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FOUNTAINVILLE HISTORICAL FARM ASSOCIATION BUCKS COUNTY v. COUNTY BUCKS (03/22/85)

filed: March 22, 1985.

FOUNTAINVILLE HISTORICAL FARM ASSOCIATION OF BUCKS COUNTY, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
COUNTY OF BUCKS, AND NESHAMINY WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY



Appeal from the Judgment in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Civil No. 81-06929-06-5.

COUNSEL

Jack J. Hetherington, Chalfont, for appellant.

Peter N. Harrison, Doylestown, for county, appellee.

Charles F. Sampsel, Bristol, for Neshaminy, appellee.

Spaeth, President Judge, and Wieand and Cirillo, JJ.

Author: Spaeth

[ 340 Pa. Super. Page 414]

This is an appeal from an order striking a default judgment. Appellant contends that the judgment was properly entered under Pa.R.Civ.P. 1511(a).*fn1 We find, however, that the notice required by Rule 237.1*fn2 was not given. Since

[ 340 Pa. Super. Page 415]

    this was a fatal defect apparent on the face of the record, the trial court properly ordered the judgment stricken.

On August 6, 1981, appellant, Fountainville Association of Bucks County, Inc., filed a complaint in equity against appellee Neshaminy Water Resources and the County of Bucks.*fn3 Neither the Authority nor the County filed an answer or otherwise pleaded to the complaint within the required twenty days. Pa.R.Civ.P. 1026.*fn4 Although the record does not confirm the fact, appellant states that it sent a notice of default on November 10, 1981, pursuant to Pa.R.Civ.P. 237.1.*fn5 Brief for Appellant at 3. Within the 10 days provided by the notice, the Authority and County jointly filed preliminary objections to appellant's complaint. Appellant filed preliminary objections to the Authority's and County's preliminary objections. The trial court sustained appellant's preliminary objections and granted the Authority and County twenty days within which to file an answer to the complaint.

An answer, signed only by counsel for the County and verified by the Chief Clerk of the County Commissioners,

[ 340 Pa. Super. Page 416]

    was timely filed. The answer referred to defendants, in the plural, but otherwise did not indicate that the answer was to be the Authority's. On March 12, 1982, appellant filed preliminary objections to the Answer, also referring to defendants, in the plural. There was no ...


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