Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1957, No. 2646, in case of Michael Monaco v. Montgomery Cab Company.
Burton Hoffman, with him Joseph Patrick Gorham, for appellant.
Richard S. Hoffmann, for appellee.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Cohen. Mr. Justice Eagen concurs in the result. Mr. Chief Justice Bell dissents.
This is an appeal from the dismissal of a complaint in trespass against a corporate defendant because of improper venue.
In his complaint, plaintiff-appellant, Michael Monaco, alleged injuries arising out of an accident in Montgomery County caused by the negligence of an employee of defendant-appellee, Montgomery Cab Company. Plaintiff began suit in Philadelphia County by a writ of summons, which was served on November 18, 1957. Defendant filed a "de bene esse" appearance on November 27, 1957, "for the purpose of raising questions of jurisdiction." The summons was reissued on August 21, 1959, and, by deputized service, was served on defendant in Montgomery County on September 2, 1959. On October 6, 1959, defendant caused a rule to issue on plaintiff to file a complaint. In due course, the complaint was filed by plaintiff and preliminary objections were filed by defendant, challenging the propriety of venue in Philadelphia County. The lower court sustained the objection and dismissed the complaint.
Plaintiff contends that defendant entered a "general appearance" when it caused a rule to file a complaint to issue and thereby waived its right to object to venue. Notwithstanding the promulgation of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, the prior doctrine
persists that the entering of a "general appearance," i.e., the performance of an act which unconditionally accepts the jurisdiction of the court for all purposes, causes a waiver of "jurisdictional" objections, C. E. Williams Co. v. H. B. Pancoast Co., 412 Pa. 166, 194 A.2d 189 (1963), Simpson v. Simpson, 404 Pa. 247, 251, 172 A.2d 168, 171 (1961), which, for procedural purposes only, includes venue. County Construction Co. v. Livengood Construction Corp., 393 Pa. 39, 45, 142 A.2d 9, 13 (1958). Assuming, arguendo, the continued general propriety of this doctrine, in the face of the Rules of Civil Procedure, it is plain that it is inapplicable here.*fn1 Defendant never entered a "general appearance."
In the case of a personal action against a corporate defendant, venue lies in the county where it has its registered office or principal place of business, where it regularly conducts business, where the cause of action arose, or where a transaction or ...