Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of Sandra Steuber and Philip Steuber v. Township of Chester, No. 80-15675.
Joseph Goldberg, with him Robert R. Harris, Margolis, Edelstein & Scherlis, and Christopher F. Gorbey, for appellant.
Marc S. Weisberg, for appellees.
Judges Blatt, Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 135]
The Township of Chester appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which denied the township's petition to open a default judgment in trespass.
The relevant facts leading to the default judgment are as follows:
On October 24, 1980, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Steuber filed their complaint in trespass against the township
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 136]
for personal injuries that Mrs. Steuber had received as a result of a fall she sustained, allegedly caused by the township's negligent maintenance of certain property.*fn1
On November 3, 1980, the Delaware County sheriff served the complaint upon a township employee at the township's administration building. That employee, in turn, forwarded the complaint to the township administrator.*fn2
On December 31, 1980, after hearing nothing from the township, the Steubers served notice upon the township, by certified mail, that they intended to file a praecipe for a default judgment against the township after the expiration ...