Appeals, Nos. 292 and 293, Jan. T., 1959, from orders of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1959, No. 241, in equity, in case of Joseph H. Stiles, individually and trading as John E. Stiles & Son v. John E. Stiles et al. Orders affirmed. Equity. Orders entered dismissing defendants' preliminary objections to complaint, opinion by ALEXANDER, J. Defendants appealed.
Abraham J. Levy, with him Dash and Levy, for appellants.
Samuel Marx, with him John E. Walsh, Jr., for appellee.
Before Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Mcbride, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MCBRIDE
This appeal challenges equitable jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. The plaintiff, Joseph H. Stiles, owns and operates the John E. Stiles & Son funeral directing business, 1415-17 E. Susquehanna Avenue, Philadelphia. Defendant, John E. Stiles, plaintiff's brother, formerly owned a 1/2 interest in said business which was operated as a partnership by the brothers from February 11, 1957 to June 30, 1958. On the latter date John's*fn1 interest in this business was purchased by Joseph.*fn2 Defendant, H. Reynolds Gerrish, also a licensed funeral director,
operates a funeral establishment in Philadelphia at 2358-60 East Susquehanna Avenue.
Joseph alleged that he purchased John's interest in the family business on June 30, 1958 and that despite this John has continued to act in competition with him in violation of law and contrary to the regulations of the Board.*fn3 As a result of these illegal activities Joseph averred he has sustained and will continue to sustain irreparable loss in his funeral directing business. He requested the court below to enjoin both defendants from continuance of this illegal conduct; to order them to desist from acting in association as funeral directors; for an account of profits allegedly lost by him from business which he claims would otherwise have been his; and for an award of damages. The court below dismissed defendants' preliminary objections raising the question of jurisdiction.
Plaintiff relies on the Act of January 14, 1951 (1952), P.L. 1898, § 1 et seq., 63 P.S. § 479.1 et seq., known as the Funeral Director Law. That Act establishes a system of licensure and regulation for the practice
of funeral directing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and designates the State Board of Funeral Directors as the agency to administer the Act. Section 12 provides as follows: "... Any association of funeral directors or any person having an interest may, by an action in equity, obtain an injunction to prevent the illegal operation of a person, firm, corporation or establishment in violation of law or the regulations of the board. For such purposes, the ...