Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, May T., 1971, No. 210, in re Barbara Tyson, a minor et al. v. Betty Basehore and Kenneth E. Basehore.
F. Lee Shipman, with him Goldberg, Evans, Katzman, for appellants.
Gary M. Lightman, with him Meyers & Desfor, for appellees.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, Cercone, and Packel, JJ. Concurring Opinion by Hoffman, J. Spaulding and Packel, JJ., join in this concurring opinion. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Cercone, J.
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Concurring Opinion by Hoffman, J.:
This appeal involves two questions: (1) whether jurisdiction of the person may be obtained through deputized service of process issued by a court in a county where neither the cause of action arose nor the defendant may be found, and (2) whether a cause of action may be transferred by a court having no jurisdiction of the person to a court in another county where jurisdiction of the person may be obtained.
Appellees, residents of Cumberland County, instituted this action in Cumberland County for damages arising out of a motor vehicle accident which occurred on October 4, 1969, in Dauphin County. The appellants are residents of Dauphin County.
Appellees filed a praecipe for a writ of summons on February 26, 1971, and a complaint was filed on December 13, 1971. Appellants thereafter filed preliminary objections raising the question of the Cumberland County court's jurisdiction of the person. On January 15, 1972, appellees filed a petition for a change of venue to Dauphin County. The Cumberland County court sustained appellants' preliminary objections and granted
[ 222 Pa. Super. Page 574]
appellees' petition to transfer the action to Dauphin County. Appellants have appealed from the lower court's transfer of the action.
The first question before us is whether the Cumberland County court had jurisdiction of the person. Jurisdiction refers to both the competency of a court to determine controversies of the general nature of the matter involved, and the power of a court to bind the parties to the litigation by its adjudication. Competency is usually referred to as "subject matter jurisdiction", and the power to bind the parties is known as "jurisdiction of the person."
There is no question that the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County had subject matter jurisdiction of the cause of action in the instant case. Where a cause of action is transitory, as in any tort action, "[t]he general rule is . . . that the action may be brought wherever the wrongdoer may be found, and jurisdiction of his person may be obtained." Gossard v. Gossard, 319 Pa. 129, 130, 178 A. 837 (1935). Jurisdiction of the person is obtained by proper service, and if appellants had been ...