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4700 ELLSWORTH ASSOCIATES v. MICHAEL A. DELLA VECCHIA (12/16/81)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: December 16, 1981.

4700 ELLSWORTH ASSOCIATES, A PENNSYLVANIA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
MICHAEL A. DELLA VECCHIA, RECORDER OF DEEDS OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE. WILLIAM D. MARRA, MICHAEL W. KINGSLEY AND CONSTANCE U. BOOTH, APPELLANTS V. MICHAEL A. DELLA VECCHIA, RECORDER OF DEEDS OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE

Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Michael A. Della Vecchia, Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania v. 4700 Ellsworth Associates, a Pennsylvania Limited Partnership, Banksville, Inc., a General Partner of 4700 Ellsworth Associates, Nicholas D. J. Lane, Trustee, Constance U. Booth and Bernard M. Halpern, No. GD 80-28469, and in the case of Michael A. Della Vecchia, Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania v. William D. Marra, Michael W. Kingsley and Constance U. Booth, No. GD 80-28471.

COUNSEL

Timothy W. Silbaugh, with him John J. Ford, Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott, for appellants.

Stanley B. Lederman, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish.

Author: Crumlish

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 219]

This is a consolidated appeal of several parties (Owners) from two Allegheny County Common Pleas

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 220]

Court orders granting the Recorder of Deeds' (Recorder) petition to strike certain documents. We reverse.

On October 30, 1980, Owners submitted condominium documents to the Recorder who recorded them that day under the Unit Property Act.*fn1 The Recorder, contending that the Uniform Condominium Act*fn2 (Uniform Act) applied to condominiums created after October 29, 1980, filed his petition to strike the recordation of these documents for failure to comply with the Uniform Act. The Owners assert that the Uniform Act was not effective until October 31, 1980.

Section 3 of the Uniform Act, passed by the legislature on July 7, 1980, provides that "[t]his act shall take effect in 120 days. . ." with the exception of certain provisions which were to take effect immediately. All parties acknowledge that October 30, 1980 is the one-hundred and twentieth day. The parties, however, disagree as to whether the Act took effect on the last day of the 120-day period, October 30, 1980, or on the first minute of October 31, 1980.

Other sections of the Uniform Act obviate the need to interpret the word "in" as it relates to the precise moment of statutory life in the phrase "in 120 days."*fn3 Section 3102(a), for example, states that "[t]his subpart applies to all condominiums

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 221]

    created within this Commonwealth after the effective date of this subpart. . . ." (Emphasis added.) Further, Section 3102(b) provides that "[t]he provisions of [the Unit Property Act] do not apply to condominiums created after the effective date of this subpart." (Emphasis added.)

"After" is commonly defined as "Later than a particular time or period of time . . . immediately following but not necessarily including the day, period or date of event named." Webster's Third New International Dictionary 38 (1976). It is clear that the Uniform Act applies only to those condominiums created subsequent in time to the effective date of the Act. Even if the effective date of this Act were determined to be October 30, 1980, the legislature has clearly mandated that its provisions will not apply to condominiums created on that date.*fn4 To hold otherwise would require this Court to rewrite the legislation by extending the statutory scope to include units created " on or after " the Act's effective date. We are without authority to insert into a statute words or phrases which were not included by the legislature. Peabody v. Tucker, 4 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 609 (1972), aff'd 447 Pa. 398, 289 A.2d 438 (1972).

Reversed.

Order

The Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Orders Nos. GD80-28469 and GD80-28471, dated December 15, 1980, are hereby reversed.

Disposition

Reversed.


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