Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1973, No. 1633, in case of St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, a corporation v. Louis C. Boscia.
Leonard E. Sweeney, for appellant.
Aaron Cohen, for appellee.
Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Van der Voort, J.
[ 231 Pa. Super. Page 166]
The appellant, Louis Boscia, appeals to this Court from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County; the Order of Court was issued on October 1, 1973. This case presents what might well be termed a procedural "quagmire" and a history and discussion of the complicated events leading to the October 1st Order is a necessary precedent to any resolution of the varied issues, claims and representations made by appellant and appellee.
On November 13, 1972, the plaintiff-appellee filed a Complaint in Assumpsit against the defendant-appellant, alleging a debt due to past business dealings between the parties. The appellant, within twenty days
[ 231 Pa. Super. Page 167]
of the service of the Complaint, filed an Answer. In the Answer, appellant responded to each allegation in the Complaint with either an admission or simply with the word "denied."
On June 20, 1973, the parties appeared before the lower court for a pre-trial conference. At this time counsel for appellee presented a motion for judgment on the pleadings as a result of appellant's Answer being in the form of a general denial. (See Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1029). Appellant's counsel made a motion for leave to amend his Answer but this request was denied.
It is at this point of the proceedings that the factual histories offered by the parties are divergent and present a perplexing and somewhat troublesome problem for this Court. Counsel for the defendant-appellant claims that a copy of the plaintiff-appellee's motion for judgment on the pleadings was never served on appellant's counsel; he further claims that the motion was not put on the argument list for the Court en Banc as is allegedly required by local court rules. Further, appellant's counsel maintains he left the conciliation ". . . under the impression that the order for judgment on the pleadings would not be signed, but that negotiations with appellee's counsel would remain open for a reasonable time." Next, counsel for appellant claims he was unaware that judgment had been entered for appellee until July 20, 1973 (one month after the conciliation) when he received a copy of a letter sent to his client by appellee's counsel requesting payment of the judgment.
Counsel for appellee relates a contrary version of the facts. He claims that statements by appellant's counsel are without credibility. He notes that during the pre-trial conciliation, counsel for appellant was advised by the lower court that it would ...