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WILLIAM M. SPAIN v. CHARLES C. VICENTE (06/10/83)

filed: June 10, 1983.

WILLIAM M. SPAIN, APPELLANT,
v.
CHARLES C. VICENTE, DAVID E. SHIELS, AND ROBERT E. FEELEY



No. 766 PHILADELPHIA, 1981, Appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Philadelphia County, No. 5127 April Term, 1979.

COUNSEL

Taras M. Wochok, Paoli, for appellant.

Mark Edward Lichty, Philadelphia, for appellees.

Hester, Cirillo and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 138]

This is an appeal from an Order granting a Motion for Summary Judgment in favor of Robert E. Feeley. The underlying action alleged the defamation of appellant by Charles C. Vicente, David E. Shiels, and appellee Feeley. After closely scrutinizing the record before us, we affirm.

On March 5, 1979, after an internal investigation, appellant was relieved of his position as Superintendent of Police, Eastern Region, for Conrail, and demoted to Lieutenant. Appellant thereafter initiated the instant lawsuit against Feeley, who was his former supervisor, and against Vincente and Shiels, both former Conrail police officers. The complaint was filed on May 1, 1979. Appellee responded with a timely answer containing new matter on May 23, 1979. After interrogatories were answered, depositions of appellant and appellee were conducted on May 5, 1980. Subsequently, appellee filed an amended answer with new matter on July 25, 1980. A Motion for Summary Judgment was filed by appellee on September 26, 1980, and was granted on February 25, 1981. Judgment was entered in favor of appellee and appellant thereafter perfected this appeal.

Appellant's fundamental argument is that the lower court erred in granting appellee's motion for a summary judgment. Summary judgment is appropriate only in those cases which are clear and free from doubt. Dippold v. Amherst Ins. Co., 290 Pa. Super. 206, 434 A.2d 203 (1981);

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 139]

"(a)(1) The defamatory character of the communication.

(2) Its publication by the defendant.

(3) Its application to the plaintiff.

(4) The understanding by the recipient of its defamatory meaning.

(5) The understanding by the recipient of it as intended to be ...


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