No. 1076 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, No. 1110 March Term, 1977.
Robert G. Bernberg, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Fred Lowenschuss, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Spaeth, Brosky and Hoffman, JJ.
[ 290 Pa. Super. Page 198]
Appellants contend that the lower court erred in quashing their appeal from an arbitration award. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the order of the lower court and remand for reinstatement of the appeal.
Appellee commenced this action in assumpsit against appellants in early 1977. The matter was submitted to compulsory arbitration, and on June 20, 1979, after hearing testimony, the arbitrators found for appellee in the amount of $7,500. The award of the arbitrators was docketed on June 27, 1979. Nineteen days later, on July 16, 1979, appellants filed an appeal from the arbitration award in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. On that same day appellants purchased a money order for $241.18, the exact amount specified in a bill of costs which they had received from appellee, and their counsel sent it by certified mail to appellee's counsel at the office address listed on papers which the latter had filed earlier in the litigation. Appellee's counsel had, however, moved his office sometime during the pendency of the litigation, and consequently the envelope containing the money order for appellee's accrued costs was returned unopened to appellants' counsel on July 26, 1979, twenty-nine days after the docketing of the arbitration award. Realizing his mailing error, appellants' counsel had the money order hand-delivered that same day to appellee's counsel at his new address. Appellee has apparently retained the payment of costs to date.
On August 21, 1979, appellee filed a motion to quash appellant's appeal from the arbitration award. The basis of the motion was appellants' failure to pay appellee's accrued costs within twenty days, pursuant to 5 P.S. § 71 (repealed).*fn1
[ 290 Pa. Super. Page 199]
Appellee noted in his motion that appellants had tendered the costs on July 26, but contended that such tender was untimely. The lower court agreed and granted appellee's motion to quash. This appeal followed.
Appellants contend that they made an honest effort to pay all appellee's accrued costs within twenty days after the docketing of the arbitration award, and that the mere fact that they inadvertently mailed their payment to the wrong address does not warrant the quashing of their appeal.*fn2 We
[ 290 Pa. Super. Page 200]
agree. The payment of costs requirement of 5 P.S. § 71 has been held to be mandatory and jurisdictional. James F. Oakley, Inc. v. School District of Philadelphia, 464 Pa. 330, 334-35, 346 ...