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MALIS v. ZINMAN ET AL. (01/30/70)

decided: January 30, 1970.

MALIS
v.
ZINMAN ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 67-12398, in case of David S. Malis et al. v. Jacques Zinman et al.

COUNSEL

Bernard J. McLafferty, with him Huganir, Butera & Detwiler, for appellants.

Robert H. Malis, with him Peter J. Cianci, and Malis & Feldman, and Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone & Gerber, for appellees.

Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy. Mr. Chief Justice Bell took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Pomeroy

[ 436 Pa. Page 593]

This case presents for our determination the question of the jurisdiction of a court in equity in an action brought to set aside an allegedly fraudulent conveyance of Pennsylvania real estate to out-of-state residents served with process by registered mail in Massachusetts. Since this appeal originates from the decree of the lower court overruling preliminary objections,

[ 436 Pa. Page 594]

    the only facts before us are those averred in the complaint, which are taken as true for the purpose of considering preliminary objections.*fn1

In 1964, defendant Dorothy Levy, then Dorothy Zinman, an appellant here, hired the law firm of Malis, Malis & Malis to represent her in connection with marital difficulties she was experiencing with her then husband, defendant Jacques Zinman. The law firm, along with an accounting firm, Sardinsky, Herlich & Co., performed services for Mrs. Levy until 1966 when she dismissed them from her employ. The law firm and the accounting firm are the plaintiffs in this action, and appellees here.

After obtaining other attorneys, Mrs. Levy filed an action for divorce a.v.m. against Jacques Zinman in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. A decree of divorce was entered on May 9, 1967. At the time of the divorce decree, defendants Dorothy Levy and Jacques Zinman, as tenants by the entireties, owned certain real estate situated in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. As a consequence of the divorce, they became tenants-in-common in the property. Act of May 10, 1927, P. L. 884, § 1, as amended, 68 P.S. § 501.

Shortly after the divorce Dorothy Levy married defendant Allyn Levy and moved to Boston, Massachusetts, the home of her new husband. By a deed recorded in Montgomery County on May 24, 1967, Mrs. Levy conveyed, for no consideration, her interest in the real estate to herself and Allyn Levy, as tenants by the entireties. Plaintiffs thereupon brought this action in equity against Dorothy Levy, her new husband Allyn Levy, and her former husband Jacques Zinman.

[ 436 Pa. Page 595]

The complaint alleged that the conveyance by Dorothy Levy of her interest in the real estate rendered her insolvent and was done in order to prevent application of her interest therein to the payment of her just debts to plaintiffs. Plaintiffs prayed that the conveyance be declared "fraudulent, void and of no effect", that the Levys be enjoined from conveying or encumbering the interest of Dorothy Levy in the property, that the Levys be ordered to reconvey the property to a receiver, that a receiver be appointed for the real estate to protect the interest of the creditors of ...


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