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NEW LONDON OIL COMPANY v. BRUCE E. ZIEGLER AND ANNIS H. ZIEGLER (12/07/84)

filed: December 7, 1984.

NEW LONDON OIL COMPANY, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
BRUCE E. ZIEGLER AND ANNIS H. ZIEGLER



No. 390 Pittsburgh, 1982, Appeal from the Judgment entered April 12, 1982, Court of Common Pleas, Warren County, Civil Division at No. A.D. 711 of 1980.

COUNSEL

James C. Blackman, Oil City, for appellant.

Jon P. Marti, Warren, for appellee.

Tamilia, Johnson and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 381]

New London Oil Company, Inc., appellant, appeals from the entry of judgment in favor of appellees Bruce E. and Annis H. Ziegler in this declaratory judgment action. Appellant

[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 382]

    corporation is the successor to original plaintiff Ken Fowler & Co., which company was assigned the rights of Ernest Bencivenga, David Bencivenga, Charles Kaempffer and Kenneth Fowler, who entered into an oil and gas lease and two equipment purchase agreements as lessees/purchasers with appellees, owners of the real and personal property at issue. Appellant had sought a declaratory judgment regarding the rights and duties of the parties with respect to the lease and the two equipment purchase agreements.

We now vacate the April 12, 1982 entry of judgment, as well as the January 27, 1982 decree nisi.

Pursuant to negotiations between the parties in 1979, an oil and gas lease was executed, effective December 28, 1979, leasing a tract of land, as well as the oil and gas in and under that tract, to appellant's predecessors in interest, Ernest Bencivenga, David Bencivenga, Charles Kaempffer and Kenneth Fowler. Appellant's predecessors were given the exclusive drilling and operating rights for the production of oil and gas. Two equipment purchase agreements were also executed, regarding various equipment necessary to the drilling operation.

Following a series of conflicts involving use of a warehouse located on the leased tract and certain equipment contained within the warehouse and in a pipeyard on the tract, appellant filed a declaratory judgment action on November 24, 1980. The court requested a stipulation as to the issues to be determined and following the filing of the stipulation, entered judgment in favor of appellant, declaring, inter alia, that all equipment and materials located on the premises and previously utilized by appellees for the drilling operations at the time of the execution of the lease were subject to the agreements.

Appellees filed exceptions and a hearing was held where the parties orally stipulated that the purpose of the hearing was to hear all testimony regarding the intent of the parties in negotiating and entering into the lease ...


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