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NICHOLAS KOVACS & HOUSING IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION v. REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY CITY PHILADELPHIA (11/26/74)

decided: November 26, 1974.

NICHOLAS KOVACS & HOUSING IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION, APPELLANTS,
v.
REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLEE, AND SARAH GOODMAN, INTERVENING APPELLEE. SARAH GOODMAN, APPELLANT, V. REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA AND HOUSING IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION, APPELLEES



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of A Condemnation Proceeding in Rem by Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia for the Purpose of Redevelopment of North Philadelphia Redevelopment Area, Model Cities Neighborhood Redevelopment Area, Model Cities Neighborhood Development Area No. 11 Philadelphia, Including Certain Land, Improvements and Properties; Claim of Housing Improvement Corp., Owner, No. 3891 September Term, 1970.

COUNSEL

Charles Polis, with him, of counsel, Polis and Polis, for Sarah Goodman.

Nicholas Scafidi, with him Peter A. Galente, Thomas D. Watkins and Flora E. Roomberg, for Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia.

William P. Cole, with him Robert J. Zinn, for Nicholas Kovacs and Housing Improvement Corporation.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 412]

Before us are two appeals from orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in an eminent domain case. The history of the litigation between the protagonists, Sarah Goodman and Nicholas Kovacs, is complex. It is also unedifying and we will confine our recital to the bare essentials.

Goodman delivered to Kovacs $24,000 which he was to use to purchase income producing properties for Goodman. Kovacs bought the properties but placed them in the name of Housing Improvement Corporation, a corporation owned by him. Kovacs also refused to account for or pay over rentals received from the properties. In February 1968, Goodman brought an action in equity against Kovacs and Housing Improvement Corporation, seeking an order directing the conveyance

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 413]

    to Goodman of the properties purchased with her funds and an accounting. A general judgment was entered in favor of Goodman and against Kovacs and Housing Improvement Corporation for failure to file an answer, and on December 12, 1968 a final decree was entered for the relief requested, to wit, conveyance by the defendants of the properties to Goodman and an accounting to her for rents. On May 5, 1969, Goodman's counsel by petition and rule obtained another order from a judge of the court below directing Kovacs and Housing Improvement Corporation to convey and deliver possession of the properties to Goodman and to account for rents. Goodman's counsel did not file the May 5, 1969 order in the prothonotary's office. Instead, on May 7, 1969, he entered into an agreement between himself as Goodman's counsel and Kovacs, by which the latter was to pay to the former, presumably in his representative capacity, $27,292.80 in installments. Kovacs further agreed on default to present himself to the court "for compliance" with the May 5, 1969 order.

On September 30, 1970 the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia filed a Declaration of Taking of premises 732 North 19th Street, Philadelphia, owned by Housing Improvement Corporation. This property was not one purchased with Goodman's funds and was not a subject of the orders in the equity action.

On October 23, 1970, Kovacs being allegedly in default under the agreement of May 7, 1969, Goodman's counsel filed in the equity action a document called an Assessment of Damages which recited that Kovacs owed a balance of $17,486.43 on the agreement of May 7, 1969. The prothonotary seems not actually to have assessed damages in that or any amount and no money ...


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