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HOWARD SHAPIRO v. COUNTY GLOUCESTER BY DONALD H. WAGNER AND GEORGE G. SMALL (11/14/78)

decided: November 14, 1978.

HOWARD SHAPIRO
v.
THE COUNTY OF GLOUCESTER BY DONALD H. WAGNER AND GEORGE G. SMALL, APPELLANTS



No. 1457 October Term, 1977, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Trial Division at No. 1540 December Term, 1975.

COUNSEL

Timothy J. Savage, Philadelphia, for appellants.

Paul R. Rosen, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Van der Voort, J., dissents. Watkins, former President Judge, and Hoffman, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Cercone

[ 260 Pa. Super. Page 255]

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Trial Division, dismissing the preliminary objections of defendants-appellants. The complaint of plaintiff-appellee alleged that appellant had breached an employment contract with him and tortiously interfered with his contractual rights. The preliminary objections challenged the court's in personam jurisdiction, and their denial is accordingly appealable under the Act of March 5, 1925, P.L. § 23, § 1, 12 P.S. § 672, which provides that an interlocutory order deciding a jurisdictional question may be appealed.

The reason the court below gave for denying the preliminary objections was as follows:

". . . [R]review of the file, the numerous legal memoranda, the pleadings and Dr. Shapiro's deposition indicated that the important jurisdiction-venue issues had been pursued in a helter-skelter way. Important assertions of defendants' physical presence in Pennsylvania and other jurisdictional activities were modified and later dropped. Others were undercut by Dr. Shapiro's own deposition. The little which then remained presented a very tenuous basis for the application of the "Long Arm Statute."

"However, I concluded that the issue required more orderly presentation of evidence and argument than had occurred at mere oral argument of the preliminary objections. A carefully prepared evidentiary hearing on these issues seemed desirable. E. g., Pa.R.Civ.P. 1098."

"Therefore, without making a final determination of the merits of the issue, I declined disposition of it as presented

[ 260 Pa. Super. Page 256]

    and granted the parties leave to proceed for partial summary judgment."

However, this court held in Radakovich v. Weisman, 241 Pa. Super. 35, 40, 359 ...


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