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UNIROYAL v. DAVID C. COLEMAN (12/10/74)

decided: December 10, 1974.

UNIROYAL, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
DAVID C. COLEMAN, JR., COMMISSIONER OF RECORDS, DEPARTMENT OF RECORDS, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, AND GEORGE S. FORDE, COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE, DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Uniroyal, Inc., t/a Masland Duraleather Manufacturing Corporation v. David C. Coleman, Jr., Commissioner, Department of Records, and George S. Forde, Revenue Commissioner, No. 5795 August Term, 1973.

COUNSEL

Gordon W. Gerber, with him William A. Kelley, Jr., Gerald Vincent John and Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellant.

Albert J. Persichetti, Deputy City Solicitor, with him Leonard B. Rosenthal, Assistant City Solicitor, and Martin Weinberg, City Solicitor, for appellees.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. President Judge Bowman and Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 597]

On December 22, 1972, the Masland Duraleather Company, a Pennsylvania corporation (Masland), and its sole shareholder, Uniroyal, Inc., a New Jersey corporation (Uniroyal), adopted a plan of liquidation and dissolution of Masland. The plan provided that, in complete liquidation, as of the close of business on December 29, 1972, Masland would distribute all its assets, in cash and in kind, to Uniroyal.

Thereafter, and in order to confirm that which had occurred by liquidation, Masland executed, acknowledged,

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 598]

    and delivered six deeds to Uniroyal relative to six parcels of real property located in the vicinity of 21st Street and Allegheny Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

On January 19, 1973, Uniroyal presented the six deeds for recording, together with certificates setting forth the address of the grantee, to the Department of Records of the City of Philadelphia.*fn1 Uniroyal also presented a claim for exemption from the provisions of Section 19-1400 of the Philadelphia Realty Transfer Tax Act. Appellee Coleman, Commissioner of Records, refused to accept the deeds for recording without affixation of Philadelphia realty transfer tax stamps.

Uniroyal filed a complaint in mandamus in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, seeking an order of court directing the Commissioner of Records to accept the six deeds for recording, without the affixation of Philadelphia realty transfer tax stamps. The lower court dismissed the complaint for the reasons that it did not state a cause of action for relief in mandamus and that Uniroyal had an adequate remedy at law which it had not exhausted. This appeal followed and we reverse.

The threshold question here is whether or not Uniroyal has a right to proceed by mandamus in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County against appellees to require them to record the six deeds, without payment of the Philadelphia realty transfer tax. Our reading of Land Holding Corporation v. Board of Finance and Revenue, 69 Dauphin 191 (1956), aff'd, 388 Pa. 61, 130 A.2d 700 (1957), and Powell v. Shepard, 381 Pa. 405, 113 A.2d 261 (1955), ...


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