Can a Case Be Reinstated After Two Years If a Person Claims That His Attorney Did Not Receive the Termination Notice ?

In Samaras v. Hartwick, 698 A.2d 71 (Pa. Super. 1997), the court of common pleas terminated a case after two years of docket inactivity. Two years later, a petition for reinstatement was filed. Petitioner claimed his attorney never received the termination notice; the termination, therefore, violated petitioner's due process rights. The Superior Court held that proof of mailing, such as testimony by the court administrator responsible for mailing the notice, raised a rebuttable presumption of receipt. The mere assertion by counsel that the notice was not received was held insufficient to overcome the presumption. Samaras, 698 A.2d at 73-74. Accordingly, the Superior Court reversed the trial court's grant of reinstatement.