Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Oct. T., 1971, No. 3756, in case of Irving H. Piltzer and Lillian Piltzer, his wife v. Independence Federal Savings and Loan Association of Philadelphia.
William L. Matz, with him Erwin Miller, and Zoob & Matz, for appellant.
Stephen M. Feldman, with him Joseph G. Feldman, and Feldman & Feldman, for appellees.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Nix took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Irving H. and Lillian Piltzer brought an action in equity in behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated against Independence Federal Savings & Loan Association. Plaintiffs alleged that they were mortgagors of Independence Federal, and that the defendant's practice of requiring its mortgagors to escrow taxes, water rents, and insurance premiums either constituted a breach of an express trust, violated a constructive
trust relationship, or amounted to a contract of adhesion.
After an answer was filed, discovery conducted, and certain facts stipulated, plaintiffs moved for an order declaring their cause to be a class action. Pa.R.C.P. 2230. Following submission of briefs and oral argument, the trial court declared plaintiffs' case to be a class action. In its January 12, 1973 order, the trial court also set forth conditions for maintaining the class, defining the class, and providing notice to prospective class members. From this order Independence Federal appeals.*fn1
Liminally, this Court is confronted with the question whether the order permitting plaintiffs' suit to proceed as a class action is a final order. We hold that the order appealed from is not final, but is rather interlocutory, and therefore the appeal must be quashed.*fn2
A final order is one which ends the litigation, or alternatively, disposes of the entire case. James Banda, Inc. v. Virginia Manor Apartments, Inc., 451 Pa. 408, 303 A.2d 925 (1973); Reynolds Metal Co. v. Berger, 423 Pa. 360, 362, 223 A.2d 855, 856 (1966); Myers v. Travelers Insurance Co., 353 Pa. 523, 524-25, 46 A.2d 224, 225 (1946); Keasbey's Trust Estate, 342 Pa. 439, 444-45, 20 A.2d 281, 283 (1941). Conversely phrased, "[a]n order is interlocutory and not final unless it effectively puts the defendant 'out of court.'" Ventura v. Skylark Motel, Inc., 431 Pa. 459, 463, 246 A.2d 353, 355 (1968); see Posternack v. American Casualty Co., 421 Pa. 21, 23-24, 218 A.2d 350, 351 (1966); McGee v. Singley, 382 Pa. 18, 114 A.2d 141 (1955).
We cannot say that Independence Federal is effectively "out of court." Ventura ...