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JOHNSON v. LEFFRING (11/16/67)

decided: November 16, 1967.

JOHNSON, APPELLANT,
v.
LEFFRING



Appeal from order of County Court of Philadelphia, March T., 1964, No. 16562-B, in case of Jethro Johnson, also known as Jethro Burch, v. Arthur Leffring et al.

COUNSEL

Jay Meyers, for appellant.

Charles Jay Bogdanoff, with him Albert C. Gekoski, for appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Montgomery, J.

Author: Montgomery

[ 211 Pa. Super. Page 84]

On July 6, 1964 the appellant Jethro Johnson caused a judgment to be entered in his favor against the appellees, then husband and wife, in default of an

[ 211 Pa. Super. Page 85]

    appearance in an action of trespass for damages due to injuries sustained by appellant from falling on the sidewalk of property owned by the appellees as tenants by the entirety. Subsequently, in 1966 the appellees petitioned to open that judgment but it was denied. We affirmed by a per curiam order filed October 19, 1966. See 208 Pa. Superior Ct. 768, 223 A.2d 126.

Thereafter, early in 1967 counsel for the appellees petitioned the lower court for permission to withdraw their appearance for Kathryn Leffring for the reason that she was then divorced from Arthur Leffring, which situation might create a conflict of interests. A hearing on that petition was held before Hon. Frank J. Montemuro, Judge, on February 14, 1967 at which Mrs. Leffring appeared and testified that she had been a patient in Norristown State Hospital, a mental hospital, at the time the judgment was entered, and also that her husband had secured the divorce when she was confined there. Upon receiving this testimony, and without completing the hearing he was then conducting, Judge Montemuro ordered that the hospital records be secured and submitted to him, which was done in the form of a letter dated February 20, 1967, written by Dr. Arthur D. Boxer, presumably associated with the Norristown State Hospital. The letter was addressed to Judge Montemuro and read:

"Re: Mrs. Kathryn Leffring, G 11,940

Dear Judge Montemuro:

The above named patient was hospitalized at Norristown State Hospital from July 17, 1964, until November 12, 1966. Her diagnosis was Involutional Psychotic Reaction with depressed and paranoid features; however, with medication ...


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