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BOGGS v. WERNER (01/07/53)

January 7, 1953

BOGGS
v.
WERNER, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 130, March T., 1952, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1942, No. 422, in case of T. M. Boggs et al., members of Committee of Unauthorized Practice of Dentistry, etc., v. C. A. Werner. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

John Duggan, Jr., with him Alvin J. Porsche, for appellant.

A. J. Rosenbleet, with him Robert E. Woodside, Attorney General, for appellees.

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

Author: Stearne

[ 372 Pa. Page 313]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ALLEN M. STEARNE

This appeal questions the jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, sitting in equity, to restrain defendant from illegal practice of dentistry and to punish by fine his contemptuous repetition of such practice in defiance of the restraining order.

The suit was instituted by five members of the dental profession, appearing in their individual capacities and on behalf of the Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Dentistry of the Odontological Society of Western Pennsylvania. The learned court below found as facts that defendant "has maintained... a prosthetic laboratory... at which place he makes artificial dentures, bridgework and kindred appliances as prosthetist," that he "never has been a registered licensed dentist...," and that on various occasions he took impressions of the mouths of patients and personally fit

[ 372 Pa. Page 314]

    and adjusted in their mouths dentures which he had made. Such personal treatment of patients can legally be performed only by a licensed dentist.

On April 20, 1943, the court below filed the above findings of fact and entered a decree nisi permanently enjoining defendant "from practicing dentistry, and from fitting, or attempting to fit, or furnishing or repairing for persons other than registered dentists, artificial teeth, crowns, bridges, prosthetic work or appliances." No exceptions were filed and no appeal was taken from the order dated June 15, 1943, by which the court made final the said decree nisi. On April 21, 1944, defendant was adjudged in contempt because of further illegal practice of dentistry and paid a fine of $1,000.00 and costs. On May 12, 1950, the court below issued a rule to show cause why defendant should not be punished for a new act of contempt. A bill of particulars and answer thereto were filed and hearing had, at which testimony was presented to establish that defendant was again engaging in the prohibited practices. The present appeal was taken from an order of court entered on January 22, 1952, imposing a fine of $100.00. Appellant does not question the finding of the court below that he again engaged in illegal practice of dentistry but contends that the original restraining order of June 15, 1943, is a nullity because the court of equity was without jurisdiction.

Practice of the dental profession in this Commonwealth is regulated by the Act of May 1, 1933, P.L. 216, as amended by the Act of April 30, 1937, P.L. 554, 63 PS 120 et seq. Section 1 of that Act (63 PS 129) provides, inter alia : "Any person violating any of the provisions of this section, or any other provisions of this act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon ...


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