No. 1741 October Term, 1978, No. 1789 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, No. 2970, August Term, 1975, Civil Action-Law.
Mitchell S. Greenspan, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Neil E. Jokelson and with him Arnold Machles, Philadelphia, for appellee, Kaiser.
David A. Saltzburg, Philadelphia, did not submit a brief on behalf of appellee, Meinzer.
Ellis Cook, Philadelphia, did not submit a brief on behalf of appellee, Gallagher.
Charles I. Richman, Philadelphia, did not submit a brief on behalf of Commonwealth Land Title, appellee.
John G. Harkins, Jr., Philadelphia, did not submit a brief on behalf of Chemical Bank, appellee.
John Swartz, Philadelphia, did not submit a brief on behalf of National Union, appellee.
Frederick Gitterman, Philadelphia, did not submit a brief on behalf of Jack Arnold, appellee.
Price, Gates and Dowling, JJ.
[ 272 Pa. Super. Page 210]
The instant appeals present the issue of the effect of a trial court's action in ordering a bifurcated trial and the duties imposed upon the parties once the first phase of the trial is completed. On March 27, 1978, Judge Stanley Greenberg of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County entered an order after completion of a non-jury trial on one count of plaintiffs' three count complaint, and held that plaintiffs could not recover on a promissory note executed by Commonwealth Development and Construction Company (Development) on the grounds of usury. This conclusion was affirmed in an order by Judge Greenberg on May 15, 1978. Besides affirming the earlier decision, Judge Greenberg ruled in his May 15 order that his earlier decision was interlocutory, but that plaintiffs, Ray Kaiser and Kaiser Associates, Inc. (Kaiser), could appeal the decision under the Act of July 31, 1970, P.L. 673, art. V, § 501, 17 P.S. § 211.501(b) (Supp.1978-79). Both parties have appealed from the May 15, 1978 order. Kaiser, the appellant at No. 1789, challenges the merits of Judge Greenberg's order finding Kaiser's claim barred on the grounds of usury.*fn1 Development, the appellant at No. 1741, challenges that
[ 272 Pa. Super. Page 211]
portion of the May 15 order that granted Kaiser permission to appeal. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand to the trial court.
The background of these appeals involves a very complex series of transactions involving individuals and corporate entities in two states and real property in a third. Stated as succinctly as possible, the pertinent facts are these. On October 4, 1972, Kaiser, a New York corporation, and Development, a corporation organized under the laws of this Commonwealth, entered into a loan transaction whereby Kaiser extended a loan of $100,000 to Development. As security for the loan, Development gave a promissory note and a third mortgage on ...