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ACADEMY HOUSE COUNCIL v. LESLIE PHILLIPS A/K/A RALPH PLOTKIN AND TAMARA PLOTKIN. APPEAL LESLIE PHILLIPS A/K/A RALPH PLOTKIN (04/08/83)

filed: April 8, 1983.

ACADEMY HOUSE COUNCIL
v.
LESLIE PHILLIPS A/K/A RALPH PLOTKIN AND TAMARA PLOTKIN. APPEAL OF LESLIE PHILLIPS A/K/A RALPH PLOTKIN



Nos. 2696, 2697 Philadelphia 1981, Appeal from the Orders dated September 18, 1981, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Law, at No. 1312 January Term 1980 and No. 1886 December Term 1980.

COUNSEL

Leslie R. Phillips, Philadelphia, appellant, in pro. per.

James Tracey, III, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Hester, Cirillo and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 312 Pa. Super. Page 366]

The orders from which these appeals were taken denied a defendant's petition to strike default judgments which had been entered against her.

For the sake of clarity we shall deal with the appeals separately. Both cases, however, involve the same background, parties and facts. The defendants [hereinafter Leslie and Tamara] are co-tenants of a condominium unit. The plaintiff is the elected management group for the condominium apartment building. The action is over the monthly assessments allegedly owed by the defendants to the plaintiff. The first case was brought to collect the assessments from April to December 1979. The second case was brought to collect the assessments from January to December 1980.

First Case, No. 1312 January Term, 1980

A complaint was filed on January 11, 1980. After preliminary objections were filed by Leslie,*fn1 plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on February 14, 1980. On March 11, 1980, Leslie filed a preliminary objection to the amended complaint asserting that the amended complaint should be struck off for failure to conform to the rules of civil procedure in that plaintiff had filed its amended complaint without the consent of the defendants or leave of the court.*fn2

[ 312 Pa. Super. Page 367]

Plaintiff filed an answer to the preliminary objections, and on April 22, 1980, Leslie's preliminary objections were overruled by the court which added to its order the words "defendant shall have the right to plead over within 20 days after notice of this Order." This order was docketed on April 28, 1980. Meanwhile, on March 18, 1980, plaintiff had filed a praecipe for the entry of judgment against Tamara for failure to file an answer to the complaint. The praecipe was accompanied by a certification of notice to the defendants in the action, which notice was purportedly mailed to Tamara on February 18, 1980. The certification contains the caption and number of the case. The copy of the notice contains the name of one defendant only -- Tamara, and was mailed to Tamara's address.

On May 27, 1980, a praecipe was filed by plaintiff for entry of judgment against Leslie for failure to file an answer pursuant to the April 22 order of the court overruling Leslie's preliminary objections and giving her "the right to plead over within 20 days." The required accompanying certification of notice to the defendant contains the caption of the case and a copy of the February 18 notice to Tamara. There is nothing in the record indicating notice to Leslie. The docket sheet of the court of common pleas contains, with respect to the March 18 praecipe, the notation "Deft. Tamara H. Plotkin only." With respect to the May 27 praecipe the docket sheet contains the words "in sum of $2,440.24 as to Leslie Phillips a/k/a Ralph Plotkin."

Leslie filed her petition to strike the default judgment on June 24, 1980. In her petition to strike Leslie asserted failure by the plaintiff to comply with Rule 237.1 of the Pennsylvania ...


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