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GENE REUBEN v. JAMES L. O'BRIEN AND LAWRENCE ROSENWALD (08/12/85)

decided: August 12, 1985.

GENE REUBEN, APPELLANT
v.
JAMES L. O'BRIEN AND LAWRENCE ROSENWALD, A/K/A LAWRENCE WILLIAM ROSENWALD AND AETNA CASUALTY AND SURETY COMPANY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of Gene Reuben v. Lawrence Rosenwald a/k/a Lawrence William Rosenwald, et al., No. 80-4555.

COUNSEL

Louis Lipschitz, for appellant.

Robert Morris Cohen, for appellees.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr., Craig, MacPhail, Doyle and Barry. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Williams, Jr., did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Crumlish

[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 80]

Gene Reuben appeals a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court order granting Lawrence Rosenwald's

[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 81]

    motion for judgment on the pleadings. We affirm.

In her complaint,*fn1 Reuben alleges that on December 6, 1978, District Justice James L. O'Brien entered a judgment against her for money owed for dry cleaning services. On March 29, 1979, O'Brien issued an execution order. On the following day, Rosenwald, the duly-elected constable of Cheltenham Township, left copies of the Order of Execution and the Schedule of Properties Levied Upon at Reuben's residence. On April 3, 1984, Reuben paid the outstanding debt of $199.50 to the District Justice, bypassing the executing officer. On April 7, 1979, Rosenwald posted a Constable's Sale Bill on Reuben's mailbox which was located in her apartment building lobby. Reuben alleges that she was libeled by Rosenwald's action.*fn2

After filing his Answer and New Matter, Rosenwald filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings.*fn3 The trial court granted Rosenwald's motion, holding

[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 82]

    that he was entitled as a matter of law to the defense of judicial immunity because he acted at the direction of District Justice O'Brien and in the performance of his official duties as a constable.

On appeal, Reuben contends that the doctrine of judicial immunity should not be extended to shield a constable from civil liability for willful and malicious ...


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