NO. 1556 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Domestic Relations Division, No. 2375 of 1978.
Joseph R. Ferdinand, Hazelton, for appellant.
Chester B. Muroski, District Attorney, Wilkes-Barre, for appellee.
Wickersham, Rowley and McEwen, JJ.
[ 312 Pa. Super. Page 392]
We here review an appeal brought by a putative father in a paternity action from an order which denied a petition filed by appellant raising the defense that the applicable statute of limitations had expired. We do not reach the merits of this contention since we decide that the instant appeal must be quashed.
Despite the fact that neither of the parties have raised the issue of whether the order is appealable, we are compelled to address this issue sua sponte. Epstein v. State Farm Insurance Co., 308 Pa. Super. 33, 453 A.2d 1054 (1982); Napet, Inc. v. John Benkart & Sons Co., 288 Pa. Super. 187, 431 A.2d 351 (1981). The jurisdiction of this court is governed by 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 742 which provides as follows:
Section 742. Appeals from courts of common pleas
The Superior Court shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction of all appeals from final orders of the courts of common pleas, regardless of the nature of the controversy or the amount involved, except such classes of appeals as are by provision of this chapter within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or the Commonwealth Court.
[ 312 Pa. Super. Page 393]
A final order is one which ends the litigation, or alternatively, disposes of the entire case. Cassidy v. Keystone Insurance Co., 297 Pa. Super. 421, 443 A.2d 1193 (1982). In contrast, an order is interlocutory and not final unless it effectively puts the defendant "out of court". Philadelphia National Bank v. Lutherland, Inc., 286 Pa. Super. 48, 428 A.2d 232 (1981).
The order here appealed is interlocutory since it merely dismissed the petition of appellant which raised the statute of limitations, leaving for subsequent determination the issues of paternity and support. Thus, it did not end the litigation. See Bellotti v. Spaeder, 433 Pa. 219, 249 A.2d 343 (1969).*fn1 Furthermore, the appeal from this ...