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STATE EMPLOYES' RETIREMENT BOARD v. ROCKWELL (09/26/55)

September 26, 1955

STATE EMPLOYES' RETIREMENT BOARD
v.
ROCKWELL, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 11, May T., 1955, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, 1951, No. 236, in case of state Employes' Retirement Board v. Ella Rockwell. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Nelson M. Galloway, with him Hudson & Hudson, for appellant.

Leon Ehrlich, Deputy Attorney General, with him Samuel M. Jackson, Deputy Attorney general and Herbert B. Cohen, Attorney General, for appellee.

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

[ 382 Pa. Page 616]

OPINION PER CURIAM

The Order the Court below is affirmed on the following excerpts from the Opinion of President Judge KARL E. RICHARDS:

This case comes before us on appeal by Ella Rockwell, under the Administrative Agency Law, from an adjudication of the State Employes' Retirement Board in which it refused her claim as a beneficiary under the retirement policy issued to Judge Horatio S. Dumbauld, late of Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

The facts may be summarized as follows:

Judge Dumbauld went upon the bench in January of 1936, but did not then elect to become a member of the retirement system. In 1945 he made inquiries about joining the system and what sum he would be obliged to pay to become a member, effective as of January, 1936. He was apparently told that it would cost him $12,012.40. He borrowed $2,000 from his secretary, Ella Rockwell, for the purpose of making the required payment to the Board and deposited this sum in his bank account with the First National Bank of Perryopolis, Pennsylvania. He then negotiated a loan of approximately $7,500.00 with the Second National Bank of Uniontown, Pa., giving a life insurance policy as collateral. This bank knew that the loan was made to enable the judge to join the retirement system. The borrowed money was deposited to his credit in said bank.

On Oct. 17, 1945, the judge wrote a letter to the Retirement Board enclosing, inter alia, his signed application for membership, a nomination of Ella Rockwell as beneficiary, a check on the Perryopolis bank

[ 382 Pa. Page 617]

    for $4,007.98, a check on the Uniontown Bank for $8,004.12. These checks were not certified.

The letter and contents were received by the Retirement Board at 2:35 P.M. on Friday October 19, 1945, the closing hour being five o'clock. Since the various departments and boards do not function on Saturday, nothing was done about the matter until Monday, October 22nd. On this date the application was processed and the so-called policy issued certifying that Judge Dumbauld was a member of the State Employes' Retirement System. This policy or certificate was forwarded to Auditor General's Department and by it mailed to the Judge on the same date. On Tuesday, October 23rd, both checks were sent by interdepartmental messenger service to the Department of Revenue. On this date also, a receipt was issued to the Judge for the two checks totaling $12,012.40, signed by Fred Davies, Jr., who was an agent assigned to the Board by the Department of Revenue. This receipt contained the printed notation: "When this receipt includes checks the receipt will not be valid until said checks are paid." On Wednesday, Oct. 24th, both checks arrived in the Department of Revenue, by which they were sent the same day to the Treasury Department via interdepartmental messenger service. The checks were received by the Treasury Department on Thursday, Oct. 25th and were deposited on that date with the Harrisburg Trust Co. On Friday, Oct. 26th, the Harrisburg Trust Co., sent both checks by U.S. mail to its ...


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