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MIXER v. SMITH (06/21/74)

decided: June 21, 1974.

MIXER, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
SMITH, ET AL.



Appeal from orders of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Sept. T., 1973, No. 2227, in case of Mixer, Inc. v. Frank Smith and Crystal Smith, Frank Smith and/or Crystal Smith a/k/a and d/b/a Select Enterprises, Select Enterprises, Inc., Mixer, Select Associates, Inc., Mixer Enterprises, Inc. and Emmett Coe.

COUNSEL

Jerold S. Berschler, with him Paul R. Rosen, for appellant.

Joseph Lurie, for appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Cercone, J.

Author: Cercone

[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 275]

Plaintiff, Mixer, Inc., commenced this suit on September 13, 1973, by filing a complaint in assumpsit against several individual and corporate defendants including Select Associates, an appellee herein. Shortly thereafter Select filed preliminary objections to the complaint citing the arbitration clause in the contract as a bar to the lower court's exercising jurisdiction. The court sustained the preliminary objections and dismissed the complaint as to Select.

The plaintiff also petitioned the court for writs of foreign attachment against two unregistered California corporations, Parliament News, Inc. and All American Distributing Co., both of which did business in Pennsylvania and allegedly were indebted to one or more of the defendants. Unable to achieve service on the corporations in Pennsylvania, the court at the plaintiff's request employed the provisions of the Act of November 15, 1972, P. L. 1063, No. 271, 42 Pa. S. ยงยง 8302, 8307 (Supp. 1974),*fn1 and directed the sheriff to serve the

[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 276]

Secretary of the Commonwealth as attorney for the corporations. The California corporate garnishees thereafter argued that the garnishment should be dissolved because venue was improper in Philadelphia County. The court also sustained that objection and dissolved the garnishment. From these two adverse determinations of the court below, the plaintiff has appealed.

I.

The plaintiff first argues that the lower court erred when it sustained Select's jurisdictional objection based on the arbitration clause in the contract. While such clauses are statutorily favored,*fn2 we agree with the plaintiff that a long line of Pennsylvania case law holds that arbitration clauses, nevertheless, do not affect the jurisdiction of the courts in Pennsylvania.

In the leading case of Central Contracting Co. v. C. E. Youngdahl & Co., 418 Pa. 122 (1965), the court was confronted with a contract in which the parties agreed to arbitrate disputes arising thereunder. The court, having noted that parties "cannot change by contract the rules of jurisdiction or venue embodied in the various laws of this ...


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