the office.

Revenue from deeds

Carbon County Recorder of Deeds Emmett P. McCall reported his office recorded 209 deeds, 221 mortgages and 416 other writs during the month of November.

As a result of those transactions, McCall turned over to the Carbon County General Fund the sum of $30,875.71. A breakdown of that revenue includes: transfer fees, $24,712; data processing fees, $2,292.50; notaries, $30; commission on transfers and writs, $2,753.71; and Affordable Housing administrative fee, $1,087.50.

McCall remitted $423 in state writ taxes to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, while Carbon County municipalities and school districts shared realty transfer tax disbursements totaling $137,004.93, the same amount that was forwarded to the state in realty transfer taxes.

McCall deposited $2,544 in the Recorder of Deeds Record Improvement Fund and $1,696 in the Carbon County Records Improvement Fund, these being fees assessed by state law on each transaction for records management needs. An additional $18,165.50 was collected and remitted to the state for its Judicial Computer System program.

Also, $6,162.50 was collected last month for the Affordable Housing Program in Carbon County.

In all, funds collected in the Recorder's office last month amounted to $333,876.57.

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