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ASSOCIATES FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY v. WILLIAM F. O'DELL AND MARY E. O'DELL HIS WIFE (01/18/79)

decided: January 18, 1979.

ASSOCIATES FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
WILLIAM F. O'DELL AND MARY E. O'DELL HIS WIFE, AND A. G. TURLEY, INDIVIDUALLY, AND T/D/B/A A. G. SERVICE, APPELLEES



No. 242 April Term, 1978, Appeal from the judgment entered on September 29, 1977, of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, Pennsylvania, Civil Division at A.D. No. 76-199.

COUNSEL

Reed J. Davis, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Armand R. Cingolani, Jr., Butler, for appellee, A. G. Turley.

Lester S. Becker, Butler, for appellees, William O'Dell and Mary E. O'Dell.

Price, Hester and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 262 Pa. Super. Page 586]

This appeal raises the question of whether a garagekeeper has a common law possessory lien on a motor vehicle for costs of towing and storage as against the assignee of an installment sales contract on the vehicle. In the circumstances presented, we hold no such lien exists.

On March 25, 1975, appellees William F. and Mary E. O'Dell purchased a Kenworth tractor from Anderson Sales Service, Inc. of Butler County, Pennsylvania. The Installment Sales Contract and Security Agreement were assigned

[ 262 Pa. Super. Page 587]

    to appellant, Associates Financial Services Company, Inc., (Associates). In early February, 1976, appellee O'Dell, in the course of his employment, drove the vehicle to Texarkana, Texas, where it became disabled. O'Dell requested appellee Turley, a truck towing, storage, and repairman from Zelienople, Pennsylvania, to drive to Texas, retrieve the vehicle, and bring it back. Turley complied, incurring charges for towing and storage in the amount of $2,772.00.*fn1

Meanwhile, O'Dells had defaulted in their payments on the tractor and Associates sought to regain possession. When it found the vehicle in Turley's custody, Associates instituted the instant replevin action*fn2 against O'Dells and Turley, individually and doing business as A. G. Service. Turley answered in counterclaim a possessory lien in the tractor of $2,772.00. The court awarded possession of the vehicle to Associates, but granted Turley a possessory lien in the tractor for the stated amount. Associates brought this appeal.

It is well settled in this Commonwealth that possessory liens*fn3 are fundamentally consensual in nature and arise from some agreement, either expressed or implied, between the owner of goods and the bailee who renders some service with respect to the goods. Meyers v. Bratespiece, 174 Pa. 119, 34 A. 551 (1896); Apartment Owners and Managers, Etc. v. ...


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