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AHRENS v. GOLDSTEIN (01/04/54)

January 4, 1954

AHRENS
v.
GOLDSTEIN, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 97, March T., 1953, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Venango County, Jan. T., 1952, No. 5, in case of Julius H. Ahrens et ux., v. Lillian B. Goldstein, George S. Goldstein and Thomas V. Penner. Order affirmed; reargument refused February 3, 1954.

COUNSEL

Louis Vaira, with him Rynd & Olmes and George S. Goldstein, for appellants.

E. C. Breene, with him Breene, Brewster & Breene and McGill & McGill, for appellees.

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

Author: Chidsey

[ 376 Pa. Page 116]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

This appeal is from the refusal of the court below to open a judgment entered against the appellants in an amicable action of ejectment upon a warrant of attorney contained in an oil and gas lease.

On December 19, 1949, the Continental Oil Company of Philadelphia conveyed certain premises in President Township, Venango County, known as the Continental Farm, to Julius Ahrens and Bessie Ahrens, his wife, the appellees, by a deed which was recorded on December 29, 1949. The conveyance was made subject to a certain oil and gas lease for twenty years, executed by the appellees' grantor to one Jocob Goldstein, father of two of the appellants, dated October 17, 1916. At the time of the aforesaid conveyance, these appellants George Goldstein and his sister, Lillian Goldstein, were operating the premises, which contained some twenty-seven oil wells, two pressure wells and two power wells, for the production of oil and gas.

George Goldstein and his sister Lillian and one Thomas V. Penner, the other appellant, on November 1, 1943 had been granted by the Continental Oil Company for the term of twenty years the exclusive right

[ 376 Pa. Page 117]

    and privilege of mining and drilling for carbon oil and petroleum on the entire tract. This lease was not recorded until April 16, 1951. It contained, inter alia, an agreement on the part of the lessees to maintain constant operations for the production of oil from the premises during the continuance of the lease, with a provision that a suspension of such operations for the space of thirty days at any one time without the consent in writing of the landowners should be deemed an abandonment of the premises and the relinquishment and forfeiture of all the rights and privileges granted in the lease. Time was made of the essence.

It further provided that if the lessees should fail for a space of thirty days at any one time in the due performance of any one of the covenants and agreements that, then, and in either such case of failure or breach, the lease and all rights and privileges should immediately terminate and become null and void.

The lease also provided that in order that the lessors could obtain prompt possession of the premises in the event of default, the lessees authorized and empowered any attorney of any court of record as attorney for the lessees, to enter in any competent court an amicable action and judgment in ejectment against the ...


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