Appeal, No. 130, Jan. T., 1952, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, June T., 1950, in Equity, No. 1, in case of Michael Miller v. Edward Miller. Decree affirmed.
Isadore Rapoport, with him Groman & Rapoport, for appellant.
Henry L. Snyder, with him Snyder, Wert & Wilcox, for appellee.
Before Drew, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey and Musmanno, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO
Michael and Edward Miller are brothers. Prior to 1949 they owned separate businesses, Edward's being located in Brooklyn, New York, and Michael's in Allentown, Pennsylvania. After preliminary discussions extending over several months, the brothers came to an oral agreement in May, 1949, that they would pool their resources, merge their assets and transact their separate enterprises as one business. To this end they selected a property in Slatington, Pa., which was to be the seat of the united venture. Michael paid $500 as a down payment and Edward executed a bond and mortgage for the balance of the purchase price, which was $15,500. The new business was to operate under the name of Relco Oil and Chemical Co., the same title of Edward's business in Brooklyn, N.Y. Michael's firm, known as the Quoits Textile Products Co., was to lose its identity. By July, 1949, Edward had moved all of his business assets from Brooklyn to Slatington and by December of that year Michael's equipment, merchandise and raw material were an integral part of the establishment at the new place. In June 1949, both brothers visited the National Bank of Slatington, where Edward deposited $500 in his name, trading as the Relco Oil & Chemical Company.
It was understood from the time the brothers agreed to operate together that formal articles of partnership would be drawn up. This was never done, although the brothers conducted the business as an undivided operation.
Differences arose between the two brothers as to the conduct of the firm and Edward left it in June, 1950, withdrawing all its funds ($8,931.20) from the Slatington National Bank.
Michael then filed a bill in equity praying that he and his brother Edward be declared partners and joint owners of the real estate in Slatington, and that Edward be compelled to furnish Michael a complete accounting of all business transactions engaged in by the Relco Oil and Chemical Co.
The Court of Common Pleas, sitting as a court of equity, entered a decree granting the prayers of the plaintiff and the defendant has appealed to this Court.
There can be no question whatsoever that the relationship between Michael and Edward Miller in the handling of the business at Slatington was a partnership in every phase of the law covering such a relationship. As succinctly stated by Justice HUGHES in the case of Mattei et al. v. Masci, 351 Pa. 93, 94, 40 A.2d 265: "Written articles of agreement are not necessary to prove a partnership, for such a relationship can exist ...