Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County in case of Township of Hampden v. William B. Tenny and Shirley A. Tenny, No. 685 December Term, 1974.
William B. Tenny, with him Shirley A. Tenny, appellants, for themselves.
Robert D. Myers, with him Myers & Potteiger, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 302]
This opinion consolidates two appeals brought by William B. Tenny and Shirley A. Tenny (Tennys) which arose from a legal dispute between the Tennys and the Township of Hampden (Township) located in Cumberland County.
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 303]
The Tennys, after receiving Township approval for the subdivision of land, sold several lots from their plan without completing all of the improvements which they agreed to make as a precondition to Township approval of the subdivision plan. The Tennys refused to pave a certain segment of a road in the plan causing the Township to perform the work at a cost to the Township of $3,909.31. On November 22, 1974, the Township filed a complaint in assumpsit against the Tennys in the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County to recover this amount. The action was commenced pursuant to Section 511 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10511, and Hampden Township Ordinance No. 14.
The Tennys, in propria persona, filed an answer containing new matter to the Township complaint and the Township filed a reply to the new matter on January 6, 1975. On February 18, 1976, the Township filed a petition for appointment of arbitrators since the amount involved was within the compulsory arbitration limit. Section 8.1 of the Act of June 16, 1836, P.L. 715, as amended, added by Section 1 of the Act of January 14, 1952, P.L. (1951) 2087, as amended, 5 P.S. § 30 (Arbitration Act). On the same date the Tennys filed preliminary objections to the Township's petition for appointment of arbitrators.
On February 19, 1976, the lower court entered an order directing the case to arbitration and appointing three members of the board of arbitration. The chairman of this board gave approximately 30 days advance notice to both the Tennys and the Township of the hearing date. The hearing was scheduled for April 26, 1976. On that date the Tennys failed to appear. The Township presented its evidence to the board of arbitrators and they entered an award in favor of
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 304]
the Township and against the Tennys in the amount of $3,909.31.
On May 14, 1976, the Tennys filed an appeal from the award of the arbitrators under Section 27 of the Arbitration Act, 5 P.S. § 71. In addition thereto, on May 17, 1976, the Tennys filed a petition to set aside the award of the arbitrators, as is permitted under Section 26 of the Arbitration Act, 5 P.S. § 57. The Township filed an answer to Tennys' petition to set aside the award of the arbitrators. The Tennys then filed preliminary objections to the Township's answer. On July 23, 1976, the lower court considered all pleadings with respect to the ...