The Mazza Law Group, P.C.
2790 W. College Ave., Suite 800
State College, PA 16801 March 10, 2016
(814) 237-6255

Your Lawyers, Your Neighbors, Your Friends.™

If you're searching for an attorney in State College, Pennsylvania, chances are you're going through a tough situation. You may feel like no one is on your side, especially if you are considering bankruptcy, have been charged with a criminal defense, or are filing or appealing a Social Security Disability claim. During this difficult time, you need someone you can trust.

At The Mazza Law Group, P.C., we understand your fears and concerns. Our firm dates back 57 years, and our attorneys have the experience needed to help you. We will be by your side every step of the way, protecting your rights and working toward the best outcome for you. We take pride in considering ourselves your lawyers, your neighbors, and your friends.

Legal matters are often confusing and complicated, requiring experience and strategy to successfully resolve. With a highly respected and experienced attorney behind you, you can rest easy knowing that your case is in good hands. The experienced attorneys at The Mazza Law Group, P.C. in State College, Pennsylvania to protect your rights.

We stay up to date with changes in our legal system. If you have questions about how any recent changes in the law may affect you, contact us today.

Hannah Jolie
Hannah Jolie

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

Other firms might tell you to do something just to keep you in court longer or to get more money from you. The Mazza Law Group was honest and upfront. They genuinely had my best interest in heart and saved me money.

Keith Ingram
Keith Ingram

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

I've been working with The Mazza Law Group since about 2012 and can't think of one thing that they could improve. Highly recommended.

Martin Eastwood
Martin Eastwood

5 out of 5 stars

posted 5 months ago

I've been working with the Mazza Law Group, P.C. for several months and they always email me regular updates to keep me informed. If I am ever unsure or have a question, I can email and they get right back to me. I absolutely recommend them for a law firm in PA.

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Procedure for Mental Health Commitment Expungements Clarified

For individuals who have been subjected to an involuntary mental health commitment under the Mental Health Procedures Act, there may be collateral consequences of that commitment.  First of all, such a commitment prevents an individual from possession of or purchase of a firearm.  Secondly, the record may become available in the even the individual applies for a security clearance or certain professional licenses and other types of employment.

There is a process by which an involuntary mental health commitment can be expunged.  An individual may petition for expungement of the records of the commitment by filing a petition to ask the court to review the sufficiency of the evidence upon which the commitment was based.  If the evidence is sufficient, the commitment records provided to the Pennsylvania State Police shall be expunged.

While the law provided for such an expungement proceeding, courts and practitioners were left with questions as to how the law would be applied and how the court would determine the sufficiency of the evidence.  In the matter of In re Vencil, decided January 19, 2017, the petitioner requested expungement of a mental health commitment.  The trial court denied the petition, but the Superior Court held that Ms. Vencil was entitled to a de novo hearing, and that clear and convincing evidence to support the commitment must be presented.

The Pennsylvania State Police appealed this decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which reversed the Superior Court and clarified the legal standard for an expungement, by stating:

“The trial court’s review is limited to the findings recorded by the physician and the information he or she relied upon in arriving at those findings, and requires deference to the physician, as the original factfinder, as the physician examined and evaluated the individual in the first instance, was able to observe his or her demeanor, and has particularized training, knowledge and experience regarding whether a 302 commitment is medically necessary.”

This standard seems to limit the review to whether the physician’s decision was reasonable based on the information available to the physician at the time of the examination, and does not seem to allow for extrinsic evidence to be considered.

However, there may be relief available to an individual who is precluded from possession of a firearm in the form of a petition to restore firearm rights, which may be granted if the individual can prove to the court he or she may possess a firearm without risk to self or others.

If you or a love one have been the subject of an involuntary commitment, you may have a question about your rights and whether the records can be expunged.  Contact an experienced attorney at the Mazza Law Group, who will discuss your case confidentially to determine whether you may be entitled to some relief.

Superior Court rejects enhanced penalties in DUI refusal cases

In a decision issued January 31, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania decided that increased penalties may not be imposed as a result of an individual exercising his or her right to refuse a blood test in a DUI refusal case.  In Commonwealth v. Giron, the court noted the US Supreme Court’s decision in Birchfield v. […]

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Same Sex Marriage: Pennsylvania allows dissolution of same sex civil unions under divorce laws

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has recently ruled that same sex civil unions may be dissolved in Pennsylvania under the same laws that apply to married couples.  The significance of the decision in this case, Neyman v. Buckley, is easier to understand from a historical perspective. In 2000, Vermont became the first state to allow civil […]

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Immigration Status following Inauguration

What does the change in administration, and potential change in immigration policy mean to my immigration status? Given that a new President is being Inaugurated, many immigration lawyers have been receiving an increased number of inquiries from individuals concerned about whether the new administration’s immigration policies will affect their status, or their plans to apply […]

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Is your New Year’s Resolution to create a Will?

An Estate Plan begins with a Will, the document used to convey your property upon your death.  The Estate Plan may also include documents such as Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney,  Living Will, or Trusts. It would depend on your personal situation as to whether some or all of these additional documents […]

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Plea Agreements defeat SORNA court says

Gavel and document

Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) was enacted on December 20, 2011 and established a three-tiered system for classification and defined sexually violent offenses.  The Superior Court issued an Opinion on December 21, 2016 in Commonwealth v. Ritz that found SORNA unreasonable and in violation of Due Process Rights if applied retroactively.  This […]

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Drone Registration or License Required?

Is drone registration required for the drone I got for Christmas? Do I need a license to fly a drone? Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones as they are often called, are increasingly available online and on store shelves. Prospective operators—from consumers to businesses—want to fly and fly safely, but many don’t realize that, just […]

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Surveillance Video requested under RTKL denied

The Commonwealth Court recently ruled on a right-to-know request for a casino’s surveillance video that captured a two-vehicle collision. In Pennsylvania State Police v. Kim, the Court found that the video collected by Pennsylvania State Police was a part of a criminal investigation and protected under the Criminal History Record Information Act.   The Court’s decision […]

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Grandparent Custody Act: Supreme Court rules part unconstitutional

The most important, first step is to learn whether you have “standing” to request grandparent custody.  “Standing” means the legal right to ask the court for custody. Informally, think of it as “getting your foot in the door” to get “a bite at the apple.”   It is only possible to seek custody of grandchildren under […]

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Citizenship by Naturalization

Back in 1999, my brother and I were fortunate to be present when my father, an immigrant from Croatia, took the oath of citizenship in a naturalization ceremony in Philadelphia.  Although he had been a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) for decades, he was finally sworn in among immigrants from all over the world.  He immediately […]

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