This is a civil action, seeking equitable relief. The defendant Baker filed two motions: (1) To dismiss the complaint, and (2) for a more specific statement of claim.
The situation presented by the complaint is novel and without precedent.Briefly stated, the plaintiff Bowen, a discharged bankrupt, brought this action against Baker, one of his creditors, and Haas, trustee in bankruptcy for Bowen.
In his complaint, Bowen averred that when he filed his voluntary petition in bankruptcy (November, 1939) he owned a property on Hamilton street in Allentown, Penna., subject to mortgages of $294,600; that on October 5, 1933, the United States of America caused a lien to be entered of record against the Hamilton street property for income tax in the sum of $21,427.16; and that on May 31, 1935, the United States of America caused a lien to be entered of record against the Hamilton street property for distilled spirits tax in the sum of $13,108.92.
The complaint further averred that prior to the entry of the first government lien in 1933, there was a judgment of record against the plaintiff, as of September Term, 1932, in the sum of $20,000, and that subsequent to the entry of the first government lien, three further judgments were recorded against Bowen in favor of divers creditors as follows:
No. 680, September Term, 1933 $10,000.
No. 447, January Term, 1934 $20,000.
No. 268, January Term, 1935 $20,000.