No. 1385 Philadelphia 1982, APPEAL FROM THE JUDGMENT ENTERED 12/13/83 OF THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, CIVIL NO. 79-3979
Donald A. Semisch, Willow Grove, for appellants.
Marjorie C. Lawrence, Willow Grove, for appellees.
Spaeth, President Judge and Cirillo and Johnson, JJ. Spaeth, President Judge, concurs in the result.
[ 325 Pa. Super. Page 521]
On January 24, 1977, William Bradney, Dennis Sakelson and Ervin Bender formed a joint venture to trade as Terwood Joint Venture. These three individuals brought to the partnership various assets which they personally owned. Among the assets which Dennis Sakelson brought to the joint venture was real estate on Sunset Lane owned by him and Gloria Sakelson, his wife.*fn1 On October 1, 1977 Dennis Sakelson entered into an oral agreement whereby the appellee, Grove Roofing and Siding Company, agreed to install a new built-up roof on the Sunset Lane property, held by the Sakelsons as tenants by the entireties. The work was completed three weeks later and the appellee submitted a written invoice in the amount of $5446.00. On January 1, 1978 the joint venture was dissolved by a written agreement in which Dennis Sakelson consented to assume responsibility for the roof installed by the appellee.
On March 6, 1979 the appellee commenced an action in assumpsit against the Sakelsons seeking payment of the sum of $5446.00. The Sakelsons filed an Answer and New Matter denying that Dennis entered into an oral agreement for the installation of the roof, and claiming that Gloria is an improper defendant and that the written agreement, executed upon dissolution of the joint venture, is invalid. The appellee filed a reply and on March 11, 1980, oral deposition of Gloria Sakelson was taken. A hearing was
[ 325 Pa. Super. Page 522]
held on July 7, 1981. Following testimony and the introduction of Mrs. Sakelson's deposition into evidence, the court found that Gloria Sakelson permitted her husband to act as her agent and to contract for the improvement of jointly-owned property. The court found that the Sakelsons were obligated to the appellees in the principal amount of $5446.00. Exceptions were subsequently filed and denied and this appeal followed.
On appeal, the following questions have been presented for our review: 1) Did the trial court properly consider the facts in rendering its decision? 2) Did an agency relationship exist between the Sakelsons as husband and wife? 3) Does the Statute of Frauds bar a claim against Mrs. Sakelson? 4) Did the oral contract between Dennis Sakelson and the appellee merge into the written agreement dissolving the joint venture? 5) Did the trial court properly grant relief in this instance?
The Superior Court's scope of review in this matter is as follows:
Our appellate role is to determine whether the findings of the trial court are supported by competent evidence and whether the trial court committed error in any application of the law. Brenna v. Nationwide Insurance Co., 294 Pa. Super. 564, 567, 440 A.2d 609, 611 (1982); Metz Contracting, Inc. v. Boxer Heights, Inc., 261 Pa. Super. 177, 180, 395 A.2d 1373, 1375 (1978). The findings of the trial judge in a non-jury case must be given the same weight and effect on appeal as the verdict of a jury, and the findings will not be disturbed on appeal unless predicated upon errors of law or unsupported by competent evidence in the record. Eddystone Fire Co. No. 1 v. Continental Insurance Cos., 284 Pa. Super. 260, 263, 425 A.2d 803, 804 (1981). Furthermore, the ...