Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 66-15631 of 1966, in case of Burdett Oxygen Company v. I. R. Wolfe & Sons, Inc.
Edward W. Mullinix, with him William T. Hangley, Victor J. Roberts, Jacob P. Hart, and Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, and High, Swartz, Roberts & Seidel, for appellant.
Arthur W. Leibold, Jr., with him William P. Manning, Jr., and Dechert, Price & Rhoads, and Wright, Spencer, Manning & Sagendorph, for appellee.
Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts.
This case as it is now before us presents only a question involving the interpretation of Pa. R. C. P. 2179, the corporate venue rule. Appellant, a Harrisburg (Dauphin County) corporation, entered into a contract under which it agreed to purchase its requirements of certain gases from appellee, a Norristown (Montgomery County) corporation. Appellee, alleging that appellant breached the contract by buying from others, brought this action in Montgomery County. On preliminary objection, appellant claimed that venue was improper in Montgomery County. The trial court overruled the preliminary objection and appellant took this appeal.
First we must deal with the question of whether the appeal should be quashed as untimely filed. The Act of March 5, 1925, P. L. 23, 12 P.S. § 674, requires an appeal to be "taken and perfected within fifteen days from the date when the decision is rendered." Here the order appealed from was dated January 30, 1968, but was not docketed until January 31, 1968. This appeal was filed on February 15, 1968, fifteen days from the date when the decision below was docketed. Although as appellant points out, different considerations might apply to a decision announced in open court in the presence of the parties, where, as here, the decision is announced by written order, the date upon which the order is docketed should be the starting date for the fifteen day period established in § 3.
Furthermore, it appears that appellant attempted to file the writ of certiorari issued by the Superior Court (to which the appeal was originally taken) on February 14, 1968. The writ bore the name of appellant's Philadelphia counsel on the backer, and the Montgomery County prothonotary refused to accept the
writ for filing unless counsel could prove his admission to practice before our Court. As a result, the writ was not filed until the next day. Since the writ was a document issued by the Superior Court and executed by its prothonotary, it would seem that the presence of the signature of appellant's counsel was irrelevant. Under these circumstances the harassment which appellant's counsel underwent was bad enough; certainly it would be unconscionable to deny appellant its appeal as a result.*fn1
Moving on to the venue question, this case is controlled by Pa. R. C. P. 2179, which provides in pertinent part that: "(a) Except as otherwise provided by an Act of Assembly . . ., a personal action against a corporation . . . may be brought in and only in . . .; (2) a county where it regularly conducts business; (3) the county where the cause of action arose; or (4) a county where a transaction or occurrence took place out of which the cause of action arose." We believe that venue was proper under both subsections (2) and (4)*fn2 and affirm the decision of the court below.
First we believe that the record supports the finding of the court below that appellant regularly conducted business in Montgomery County. Appellant relies ...