No. 934 April Term, 1976, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Civil Division, dated June 28, 1976-- No. GD-75-9755.
Stanton D. Levenson, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Joseph E. Schmitt, Pittsburgh, for appellees.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Watkins, former President Judge, did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 123]
This appeal arises from an order of the Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County denying appellant's petition to open a default judgment entered against him, and granting appellee's petition to amend assessment of damages. We affirm the decision of the lower court.
A complaint in assumpsit was filed by B.C.Y., Inc., Equipment Leasing Associates, and Richard Carr, and properly
[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 124]
served on defendant, Anthony Bukovich.*fn1 When defendant did not answer the pleading within the prescribed 20-day period, counsel for plaintiff sent a letter by certified mail, with an acknowledged receipt, that unless an answer was filed or an extension arranged before September 15, 1975 (Monday), a default judgment would be taken. This letter voluntarily granted the appellant approximately 18 additional days in which to file. No answer was filed before September 15, and a default judgment in the amount of $86,920 was entered in the afternoon that day. Twenty-one days after receiving notice of the entry of default judgment, appellant filed his petition to open the judgment. At the hearing on appellant's petition to open, appellee presented a petition to amend the assessment of damages. The lower court denied appellant's petition to open the judgment, but granted appellee's petition to amend the assessment of damages, and reassessed the damages to $16,000 plus interest in favor of Equipment Leasing Assoc., with an additional hearing to be held for the amended assessment of damages in favor of B.C.Y., Inc. and Richard Carr.
Appellant raises two issues on appeal: first, whether the lower court abused its discretion in granting appellee's petition to amend the assessment of damages; and two, whether the lower court erred in denying appellant's petition to open the default judgment. We will briefly discuss each.
Concerning the first issue of whether the lower court abused its discretion in amending the judgment, appellant's brief contends that the original judgment of $86,920 was grossly excessive of the reassessed amount of $16,000, and therefore, the judgment was void ab initio and should have been stricken rather than amended. Appellant relies on two cases wherein a confessed judgment was entered on a warrant of ...