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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. PHILADELPHIA v. PUBLIC SERVICE MUTUAL INSURANCE CO. ET AL. (11/14/68)

decided: November 14, 1968.

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. PHILADELPHIA
v.
PUBLIC SERVICE MUTUAL INSURANCE CO. ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeals from order of Courts of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, July T., 1957, No. 23, Jan. T., 1958, No. 21, and June T., 1958, No. 19, in cases of Commonwealth ex rel. City of Philadelphia v. Public Service Mutual Insurance Co. et al.; Same v. Citizens Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. et al.; and Same v. Empire Mutual Insurance Co. et al.

COUNSEL

Lawrence M. Aglow, for appellants.

Matthew W. Bullock, Jr., Second Deputy City Solicitor, with him Nicholas M. D'Alessandro, Assistant City Solicitor, and Edward G. Bauer, Jr., City Solicitor, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Hannum, JJ. (Spaulding, J., absent). Opinion by Montgomery, J.

Author: Montgomery

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 329]

By stipulation of counsel there are consolidated in these three appeals forty-six cases in which appellants were denied the return of money paid by them in satisfaction of judgments confessed on forfeited bail bonds. There is but one order of the lower court which disposed of all of the cases.*fn1 On appeal from such an order the case comes before us on certiorari and only

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 330]

    the regularity of the records may be examined. Commonwealth v. Richardson, 174 Pa. Superior Ct. 171, 100 A.2d 155 (1953).

The appellants are three bonding companies which regularly did business in the City of Philadelphia, acting as surety on bail bonds offered by persons accused of crime. Thirty-five of the bonds under consideration were written by the Empire Mutual Insurance Company, which was ordered into liquidation by the Dauphin County Court on January 31, 1964; four were written by the Public Service Mutual Insurance Company, and seven by Citizens Mutual Casualty Insurance Company.

Although the bonds, with one exception, are not in the printed record, the appellee's answer admits that all of them contained the condition that the principal-defendant was to appear at the present or next term of court according to the dates thereof. The bond of Vivian Maines, the only one before us, is blank in that particular, but appellee's answer admits that its condition was for her appearance at the next term of court. For that reason all of them shall be considered as calling for the defendants' appearance at a specific time.

Since the record shows that all forfeitures were declared at terms of court subsequent to the "present or next" term noted in the bonds, appellants argue that there was no breach of the conditions of the bonds to justify a forfeiture; and further, that any judgments entered by reason thereof are void, entitling them to the refund of all money paid thereon.

In a suit upon a recognizance, the entry of a forfeiture stands for proof of all the steps necessary to complete the forfeiture upon the principle omnia praesumuntur rite esse acta; hence, it must be taken for ...


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