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MARKUS v. DILLINGER

February 24, 1961

Roy C. MARKUS
v.
Joseph DILLINGER



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUSEN

Plaintiff's action is based on a series of checks he issued to defendant's order between January 8, 1957, and April 8, 1958. He claims that the checks represent personal loans to defendant and seeks repayment in the amount of $ 12,000, interest and costs. The Complaint is based on diversity of citizenship. Defendant admits receipt of the checks but asserts that they represent partial compensation for work performed under a business agreement, and he has filed a Counterclaim for additional amounts allegedly due him and for an accounting (Document No. 3). After responsive pleadings were filed by plaintiff, *fn1" defendant filed a Motion For Leave To File An Amended Answer and Counterclaim and To Join Pennsylvania Life Insurance Company *fn2" As A Party to the Action (Document No. 10), which Motion is now before the court.

The proposed amended Counterclaim contains four counts.

 First Count

 The First Count of the proposed Amended Counterclaim (paragraphs 3 to 14 of Exhibit A to Document No. 10) is based on the same ground as the original Counterclaim, namely, the business association between the parties which involved the Louisiana agency. The amended pleading sets forth more fully Markus' alleged relationship with Penn Life and charges Penn Life and Markus with a duty to account and reimburse defendant.

 The cause of action involved here is not barred by the principles of res judicata. *fn3"

 F.R.Civ.P. 15(a), 28 U.S.C., permits amendment of pleadings if the other party is not prejudiced thereby. See Kerrigan's Estate v. Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, 3 Cir., 1952, 199 F.2d 694, 696. Plaintiff would not be prejudiced by the amendment titled 'First Count' and, therefore, this amendment will be allowed.

 This part of amended pleading is a compulsory counterclaim *fn4" and defendant should be permitted to join Penn Life thereto if the provisions of F.R.Civ.P. 13(h) are met.

 The presence of Penn Life is necessary in order to adjudicate completely the issues involved, which should not be tried at another time in another forum; *fn5" therefore, it is a party 'required for the granting of complete relief' under F.R.Civ.P. 13(h). See United Artists Corp. v. Masterpiece Productions, Inc., 2 Cir., 1955, 221 F.2d 213, 217.

 As this court can secure jurisdiction over Penn Life, a Pennsylvania corporation with a place of business in this District, joinder is proper unless the court will be deprived of jurisdiction because of the joinder. On this record, the court will not be deprived of jurisdiction by the joinder, even though the case is before this court solely on the ground of diversity and defendant and Penn Life are citizens of the same state.

 A compulsory counterclaim is ancillary to the main action and needs no independent jurisdictional grounds to support it. Arvey Corp. v. Peterson, D.C.E.D.Pa.1959, 178 F.Supp. 132. This ancillary jurisdiction extends to additional parties brought onto the record in order to fully determine the counterclaim. United Artists Corp. v. Masterpiece Productions, Inc., 2 Cir., 1955, 221 F.2d 213, 217; United States for Use and Benefit of Los Angeles Testing Laboratory v. Rogers & Rogers, D.C.S.D.Cal.1958, 161 F.Supp. 132, 134. Hence, the diversity of citizenship which supports the original action also supports the action against the additional party, in spite of the lack of diversity between Dillinger and Penn Life.

 The requirements of Rule 13(h) having been met, Penn Life will be joined as a party to the counterclaim set forth in paragraphs 3 to 14 of Document No. 10.

 Second Count

 This count (paragraphs 15 to 20 of Exhibit A to Document No. 10) alleges that plaintiff wrongfully entered judgment in a Pennsylvania court against defendant and his wife on a note given for a personal loan. *fn6" Defendant seeks damages from plaintiff and Penn Life for abuse of process and also demands payment of certain renewal commissions collected by plaintiff under an assignment made solely to give plaintiff additional security for payment of such loans.

 Defendant will not be permitted to include this Count in his Amended Counterclaim since it is defective on its face. The charge of abuse of process is, in reality, a collateral attack on a judgment of a Pennsylvania court and such judgment cannot be attacked in this manner. *fn7" In addition, an indispensable party *fn8" has not been joined in this Count under F.R.Civ.P. ...


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