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MERWARTH ET UX. v. TOWNSEND (03/25/74)

decided: March 25, 1974.

MERWARTH ET UX., APPELLANTS,
v.
TOWNSEND



Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, May T., 1971, No. 20, in case of H. Stewart Merwarth and Ada Merwarth, his wife v. Ann S. Townsend.

COUNSEL

Hugh M. Morrison, with him Floyd E. Heller, for appellants.

Lewis R. Long, for appellee.

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

Author: O'brien

[ 455 Pa. Page 476]

This appeal arises from a final decree in equity which denied appellants' request for specific performance of a land sales agreement.

In 1965, appellants, H. Stewart Merwarth and Ada Merwarth, owned a piece of property located in Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County. The property was subject to a mortgage held by Asa S. Knechel Estate and Mabel F. Knechel, as mortgagees. In the same year, the mortgagees instituted foreclosure proceedings against appellants. On October 8, 1965, the property was exposed to a sheriff's sale and sold to Robert M. Moore.

Shortly after the sheriff's sale, the purchaser was advised by his attorney that the sale was defective due to certain procedural irregularities in the sale. On January 11, 1966, the Merwarths, Moore and Ann S. Townsend, appellee, entered into a written agreement which provided as follows:

"a. Ann Townsend was to become the purchaser of the property exposed to the sheriff's sale;

[ 455 Pa. Page 477]

"b. upon obtaining title to the property, Ann Townsend agreed to convey to the Merwarths, 'without any further consideration', a tract of land containing approximately 5 or 6 acres 'whereupon the dwelling and all other buildings are located';

"c. a survey was to be made at Mrs. Townsend's expense 'for the purpose of providing an accurate description of the tract to be conveyed to' the Merwarths;

"d. the agreement was conditioned upon Mr. Moore's willingness to assign his rights under the sheriff's sale and the ...


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