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DIETRICH INDUSTRIES v. DAVID ABRAMS (04/12/82)

submitted: April 12, 1982.

DIETRICH INDUSTRIES, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
DAVID ABRAMS, ESQUIRE



No. 316 PITTSBURGH, 1981, Appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, No. G.D. 79-0098.

COUNSEL

Maurice A. Nernberg, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

David Abrams, Monroeville, appellee, in pro. per.

Hester, Johnson and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 204]

Appellant filed a complaint against appellee, Attorney David Abrams, who represented Jonnet Corporation in a series of legal actions against appellant. In its five-count complaint, appellant alleges malicious use of process and/or abuse of process with respect to three separate actions instituted by appellee. Preliminary objections and demurrers to each count were filed and sustained by the trial court and the complaint was dismissed without leave to amend. This appeal followed.*fn1

To properly analyze appellant's claims, it is necessary to outline the procedural history of the three actions in question. These actions were filed by appellee's client in response to two lawsuits filed by appellant. Appellant's lawsuits, which were later consolidated for trial, attempted

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 205]

    to break a lease agreement between appellant as lessee and Jonnet as lessor.*fn2 In the first action challenged herein, Jonnet confessed judgment in the amount of $158,626.00 based upon appellant's default of the lease. Contemporaneously, Jonnet procured a Writ of Execution, which was served upon Mellon Bank as garnishee. A stay of said judgment and all other proceedings subsequently was entered and, two years later, the judgment was stricken.

The second proceeding which appellant attacks involved an action in receivership against appellant. Said action was predicated upon the judgment which had been confessed and upon which the stay order had been issued. The receivership action was eventually dismissed.

The third action was directed against Mellon Bank, N.A., and was allegedly an attempt to secure privileged information about appellant in contravention of the stay order which barred further discovery. A protective order was issued to Mellon Bank, N.A., and the venture at discovery was eventually non prossed.

Appellant's complaint alleged in five counts:

(1) That appellee caused the receivership action to be initiated while he was aware that insufficient grounds existed to sustain said action;

(2) That appellee caused a Writ of Execution to be served and instituted garnishment proceedings against appellant's financial institution, Mellon Bank, N.A., while he was aware that insufficient grounds existed to sustain said action;

(3) That appellee caused an action in equity to be filed against Mellon Bank, N.A., to obtain confidential information about appellant in violation of both the National Banking Act and the stay entered by the trial judge.

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 206]

(4) That appellee caused a judgment to be improperly confessed ...


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