Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 68-15096, in case of Nancy S. Selig v. Alan E. Selig et al.
Alan E. Boroff, with him Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone & Gerber, for appellant.
Joseph H. Resnick, with him Solomon, Resnick & Hoffman, for appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Cercone, J. Jacobs, J., concurs in the result. Concurring Opinion by Hoffman, J.
On October 3, 1968 Nancy Selig, plaintiff herein, a Pennsylvania resident, filed a complaint in assumpsit against her husband, Alan E. Selig, a former resident whose whereabouts were unknown. The complaint alleged a debt arising out of an oral agreement of support for plaintiff and their seven children. Defendant abandoned his wife on October 9, 1965 and has not provided support. Simultaneously with the complaint, a writ of Foreign Attachment was issued, naming as garnishee Milton Selig, executor under the Will of Ralph E. Selig in which Will defendant was named
a legatee. Garnishee is a resident of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and personal service was obtained on him in that County. Garnishee's co-executors are Robert Williams, a resident of Pennsylvania, Harry Cassman, a resident of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the Boardwalk National Bank of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Personal service had not been obtained on any of Milton Selig's co-executors. The funds which constitute the defendant's interest in the estate are in an account in the Boardwalk National Bank.
Defendant filed preliminary objections to the Writ of Foreign Attachment on the grounds that the property sought was immune from attachment and that no property of defendant was in the garnishee's possession.
The Common Pleas Court of Montgomery County overruled the objections on the grounds that a writ of attachment personally served on one of several executors of an estate is sufficient to bind them all.
The action of Foreign Attachment in Pennsylvania is a quasi-in-rem proceeding. The essence of the proceeding is service on the defendant's obligor, the garnishee, which is considered equivalent to seizure of the res. Its basic function is to adjudicate the interests of a defendant in the property. The basis for jurisdiction is the power of the state over a res situated within its border, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, Arndt v. Griggs, 134 U.S. 316, 320-321, 323 (1890).
A state may impose any conditions it pleases upon the bringing of a quasi-in-rem proceeding as long as it provides for sufficient contacts with property in the state, so as not to violate the due process clause of the United ...