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STANLEY LANGMAN AND ETHEL LANGMAN v. METROPOLITAN ACCEPTANCE CORP. (08/12/83)

filed: August 12, 1983.

STANLEY LANGMAN AND ETHEL LANGMAN, HUSBAND AND WIFE,
v.
METROPOLITAN ACCEPTANCE CORP., A PENNSYLVANIA CORP., APPELLANT



No. 1398 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia County, No. 4625 May Term, 1977.

COUNSEL

Abe Lapowsky, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Henry Jacobson, Philadelphia, for appellees.

Brosky, Wieand and Beck, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 383]

This is an appeal from an order refusing to strike a judgment confessed pursuant to a warrant contained in a lease. We reverse. Because the confessed judgment included an amount for which there was no authority to confess judgment, the judgment is void and must be stricken.

Stanley and Ethel Langman, as lessor, entered a written agreement to lease premises known as 22 North 60th Street, Philadelphia, to Metropolitan Acceptance Corporation, as lessee. The lease contained, in paragraph 16, a warrant authorizing the lessor to confess judgment against the lessee for "rent and/or any charges reserved in this lease as rent . . . ." The lease required the lessee to keep the premises in good repair. With respect to this requirement, the lease provided as follows:

"In the event of the failure of Lessee promptly to perform the covenants of [the repair clause], Lessor may go upon the demised premises and perform such covenants, the costs thereof, at the sole option of Lessor, to be charged to Lessee as additional and delinquent rent." (emphasis supplied).

In a complaint filed to confess judgment on the foregoing lease, the lessor alleged a default in payment of one month's rent for $85.00, accelerated rent due of $1,275.00, and "necessary repairs in the amount of $2,000.00 . . . ." There is no averment in the complaint or elsewhere in this record that any repairs have ever been made to the

[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 384]

    demised premises.*fn1 The item of $2,000.00 for unmade repairs has not been supported by an estimate for such repairs or even by an identification of the repairs needed. The record contains nothing more than the lessor's bald assertion that the lessee failed to make repairs in the amount of $2,000.00.

[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 385]

Such a record is fatally defective and requires that the judgment be stricken. Because a warrant of attorney authorizing confession of judgment can be an oppressive weapon, a judgment entered pursuant thereto can be accomplished only by strict adherence to the provisions of the warrant of attorney. Kline v. Marianne Germantown Corp., 438 Pa. 41, 45, 263 A.2d 362, 364 (1970); Scott Factors, Inc. v. Hartley, 425 Pa. 290, 292-293, 228 A.2d 887, 888 (1967); Walter E. Heller & Co. v. Lombard Corp., 423 Pa. 333, 335, 223 A.2d 716, 717 (1966); Roche v. Rankin, 406 Pa. 92, 97, 176 A.2d 668, 671 (1962); Pittsburgh v. Charles Zubik & Sons, Inc., 404 Pa. 219, 222, 171 A.2d 776, 778 (1961); Housing Mortgage Corp. v. Tower Development & Investment Corp., 402 Pa. 388, 389, 167 A.2d 146, 147 (1961); Grady v. Schiffer, 384 Pa. 302, 306, 121 A.2d 71, 73 (1956); Continental Bank v. Tuteur, 303 Pa. Super. 489, 493, 450 A.2d 32, 35 (1982); Centennial Bank v. Germantown-Stevens Academy, 277 Pa. Super. 134, 138, 419 A.2d 698, 699 (1980); Florida Crab House, Inc. v. Hake, 259 Pa. Super. 230, 233-234, 393 A.2d 801, 803 (1978); Colony Federal Savings & Loan Association v. Beaver Valley Engineering Supplies Co., 238 Pa. Super. 540, ...


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