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MARY CAUSER v. ROBERT A. MANDARINO (02/08/85)

filed: February 8, 1985.

MARY CAUSER, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF MARY MILLIGAN, DECEASED
v.
ROBERT A. MANDARINO, INDIVIDUALLY AND TRADING AND DOING BUSINESS AS MON VALLEY REAL ESTATE. APPEAL OF COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE REAL ESTATE COMMISSION. JOHN S. TYLKA AND BERTHA TYLKA, HIS WIFE V. ROBERT A. MANDARINO, INDIVIDUALLY AND ROBERT A. MANDARINO, T/D/B/A MON VALLEY REAL ESTATE & INSURANCE. APPEAL OF COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE REAL ESTATE COMMISSION



COUNSEL

Wayne T. Scott, Harrisburg, for appellants.

Daniel Myshin, Monessen, and Vincent J. Morocco, Greensberg, for Causer, appellee (at 198).

Vincent J. Morocco, Greensburg, for Tylka, appellee (at 199).

Johnson, Cercone and Hester, JJ. Hester, J., files a dissenting statement.

Author: Cercone

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 566]

This appeal originates from an Order issued by the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County sitting en banc. The Order mandated that the Commonwealth, through the State Real Estate Commission (the "Commission") establish a complete list of claimants against the defendant licensee, Robert A. Mandarino, and also that the Commonwealth file a proposed schedule of distribution establishing the maximum amount recoverable by each individual claimant in accordance with the court's decision.

These matters arose from the activities of defendant, formerly licensed by the state as a realtor. His fraudulent dealings with claimants herein, in separate unrelated transactions, resulted in their suffering a financial loss. These claimants, appellees herein, obtained judgments against defendant. Both appellees subsequently petitioned for relief under the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act, 63 P.S. § 455.101 et seq. ("Act"), according to the Real Estate Recovery Fund provisions ("Funds"), 63 Pa.C.S.A. § 455.801 et seq. The aggregate claims of appellees against the Funds is in excess of $20,000. The Commission, appellant herein, declined to pay the appellees because it maintained that the statute establishing the Funds placed a $20,000 maximum limitation for payment of all aggrieved persons for the wrongful acts of any one licensee.

Pursuant to this position, the Commission filed a Petition for Joinder of All Claimants and Prospective Claimants for Relief Through the Real Estate Recovery Fund. Neither claimant responded to the Commission's Petition. The lower

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 567]

    court then granted the Commission's Motion to Make Absolute the Court's Rule to Show Cause why such petition should not be granted. Pursuant to this Order, the Commission developed a list or class of claimants against the defendant.

The appellees filed objections to this list*fn1 and the Court held oral arguments in the matter. The Court ordered the Commission to establish a complete list of claimants and file a schedule of distribution in accordance with its opinion.

The issue on appeal is whether the Act, and particularly Section 803(d) of the Act, limits the recovery from the Fund to $20,000.00 per licensee.

A determination of the issue requires that this court interpret Section 803(d) of the Act which ...


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