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RUFO v. BASTIAN-BLESSING COMPANY (07/17/61)

July 17, 1961

RUFO
v.
THE BASTIAN-BLESSING COMPANY, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 170, 171, 172, 173 and 174, Jan. T., 1961, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1960, No. 1717, in case of Clementino Rufo et al. v. The Bastian-Blessing Company. Order reversed; reargument refused August 7, 1961.

COUNSEL

Philip Price, with him William H. Lowery, and Barnes, Dechert, Price, Myers & Rhoads, for appellant.

Rudolph J. DiMassa, for appellees.

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

Author: Jones

[ 405 Pa. Page 13]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES.

These are appeals by Bastian-Blessing Company [Company], an Illinois corporation not registered in Pennsylvania, from an order of the Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County which order dismissed the Company's preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the court over its person and held that, under the law and the facts, the Company was amenable to suit in Pennsylvania and subject to the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania court.

On July 12, 1960, Clementino Rufo [Rufo] and others filed a complaint in assumpsit in the Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County against the Company for breach of implied warranties of fitness for intended purpose, merchantable quality and trade usage. This complaint was served upon the Company through the Secretary of the Commonwealth, purportedly in accord with the provisions of Section 1011B of

[ 405 Pa. Page 14]

    the Business Corporation Law of May 5, 1933, P.L. 364.*fn1

The Company filed preliminary objections to the complaint challenging the jurisdiction of the court over its person upon the grounds that (1) it was not "doing business" in Pennsylvania, and (2) the action did not arise out of any "acts or omissions" of the Company in Pennsylvania.

The sole issue is whether the service of process upon the Company was valid under the provisions of Section 1011B which, in pertinent part, provide: "B. Any foreign business corporation which shall have done business in this Commonwealth, without procuring a certificate of authority to do so from the Department of State, shall be conclusively presumed to have designated the Secretary of the Commonwealth as its true and lawful attorney authorized to accept, on its behalf, service of process in any action arising out of acts or omissions of such corporation within this Commonwealth." (Emphasis supplied)

Section 1011B clearly sets forth two jurisdictional requirements which must be satisfied before a nonregistered foreign corporation may be validly served with process through the Secretary of the Commonwealth: (1) the corporation must have "done business" in the Commonwealth as that phrase is defined in ยง 1011C*fn2 and (2) the action must arise out of "acts or omissions" of the corporation within the Commonwealth.

Section 1011C provides: "For the purposes of this Section, the entry of any corporation into this Commonwealth for the doing of a series of similar acts for the ...


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