No. 1596 October Term, 1979, No. 1597 October Term, 1979, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, Of Montgomery County, No. 7418 of 1979 and No. 7414 of 1979.
H. Ronald Klasko, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Jay N. Abramowitch, Reading, for appellees.
Spaeth, Cavanaugh and Cirillo, JJ.*fn*
[ 277 Pa. Super. Page 466]
On April 27, 1979, two suits in equity and petitions for preliminary injunction were filed. An examination of the captions reveal that both suits involve the same parties, the only difference being that Hazardous Materials Training Specialists, Inc. (HMTS) is a defendant in No. 1596 while the corporation is a plaintiff in No. 1597.
After commencement of these suits service was as follows: In No. 1956 service was made upon the defendant, HMTS, in Montgomery County serving its president, Richard N. Callahan (who was also the sole plaintiff in this action). Service was then made upon all of the other defendants in Berks County, Pennsylvania, through a procedure set forth in Pa. Rules of Civil Procedure, 1504(b)(1) which, however, as sought to be employed herein, is dependent upon effective service upon one of the principal defendants within the county in which the action was commenced.
In No. 1957 service was made upon Transportation Skills Program and Hazardous Materials Publishing Co., Inc. at their office in Montgomery County by serving Richard N. Callahan as sole officer or agent in charge of defendant's office (Callahan was also a co-plaintiff in this action).*fn1 Service was then made upon all of the other defendants in Berks County, Pennsylvania using the same procedure which is based upon the same condition as in No. 1596. Preliminary Objections were filed on behalf of all defendants raising, among other issues, the validity of the service upon defendants. The lower court found the service invalid and ordered it stricken. We need only address this issue. If the
[ 277 Pa. Super. Page 467]
service upon Mr. Callahan as an executive officer of HMTS in No. 1596 and as an agent in charge of an office in No. 1957 is invalid, then it follows that the attempted service upon all other defendants is invalid also. In both of these cases we are concerned with the rules applicable to service of process upon corporate defendants. Service upon corporate defendants is governed by Pa.R.C.P. 2180(a) which provides in part:
(a) Service of process within the county in which the action was commenced shall be made upon a corporation or similar entity by the sheriff of that county by handing an attested or certified copy of the process, as prescribed by Rule 1008.
(1) to an executive officer, partner or trustee of the corporation or similar entity; or
(2) to an agent or person for the time being in charge of, and only at, any office or usual place of business of the ...