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MOOSIC LAKES CLUB v. GORSKI (03/13/61)

March 13, 1961

MOOSIC LAKES CLUB
v.
GORSKI, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, Jan. T., 1961, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, Sept. T., 1958, No. 18, in case of The Moosic Lakes Club v. Frank Gorski et al. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Paul A. McGlone, for appellants.

James G. Colleran, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen and Bok, JJ.

Author: Bok

[ 402 Pa. Page 641]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK.

This case involves the struggle to control a non-commercial lakeside club in Lackawanna County.

Two men, McLaughlin and Bissell, were the original owners and developers of 3000 acres of land surrounding two small lakes in Jefferson Township. These men created The Moosic Lakes Club, a corporation of the first class, in 1941 for the purpose of promoting the development of the property, and gave to it as a gift two lakes, a strip of land around them, a commons, and a baseball field. A corporation of the second class, known as Moosic Lakes, Inc. was incorporated in 1947. Hereafter we will refer to them as the Club and the company. By 1958 the company had on its maps 351 unsold lots, and anyone buying land would have to join the Club in order to enjoy the facilities of the lakes.

The Club's bylaws, passed in 1941, provide voting power as follows: "The voting power in The Moosic Lakes Club shall be determined by the ownership of lots as laid out on the maps of Moosic Lakes and shall be divided between the purchaser members in good standing and the members known as the developers or owners of the unsold land, in the following manner: Each purchaser member in good standing shall be entitled to one vote and the members known as the developers or owners shall be entitled to one vote for each lot owned and unsold as time to time laid out on the maps of Moosic Lakes, and which may also be

[ 402 Pa. Page 642]

    laid out on the maps of any after acquired land, which maps shall be filed in the office of the said members known as the developers and owners."

"Purchaser members" refers to Club members. "Developers or owners" refers to owners of unsold lots in the development, who were not required to be members of the Club; generally these were company members.

Since at the time of hearing in 1959 there were 115 members of the Club and 351 unsold lots, each with a vote, it is plain that the company owners of the lots dominated the enterprise. Since it had been their property in the first place and the Club a promotion device, there was nothing sinister in such domination. Had the sale of lots been brisk, the company's influence in the development would have decreased with ...


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