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PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ v. CLEVELAND LUMBER COMPANY (04/03/74)

decided: April 3, 1974.

PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ, INC.
v.
CLEVELAND LUMBER COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, March T., 1973, No. 1240, in case of Proctor & Schwartz, Inc. v. Cleveland Lumber Company.

COUNSEL

Matthew M. Strickler, with him Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, for appellant.

Ward T. Williams, with him Patrick T. Ryan, and Drinker, Biddle & Reath, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. (Spaulding, J., absent). Opinion by Jacobs, J.

Author: Jacobs

[ 228 Pa. Super. Page 14]

In this suit on a contract we are asked to determine whether the Pennsylvania courts may obtain in personam jurisdiction over a Georgia corporation which entered into a contract of purchase with a Pennsylvania corporation. The court below held that the Georgia corporation had sufficient minimum contacts with Pennsylvania to justify the exercise of in personam jurisdiction by the Pennsylvania courts. We agree.

On March 19, 1969, after extensive negotiations in Georgia and by mail and over the telephone, appellant, a Georgia corporation, signed a contract while in Georgia for the purchase and construction of lumber drying equipment and related materials. This contract was accepted

[ 228 Pa. Super. Page 15]

    and executed by appellee, a Pennsylvania corporation, on March 25, 1969, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Under the terms of the contract Pennsylvania law applies to the agreement and governs its construction and interpretation. Appellant, Cleveland Lumber Company [hereinafter Cleveland], as purchaser agreed that title to the equipment was to be retained by appellee, Proctor & Schwartz, Inc. [hereinafter Proctor], until the purchase price was paid, and further agreed to bear the risk of loss on the equipment shipped by appellee.

Alleging certain defects in the manufacture and installation of the materials purchased, Cleveland refused to make further installment payments to Proctor. Proctor instituted this action on March 9, 1973, to recover from Cleveland the balance due on the purchase price and other related expenses. Service was made upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under Pennsylvania's "long-arm" statute. Act of November 15, 1972, P. L. 1063, No. 271, §§ 8301 et seq., eff., February 13, 1973, 42 Pa. S. §§ 8301 et seq. (Supp. 1973-74).*fn1 Cleveland then filed preliminary objections to the complaint alleging that it was a nonresident corporation which was not doing business in the Commonwealth, thus raising a question of jurisdiction. The court overruled the objections and this appeal followed.

The pertinent facts show that Cleveland (1) maintains no offices in Pennsylvania, (2) has no interest in any real or personal property in Pennsylvania, (3) has not acquired with the exception of the instant transaction any materials, supplies, or financing, or services from any business entity located in this state, (4) has

[ 228 Pa. Super. Page 16]

    no agents, representatives, or employes in Pennsylvania, (5) has never had any employes, officers, or other individuals representing appellant physically present in Pennsylvania for business purposes, and (6) with the exception of the ...


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