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LAWRENCE WILLIAM ROSENWALD v. ALEXANDER F. BARBIERI (07/05/83)

decided: July 5, 1983.

LAWRENCE WILLIAM ROSENWALD, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL CONSTABLES IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT ON NO. 30 E.D., APPEAL DOCKET, 1983, APPELLEE ON NO. 31 E.D., APPEAL DOCKET, 1983,
v.
ALEXANDER F. BARBIERI, COURT ADMINISTRATOR OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE ON NO. 30 E.D., APPEAL DOCKET, 1983, APPELLANT ON NO. 31 E.D., APPEAL DOCKET, 1983



No. 30 & 31 E.D. Appeal Dkt. 1983, Appeal from Order of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania -- entered on the 14th day of February, 1983 at No. 66 T.D. 1980

COUNSEL

Robert Morris Cohen, Wyncote, for appellant in No. 30 E.D.

Kevin P. O'Neill, Media, for appellant (intervening) in No. 30 E.D.

Howland W. Abramson, Philadelphia, for appellant in No. 31 E.D.

Marc G. Brecher, Philadelphia, for appellee Bartle.

Gilbert P. High, Jr., John Gregg, Norristown, for appellee Cheltenham Tp.

Roberts, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson and Zappala, JJ. Larsen, J., dissents. Nix, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Hutchinson, J., did not participate in the decision of this case.

Author: Zappala

[ 501 Pa. Page 565]

OPINION

Plaintiff, Lawrence Rosenwald, is an elected constable of Cheltenham Township, a first class township in Montgomery

[ 501 Pa. Page 566]

County. He and Cheltenham Township District Justice James O'Brien were sued in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County by Gene Reuben. The complaint was filed on March 17, 1980. Reuben alleged that Eric Klein filed a complaint against her in District Justice O'Brien's court on November 18, 1978 claiming $138.00 for dry cleaning services allegedly rendered, that a judgment was entered for Klein in the amount of the claim on December 6, that an Order of Execution was issued on March 29, 1979, that Reuben paid the judgment and costs on April 3, and that despite such payment,*fn1 Plaintiff posted a notice of a constable's sale on Reuben's property on April 7.

Reuben further asserts that she was libeled and suffered mental distress and embarrassment. The action against the District Justice of Montgomery County was dismissed on the basis of judicial immunity. The action against Plaintiff was dismissed on the basis of the statute of limitations. Reuben appealed as to Plaintiff (Rosenwald) only. The Superior Court held that the claim of improper action on the part of the Plaintiff in his capacity of constable was subject to the six month limitation period for actions against officers of the government for acts done in the execution of their office, Judicial Code, Act of July 9, 1976, P.L. 586, No. 142, effective June 27, 1978, § 5522, 42 P.C.S.A. § 5522, and was therefore barred. The court also held that the part of the complaint claiming intentional and malicious libel for the purpose of exposing Reuben to contempt and ridicule and reflecting adversely on her integrity and credit alleged an intentional tort committed outside the scope of ...


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