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PITTSBURGH PARKING GARAGES v. URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY PITTSBURGH (05/29/52)

May 29, 1952

PITTSBURGH PARKING GARAGES, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF PITTSBURGH



Appeal, No. 112, March T., 1952, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1951, No. 2022, in case of Pittsburgh Parking Garages, Inc., and Triangle Land Company v. Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

J. Wray Connolly, with him Moorhead & Knox, and Davis C. Burroughs, Jr., for appellants.

Carl E. Glock, with him Frank W. Ittel, David McN. Olds, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, Theodore L. Hazlett, Jr., Paul G. Perry and Burgwin, Churchill, Ruffin & Hazlett, for appellee.

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

Author: Chidsey

[ 370 Pa. Page 579]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

The question here involved is whether parties plaintiff may voluntarily join in a complaint on appeal to the court of common pleas from a report of the board of viewers which made separate awards. The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County entered an order sustaining preliminary objections to their complaint.

Pittsburgh Parking Garages, Inc., and Triangle Land Company, the two plaintiffs who sought to join, and appellants here, were the respective owners in fee of two adjoining parcels of land on which there was erected a concrete indoor parking garage operated by Pittsburgh Parking Garages, Inc. This corporation occupied the land owned by Triangle Land Company

[ 370 Pa. Page 580]

    under a 99-year lease, 22 years of which had expired at the time of the taking by the defendant-appellee, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. The two condemned properties differed in area, height of improvements thereon and in the number of means of street access thereto, and the board of viewers made separate awards in different amounts.

Appellants contend that Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure § 2229 (a) relating to permissive joinder entitled them to join. Such rule reads: "Persons may join as plaintiffs who assert any right to relief jointly, severally, separately or in the alternative, in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences if any common question of law or fact affecting the rights to relief of all such persons will arise in the action." (Emphasis supplied). The plaintiffs in this case have failed to show any common question of law or fact and thus have not met the requirement of the italicized portion of the rule. The only issue of fact is apparently one of damages which is a common issue in many cases but not the type of factual issue which of itself entitles plaintiffs to join voluntarily.Since one property is encumbered by a lease and the other is not, it is more probable that different rather than common questions of law will arise.

The procedural rules were not intended to change the substantive rights of the parties: Act of June 21, 1937, P.L. 1982, 17 PS § 61, as amended. A joinder in this instance would have the practical effect of allowing the jury to consider both properties as one and thus increase the value of each. By a joint appeal each property owner enlarges its substantive rights by building values into its separate property based on ...


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