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HAMILTON EQUIPMENT v. ONAMIA CORPORATION (07/02/63)

July 2, 1963

HAMILTON EQUIPMENT, INC.
v.
ONAMIA CORPORATION, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 214, Jan. T., 1963, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Nov. T., 1962, No. 30, in case of Hamilton Equipment, Inc. v. Onamia Corporation, formerly Onamia Manufacturing, Inc., and Lancaster Airport Authority. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Harris C. Arnold, Jr., for appellant.

John L. Hamaker, with him Robert Ruppin, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 411 Pa. Page 526]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

This is an appeal from the order of the court below sustaining service of complaint upon appellant, Onamia Corporation, by means of substituted service upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth.*fn1

Appellee, Hamilton Equipment, Inc., instituted foreign attachment proceedings in assumpsit against appellant, a foreign corporation not registered to do business in Pennsylvania, and, in accordance therewith, the sheriff attached an airplane belonging to appellant. Pursuant to the attachment, two copies of the complaint were served upon the garnishee, Lancaster Airport Authority, and a copy also served upon the pilot

[ 411 Pa. Page 527]

    of the airplane. See Pa. R.C.P. 1265.*fn2 At this stage of the proceedings, therefore, appellee had done everything possible to perfect quasi-in-rem jurisdiction under the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Thereafter, appellee, under the mistaken impression that it was necessary to serve the complaint attendant to foreign attachment personally on appellant, filed an ex parte petition requesting leave to serve the complaint by means of substituted service. Its petition alleged, inter alia, that appellant is a foreign corporation not registered to do business in Pennsylvania; that service of the complaint cannot be made under any of the methods set forth in subdivision (a) or (b) of Pa. R.C.P. 2180; and that petitioner was informed and believes that the pilot on whom the writ of attachment was served was an executive officer of appellant. Petitioner therefore requested the court to order the sheriff to make service of the complaint by registered mail upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and to serve appellant at its principal place of business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The petition, however, did not contain any allegation that appellant was doing business in Pennsylvania. The lower court granted the petition and service was made upon the Secretary.

Appellant then appeared specially to contest the in personam jurisdiction which service on the Secretary apparently conferred. Appellant's preliminary objections averred that appellee did not allege appellant was doing business in Pennsylvania or allege any other basis upon which personal jurisdiction over appellant could be founded. Accordingly, appellant requested the court below to withdraw the ...


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