Appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, No. 3178, April Term, 1970, in case of Fred B. Alberts and Dorothy M. Alberts, his wife v. Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Appeal transferred September 14, 1970, to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Thomas C. Jones, for appellants.
John T. Richards, Jr., with him Richards & Kelly, and William G. Sutter, Jr., for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Manderino, Mencer and Barbieri (who has since been appointed to the Supreme Court and did not participate in the decision in this case). Opinion by Judge Manderino. Judge Bowman concurs in the result only.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, exercising its right of eminent domain, filed a declaration of taking on the property of Fred and Dorothy Alberts on October 22, 1968. After the declaration was filed, viewers were appointed, a hearing conducted and an award made to the Alberts. The Authority appealed from the award and a trial followed on November 26, 1969, which ended in a consent verdict of $10,500 plus detention money to the date of the payment. Judgment was entered on the verdict but no appeal was taken from the judgment.
On the face of the verdict, the Alberts were entitled to be paid $10,500 plus detention money from October 22, 1968 to the date of payment. Because the Authority did not pay any monies pursuant to the judgment, the
Alberts filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, seeking to obtain payment on the judgment of December 12, 1969. The Alberts' petition for mandamus was denied because the Authority claimed it had a defense to payment of full detention monies. The Alberts have appealed from the denial of the petition for mandamus.
This appeal was originally filed in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and pursuant to the Commonwealth Court Act (Act No. 185 of January 6, 1970; 17 P.S. 211.13, 1970), was transferred to the Commonwealth Court.
When the condemnor is a municipal corporation, a writ of mandamus is the proper way for a property owner who has been awarded damages in condemnation proceedings to compel payment on a judgment. In re Kensington and Oxford Turnpike Co., 97 Pa. 260 (1881).
The Authority concedes that it has an obligation to pay the Alberts for the condemnation, but is not legally obligated to pay according to the judgment entered on December 12, 1969.
The Authority argues that under the Eminent Domain Code, that portion of the judgment referring to detention money is surplusage and was not properly a part of the verdict upon which the judgment was entered. The Authority relies on Section 1-611 of the Eminent Domain Code which states that "compensation for delay shall not be included by the viewers or the court or jury on appeal as part of the award or verdict, but shall at the time of payment of the award or judgment be calculated as above and added thereto . . . ." 26 P.S. § 1-611. It is the Authority's position that compensation for delay, is not properly a part of the ...