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ROBERT H. CROMPTON v. PARK WARD MOTORS (04/30/82)

filed: April 30, 1982.

ROBERT H. CROMPTON, III, APPELLANT,
v.
PARK WARD MOTORS, INC., AND B & N LEASING CORPORATION AND NETWORK LEASING COMPANY, INC.



No. 2544 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Action, of Lancaster County at No. 72 June Term 1979.

COUNSEL

Wayde P. Seidensticker, York, for appellant.

Robert J. Hoelscher, Philadelphia, for Park Ward, appellee.

William A. Atlee, Jr., Lancaster, did not file a brief on behalf of Leasing Company, appellee.

Spaeth, Wieand and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Spaeth

[ 299 Pa. Super. Page 42]

This is an appeal from an order sustaining preliminary objections and dismissing appellant's complaint for lack of in personam jurisdiction. We affirm.

When a defendant properly objects, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the court has in personam jurisdiction. Whalen v. Walt Disney World Co., 274 Pa. Super. 246, 252 n. 3, 418 A.2d 389, 392 n. 3 (1980); Biel v. Herman Lowenstein, Inc., 411 Pa. 559, 192 A.2d 391, 393 (1963). Here, the record includes the complaint and answer, appellant's deposition, and affidavits filed by appellee Park Ward Motors, Inc. An examination of these documents discloses the following facts.

In March 1977, while in New York City, appellant visited appellee Park Ward's showroom. There he saw a gray Rolls Royce sedan, which he decided to lease. Appellant did not, however, sign a contract with Park Ward. Instead, Park Ward sold the Rolls Royce to appellee B & N Leasing Corp., which then leased it to appellant. The lease was executed in the offices of Park Ward, in the presence and at the suggestion of Park Ward's employee. Later, the lease was assigned to appellee Network Leasing Co., Inc.

It was understood that appellant was a Pennsylvania resident, and that the Rolls Royce would be used in Pennsylvania.

[ 299 Pa. Super. Page 43]

Pennsylvania sales tax was applied to the base monthly rental, and Park Ward removed the Pennsylvania license plate from appellant's old car, a Mercedes Benz, and placed it on the Rolls Royce. Walter McQuillan, whose status is disputed, accompanied appellant to his home in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where appellant gave McQuillan title to his Mercedes Benz and a check for the first payment under the lease. McQuillan remained at appellant's home overnight and returned to New York City the next day.

In his complaint appellant alleges that Park Ward represented that he would receive a $9,000 trade-in credit for his Mercedes Benz; that this representation was false and known by all of appellees to be false; and that appellant relied on it, and would not have entered into the lease for the Rolls Royce without receiving a $9,000 trade-in credit for his ...


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