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VALLIE V. BRUCE VS MARGARET CLARK TURNER AND ERNEST TURNER (05/09/79)

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


May 9, 1979

VALLIE V. BRUCE VS MARGARET CLARK TURNER AND ERNEST TURNER, APPELLANTS

No. 174 March Term, 1978, Appeal from Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Perry County, at Nos. 75 -- 1074 and 75 -- 1214, Civil Action

Before Van Der Voort, Watkins, And Lipez, JJ.

Per Curiam:

At lower court No. 75 -- 1074, Judgment is Affirmed.

At lower court No. 75 -- 1214, case is remanded for trial.

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF PER CURIAM ORDER:

Appeal is taken from a judgment for plaintiff entered after non-jury trial in an action of ejectment denominated No. 75 -- 1074. In this case an invalid mother had sought to eject her daughter and the daughter's husband from her property. Apparently the defendants had been there to care for the plaintiff. The court found that defendants had no legally enforceable right to remain in plaintiff's premises, defendants' only contractual right being grounded upon the care they rendered to plaintiff so long as she required it in consideration of free tenancy, and a share of the profits from a small grocery store operated on the premises.

In a separate action, No. 75 -- 1214, our appellant Margaret Turner had sued Vallie Bruce in assumpsit to recover the value of the services she had rendered. As we have stated, the lower court in the ejectment case concluded that "Turner is entitled to receive nothing by way of benefits resulting from the period of time from the onset of the Defendant taking up residence with the Plaintiff until the present time other than that compensation as called for in the agreement which this Court found as a fact to exist [the items of compensation of free rental and a certain part of the profits from a family-run store are no part of the claim of appellant in the assumpsit action at No. 75 -- 1214]." Our appellant has concluded that the Order entering judgment for plaintiff in the ejectment action, which Order dismisses their exceptions to the findings of fact, serves as a final Order dismissing the assumpsit cause.*fn1 While this is technically not correct, the record clearly reflecting no disposition of No. 75 -- 1214, both parties are laboring under the misconception that the Order in the ejectment action can dispose of the assumpsit cause. Findings of fact and conclusions of law made after the hearing of a case relate to that case, and the order confirming such findings and conclusions and entering judgment do not extend the jurisdiction of that court to another, wholly unrelated case. Inferring that the ejectment court's finding of no contract dismisses the assumpsit claim (No. 75 -- 1214) is erroneous. The assumpsit cause is ready for trial.

As to the appeal of the judgment in the ejectment action (No. 75 -- 1074), we find that the evidence amply supports the verdict, and that the will written by plaintiff cannot be subsumed to be a contract for care and services.*fn2 The findings and conclusions of the lower court will stand.

At No. 75 -- 1014, Judgment Affirmed.

At No. 75 -- 1214, case remanded for trial.


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