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LAMBERT SNYDER AND CINDY SNYDER v. JAMES M. ROGERS (06/06/85)

argued: June 6, 1985.

LAMBERT SNYDER AND CINDY SNYDER, APPELLANTS,
v.
JAMES M. ROGERS, JR., AND JOANNE M. ROGERS



Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Civil No. 1981-J-1076

COUNSEL

Frank S. Poswistilo, Easton, for appellants.

Spaeth, President Judge, and McEwen and Beck, JJ.

Author: Spaeth

[ 346 Pa. Super. Page 506]

This is an appeal from an order dismissing appellants' exceptions and entering judgment against defendant husband only. Appellants, plaintiffs below, argue that judgment should also have been entered against defendant wife. We affirm.*fn1

Appellants, Lambert Snyder and his wife Cindy Snyder, were the owners of a wholesale produce business. James M. Rogers, Jr., was manager of the business. In January 1981 Mr. Snyder concluded that Mr. Rogers and another employee, a truck driver named Teddy, were stealing produce, and on January 30 he fired them. Mr. Rogers was

[ 346 Pa. Super. Page 507]

    arrested but was released the same day, and so far as the record discloses, no further criminal proceedings occurred.

On January 31, 1981, Mr. Snyder, in the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, at their home, played a tape recording of a telephone conversation he had had with Teddy, in which Teddy accused Mr. Rogers of being the one mainly responsible for stealing the produce. After listening to the tape, Mr. Rogers agreed to make restitution, although no amount was specified at that time. The next business day, Monday, February 2, Mr. Snyder telephoned Mr. Rogers and agreed to rehire him, stating that the parties would "straighten things out." Mr. Rogers returned to work that afternoon.

On February 7, 1981, Mr. and Mrs. Snyder went to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. There, after some conversation, which will be discussed later, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers executed, under seal, a note by which they promised to pay Mr. and Mrs. Snyder $30,000, with interest, and authorized confession of judgment. Slip opinion of tr.ct., Decision and Verdict, at 4.*fn2 On February 10 appellants confessed judgment on the note, in the amount of $30,000 plus interest, costs of suit, release of errors, and a collection fee of 10

[ 346 Pa. Super. Page 508]

    percent. Notice of entry of the judgment was mailed to Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.

Over the next eight months, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers made payments on the note totaling $13,980. When the payments stopped, Mr. and Mrs. Snyder threatened execution on the judgment. On October 20, 1981, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers filed a petition to open the judgment raising the defenses of fraud and duress. The trial court granted the petition. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder ...


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