Egli, Reilly, Wolfson & Feeman, James T. Reilly, Lebanon, for appellant.
Henry & Mesics, Joseph C. Mesics, Steiner & Eby, Robert J. Eby, Lebanon, for appellees.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Jacobs, J., dissents.
[ 242 Pa. Super. Page 530]
The present appeal comes before our court following the grant of a summary judgment by the chancellor below.
[ 242 Pa. Super. Page 531]
We cannot sustain the chancellor's holding that a summary judgment was proper, and will, therefore, reverse the judgment and remand for further proceedings.
The facts indicate that on April 1, 1972, appellant and appellee Frank Dreistadt entered into a one-year renewable lease for certain land. The lease instrument described the land as "[a]ll that certain pasture land and cultivated land, consisting of approximately 135 acres, more or less, together with two (2) barns thereon." The land covered by the lease was part of a tract consisting of approximately 260 acres.
The lease provided that if the appellant occupied the premises after the term of the lease, "this Lease and all of its terms, provisions, conditions, covenants, confessions or confessions of judgment, waivers, remedies and all of Lessor's rights herein specially given and agreed to, shall be in force for another month and so on from month to month as long as the relation of Landlord and Tenant continues." This printed form lease instrument also contained a typewritten clause giving appellant the option of first refusal on any price offered for the purchase of the property.
In April of 1973, prior to the expiration of the one year term of the lease, appellant sent to appellee Frank Dreistadt a check for the entire amount of the rent for another year. Appellee Dreistadt accepted this check, and appellant continued to occupy the property. On February 5, 1974, appellee Dreistadt and his wife appellee Clara Dreistadt signed an agreement to sell the entire 260 acre tract of land to appellee Galen H. Wolgemuth and appellee Henry J. Steiner.
Appellant learned of the impending sale and notified the appellees, by certified letters dated March 6, 1974, that he intended to exercise the right of first refusal provided for in the original lease. Appellant again notified appellees, on March 25, 1974, of his intention to purchase that part of the entire tract covered by the lease. Notwithstanding
[ 242 Pa. Super. Page 532]
these notices, appellees Frank and Clara Dreistadt conveyed the property to appellees Steiner ...