Raymond Radakovich, Alan Frank, I.P.P., Pittsburgh, Stanley A. Uhr, Pechner, Sacks, Dorfman, Rosen & Richardson, Philadelphia, for appellants.
H. Yale Gutnick, Roger Curran, W. Arch Irvin, Jr., Robert E. Wayman, Wayman, Irvin, Trushel & McAuley, Pittsburgh, for appellee, Gerald Peckich.
Edwin J. Strassburger, Rose, Schmidt & Dixon, Pittsburgh, for appellee, Arthur Silverman.
W. Gregg Kerr, Jr., Edward G. O'Connor, Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott, Pittsburgh, for amicus curiae, The Levinson Steel Co.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, C. J., and Eagen and O'Brien, JJ., concur in the result.
The appellants, Raymond Radakovich and Alan Frank, were found guilty of contempt of court for the alleged violation of an order of the trial court of Beaver County. Although the proceedings leading up to the entry of the contempt order are quite lengthy and complex -- involving various civil and criminal cases in two counties -- we will confine ourselves to an outline of that portion of the dispute necessary to decide the instant appeal.
The contempt order against the appellants arose out of an equity proceeding filed by John Robert Woods and Anthony J. Pivirotto. Their complaint alleged that they
were in partnership with defendants, Gerald Peckich and Arthur Silverman, who had entered into an agreement to purchase certain industrial acreage in Beaver County from defendant A. M. Byers Company (Byers), a subsidiary of defendant, The General Tire and Rubber Company. Plaintiffs also alleged that defendants Peckich and Silverman had assigned their rights under the purchase agreement to an unknown third party who was to salvage certain materials located on the property, develop some of the property, and deliver title to approximately ninety acres of the property to defendants Peckich and Silverman. Additionally, plaintiffs joined as defendants various other parties whom they alleged were planning to participate in either the purchasing, leasing, or financing of portions of the industrial acreage. These additional defendants included Beaver County Industrial Development Authority who plaintiffs alleged was planning to purchase a portion of the industrial acreage, Levinson Steel Company, who would eventually use that portion of the acreage; and Mellon Bank, who would be involved in the financing. Plaintiffs sought an injunction against all defendants essentially requesting that all contemplated transactions be stopped, that the sales agreement for the industrial acreage be rescinded, and that the court order a new agreement which would include the plaintiffs.
The equity action was filed and indexed as a lis pendens against the industrial acreage. Defendants Peckich and Silverman filed an answer. Defendant Levinson Steel Company filed a motion requesting that the action be dismissed as to certain defendants. This motion was granted as to all defendants except the parties to the original sales agreement, Peckich, Silverman, Byers, and Byers' parent company, The General Tire and Rubber Company.
Defendant Levinson Steel Company also moved, as did Peckich and Silverman, to ...