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PITTSBURGH IRON WORKS COMPANY v. MOON MOTOR LODGE (01/07/64)

THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


January 7, 1964

PITTSBURGH IRON WORKS COMPANY
v.
MOON MOTOR LODGE, INC., APPELLANT.

Appeals, Nos. 73 and 76, March T., 1963, from orders of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1963, No. 1625, in cases of Pittsburgh Iron Works Company v. Moon Motor Lodge, Inc. Orders reversed.

COUNSEL

James E. McLaughlin, with him John J. Hickton, and McArdle, Harrington & McLaughlin, for appellant.

Samuel M. Rosenzweig, with him Harry S. Kalson, for appellee.

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

Author: Cohen

[ 413 Pa. Page 224]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

Morris Berger and Maurice Parker conveyed land to appellant, Moon Motor Lodge, Inc., a corporation controlled by them, as a method to secure financing of a projected motel. Thereupon, appellant contracted with Universal Builders, Inc. (Universal), a general contractor, for the construction of the motel. A no lien agreement was filed and Universal provided a labor

[ 413 Pa. Page 225]

    and materials bond. Before completion of the motel, appellant reconveyed the land to Berger and Parker.

Appellee, an unpaid sub-contractor, brought this action in equity to have a receiver appointed for appellant. The court below appointed a permanent receiver and these appeals followed.*fn1 We hold that the appointment of a receiver was improper.

Appellee relies upon the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act*fn2 to justify the appointment of a receiver. It argues that the reconveyance from appellant to Berger and Parker was fraudulent as to its rights as a creditor of appellant, and hence the court below had power to appoint a receiver under section 10 of the Act.*fn3 While there are several defects in appellee's position, it will suffice here to point out the most obvious one - appellee's failure to show that it is a creditor of appellant.

Appellee provided material and labor under a contract with Universal, the general contractor, and not with the appellant. In an attempt to establish itself as a creditor of appellant, appellee invokes the doctrines of quasi contract, unjust enrichment, and constructive trust without, however, demonstrating how these general principles are applicable to the facts of the instant case. It may be that Universal is a creditor of appellant. In such event, however, appellee must obtain a judgment or take other steps against Universal; it cannot proceed directly against appellant under

[ 413 Pa. Page 226]

    the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act. Accordingly, the orders entered below must be reversed and the receiver discharged.*fn4

Disposition

Orders reversed. Costs on appellee.


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