No. 2137 October Term 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Family Court Division, Domestic Relations Branch, December Term, 1977, No. 2473.
Edward Blumstein, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Bernard J. McLafferty, Norristown, for appellee.
Spaeth, Stranahan and Sugerman, JJ.*fn*
[ 277 Pa. Super. Page 429]
This is an appeal from an order refusing to vacate or modify a determination that an arbitration should be held in Pennsylvania.
On May 9, 1974, Stanley Friedman, appellant, entered into a separation agreement with his wife, Barbara Friedman, appellee. The agreement provided for the support of Mrs. Friedman, the custody and support of the three children of the marriage, and the disposition of real and personal property
[ 277 Pa. Super. Page 430]
after the divorce. The parties were divorced in December 1974.
On November 30, 1977, Mrs. Friedman demanded arbitration pursuant to a clause in the separation agreement that provided that "[A]ny dispute arising out of this Agreement shall be resolved by arbitration." In her demand, which was to the American Arbitration Association, Mrs. Friedman alleged a breach of the separation agreement and requested relief in the amount of $16,652.07 plus payment of a life insurance premium referred to in the agreement. Her demand also requested that arbitration be held in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
On December 16, 1977, Mr. Friedman filed a complaint in equity and a petition for injunction, alleging compliance with the separation agreement and objecting to arbitration. One of his objections was that proper jurisdiction of Mrs. Friedman's action, whether litigated through arbitration or the courts, was in Colorado, where he lived. On March 15, 1978, the lower court denied the petition for injunction.
On May 15, 1978, the American Arbitration Association stated in a letter to counsel for both parties that it had "determined that Pennsylvania is the appropriate hearing locale." On June 16, 1978, Mr. Friedman filed a "Petition to Vacate, Modify or Correct [this] Determination," alleging that the American Arbitration Association had "neither the right, power, nor authority to determine" hearing locale, and no jurisdiction over him as a resident of Colorado. On July 12, 1978, the lower court denied this petition. Mr. Friedman appealed from this denial, and his appeal is now before us for disposition.
In the meantime, pending disposition of Mr. Friedman's appeal, both parties participated in a hearing in Philadelphia on April 30, 1979, before a domestic Relations Panel of the American Arbitration Association. They expressly agreed that by submitting to arbitration, Mr. ...