Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, July T., 1964, No. 281, in case of William Sams et al. v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of New Kensington.
Stanley G. Makoroff, with him Hubert I. Teitelbaum, James K. O'Malley, and Morris, Safier & Teitelbaum, for appellant.
B. N. Hollander, with him Meyer Rothwacks, and Crombie J. D. Garrett, Attorneys, Department of Justice, Johnnie M. Walters, Assistant Attorney General, Thomas A. Daley, Assistant United States Attorney, and Richard L. Thornburgh, United States Attorney, of the Washington, D. C. Bar, for United States of America, appellee.
Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien.
This is an appeal by Arch Lhormer from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County determining the order of priority among competing claims asserted against a condemnation award in the hands of the condemnor.
On April 21, 1964, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of New Kensington acquired, by eminent domain, partnership property owned by William Sams and Samuel Mannarino. After extensive litigation, on February 6, 1969 a jury awarded the condemnees $200,000.00 compensation, of which the sum of $186,665.00 remained due on April 8, 1969. On that date, on petition of the Redevelopment Authority, the court below ordered this sum paid into court and appointed a Master to determine the relative priorities of the competing claimants.
The dispute at bar is between the United States, relying upon certain tax liens, and Arch Lhormer, relying upon two assignments from Samuel and Rose Mannarino
of portions of their share of the condemnation award. After payment of approximately $53,000.00 worth of prior claims not here in issue the Master and the court denied Lhormer's claim, and awarded the balance of Samuel Mannarino's share to the United States. The United States here concedes that it was awarded too much. Even if its tax liens prevail over the assignment to Lhormer, the United States is not entitled to the balance of Samuel Mannarino's share, but only to the amount of the tax liens, $43,721.25. The Master and the court below erroneously awarded the United States part of Mannarino's share to cover the tax liens of $319,141.94 against Sams' share.
The real issue on this appeal is whether the tax lien against Mannarino or the assignment to Lhormer prevails. Samuel and Rose Mannarino made two assignments, under seal, to Lhormer, on July 1, 1966 and July 14, 1966. The July 1st assignment provided:
"I, Samuel Mannarino, of the City of New Kensington, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, one of the plaintiffs in the above entitled matter, in consideration of the sum of One ($1.00) Dollar, and other good and valuable consideration, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, do hereby assign, transfer and set over unto Arch Lhormer, of the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, all of my right, title, interest and claim of, in and to my share of the ...