Appeal, No. 74, Jan. T., 1958, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, April T., 1954, No. 11, in case of Bella Korr Silver v. Max M. Korr et al. Decree affirmed.
James D. Christie, with him Harry A. Dower and Perkin, Twining & Dower, for appellant.
Robert K. Young, with him Morris Efron and Bernard Frank, for appellees.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Jones and Cohen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL
A narrow question is involved: Was plaintiff's claim for relief barred by laches? Plaintiff, who is the appellant, brought a complaint in equity against her brother, Max Korr, and Florence Korr, widow of her brother Leon Korr, individually and as executrix of Leon's estate. She prayed for an accounting of certain partnership assets pursuant to a partnership agreement entered into by her in 1937, and for a statutory dissolution of the partnership.
Appellees filed preliminary objections averring that plaintiff's claim was barred (a) by laches, inasmuch as the action was not commenced until June 18, 1954, and (b) by the non-joinder of a necessary party, to wit, her husband, Nathan Silver, who was also a partner. Plaintiff thereupon filed an amended complaint in which she joined her husband, Nathan Silver, as a party defendant, and averred further facts in an attempt to overcome the bar of laches.
In the amended complaint, plaintiff alleged that she entered into a written agreement of partnership on January 1, 1937 (a copy of which was attached), with her sister, Esther Korr and her brother, Max Korr, for purposes of conducting and managing a motion picture business in Allentown, Pa., known as the Earle Theatre. Plaintiff further alleged (1) that another brother, Leon, who, as above mentioned, is now deceased,
entered the business in 1942 and became a partner in 1944, and that the partnership of 1937 was either dissolved without notice to her or is still in existence; (2) that the interest of Esther Korr was purchased by the partnership in 1946; (3) that plaintiff received $5 to $10 per week from the partnership for the first few months in 1937 and has received nothing since that time, despite frequent demands and promises beginning in 1944, repeated in 1946, and in 1952; (4) that since December 30, 1944, the enterprise has been conducted either by Max Korr or by Leon Korr or by Max Korr and Florence Korr, widow of Leon Korr, or by a partnership consisting of Max Korr, Leon Korr or Florence Korr, individually and/or as executrix of Leon's estate, and by Nathan Silver, her husband.
There was included in plaintiff's original complaint a copy of a written partnership agreement dated December 30, 1944, made by Max Korr, Leon Korr and Nathan Silver, plaintiff's husband. This agreement involved the identical assets and business mentioned in the 1937 agreement upon which plaintiff based her present claim. The 1944 agreement is inconsistent with the 1937 agreement and plaintiff's present claim.
Plaintiff explains her delay in filing suit by alleging that in response to her request for an accounting in 1944 Max Korr and Leon Korr asked her to refrain from legal proceedings because of the possibility of breaking up the family economic unit and because of possible adverse effect upon her brother Leon; that her request for an accounting in 1946 was refused by Max Korr, who promised her she would be taken care of, and that any legal proceedings would endanger according to Leon Korr and Max Korr, the life of Leon, who ...