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ROY A. EDLIS v. COUNTY ALLEGHENY AND COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/10/85)

decided: May 10, 1985.

ROY A. EDLIS, APPELLANT
v.
THE COUNTY OF ALLEGHENY AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Roy A. Edlis v. The County of Allegheny and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, No. 6800-79.

COUNSEL

John R. Banke, for appellant.

Walter C. Faderewski, for appellee, County of Allegheny.

Richard M. Rosenthal, Deputy Attorney General, for appellee, Department of Transportation.

Judges Rogers, Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino. Judge Williams, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Palladino

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 210]

Roy A. Edlis (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (trial court) which denied his Motion to Strike Judgment. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

The factual setting of the instant case is somewhat convoluted. Appellant, in 1979 filed a complaint in trespass against Allegheny County. An arbitration hearing was set for October 31, 1979, but because the County joined the Commonwealth as an additional defendant, Appellant requested a continuance in order to complete discovery involving the Commonwealth. On October 31, 1979 Judge DelSole signed the order continuing the hearing until January 8, 1980. This hearing was not held. The continuance order was not stamped "received" or docketed by the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, until December 3, 1980. The arbitration hearing was then scheduled for January 8, 1981, and notice was published in the Pittsburgh Legal Journal. At that hearing, before a panel of three arbitrators, only the County was present. The arbitrators entered an award in favor of the County on January

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 2118]

, 1981. Appellant received notice of the award, but did not appeal it. On February 10, 1981 the arbitrators' award was entered as a judgment in the Court of Common Pleas.

Appellant's Motion to Strike Judgment was filed April 28, 1981, and following argument, the trial court denied the motion on May 8, 1981. This appeal followed.

A motion to strike a judgment is in the nature of a demurrer directed to defects in the record. Such a motion will not be granted unless a fatal defect in the judgment appears on the face of the record. If the record is self-sustaining, the motion to strike must be denied. Malakoff v. Zambar, Inc., 446 Pa. 503, 288 A.2d 819 (1972). Scheiner v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of McKeesport, 77 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 181, 465 A.2d 1140 (1983). This court will not disturb the trial court's denial of the Motion to Strike absent a manifest abuse of discretion or an error of law. Giallorenzo v. American Druggists' Insurance Company, 301 Pa. Superior Ct. 294, 447 A.2d 974 (1982).

Appellant contends that the trial court erred by concluding that no defects appeared on the face of the record. In the Motion to Strike, Appellant alleged that he never received notice of the January 8, 1981 arbitration hearing. Appellant argued that the lack of notice is factually proved by the record, and therefore the judgment ...


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