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QUINN v. PERSHING (ET AL. (05/21/51)

May 21, 1951

QUINN
v.
PERSHING (ET AL., APPELLANT)



Appeal, No. 179, March T., 1950, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Forest County, Sept. T., 1948, No. 19, in case of Bernard G. Quinn et al., on behalf of United Leather Workers International Union etc. v. George O. Pershing, International Fur & Leather Workers Union of the U.S. and Canada etc. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Samuel E. Grant, for appellants.

Thomas J. Mullaney, John M. McNally, Jr., and C. Dick Cable, for appellees.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Jones, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Stearne

[ 367 Pa. Page 427]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ALLEN M. STEARNE

Plaintiffs, a leather workers union affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, have instituted this action of libel against three defendants, viz.: one George Pershing, the local leather workers union in Forest County and the International Leather Workers Union whose main offices are in New York State and whose regional offices are in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The International Union is affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The cause of action arose from certain alleged libelous statements originating in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, allegedly made by defendants concerning plaintiff-union in a labor election where it was to be determined whether the employes desired to be represented by the American Federation of Labor or by no union. The employes voted, by a narrow margin, to be represented by no union.

Defendant International was served in this action by handing a copy of the complaint to defendant Pershing who plaintiffs maintain was an officer of defendant International in charge of its "business" office or place of carrying on its organizational activities at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The sole question raised by preliminary objections is whether the defendant, International Union, was properly served. The court below dismissed the objections. Defendant appealed pursuant to the Act of March 5, 1925 P.L. 23, sec. 1, 12 PS 672 and Pa. R.C.P. 1451 (b) (7).

The printed record consists of the docket entries and a portion of the opinion of the court below. It

[ 367 Pa. Page 428]

    does not contain, inter alia, the pleadings, the preliminary objections, a history of the case or the complete opinion of the court below. As such it is wholly inadequate. We have been obliged to review the original record. As no motion has been made to quash because of the obvious violation of our rules, we have decided to review the proceeding.

In order to secure service upon the International Union, defendant, (hereinafter designated as defendant), in Williamsport, the sheriff of Forest County deputized the sheriff of Lycoming County to make the service in that county. The sheriff of Lycoming County made the following return: "Williamsport, Pa., September 27, 1948 at 2:45, P.M., served the within Complaint in Trespass for Libel upon George O. Pershing, in his capacity as individual defendant and also in his capacity as agent of the International Fur and Leather Workers Union of the United States and Canada, affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, by handing true and attested copies of the same to him at 304 W. 4th St., Williamsport, Pa., and by making known to him the contents thereof, personally.

"So Answers, Joseph M. Schmucker." An appearance was thereupon entered for defendant. Upon defendant's motion to strike off the complaint, an amended complaint was filed by permission of the court. Defendant filed preliminary objections to the amended complaint, questioning the validity ...


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