Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil at No. G.D. 84-11277.
Joseph L. Farina, Pittsburgh, for appellants.
S.J. Hyden, Cannonsburg, for appellees.
Olszewski, Popovich and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 347 Pa. Super. Page 394]
This is an appeal from an order of the trial court which sustained the preliminary objections filed by appellees, Kwok Shing Chung and Sau Lin Chung, and certified that the matter should proceed to the law side of the court. We must quash the instant appeal because the order appealed is interlocutory.
On June 20, 1983, appellants, Jules and Phyllis D'Aloiso and appellees entered into written contracts for the purchase of real estate and a restaurant business which were owned by appellants. The real estate was sold to appellees for seventy thousand dollars ($70,000) which was to be paid in cash. The agreement of sale stipulated that it was subject to the formation of a Pennsylvania corporation by appellee, Kwok Shing Chung, together with other incorporators. The restaurant was sold to Chung-Wong, Inc. The terms of the sales agreement required a twenty thousand dollar ($20,000) down payment with the balance to be paid over five (5) years. Appellees made five (5) payments to appellants from February through June, 1984. However, on June 26, 1984, Chung Wong, Inc., t/d/b/a Shanghai Restaurant, filed for bankruptcy.
[ 347 Pa. Super. Page 395]
On August 13, 1984, a complaint in equity was filed by appellants. Appellees filed preliminary objections which were granted, and the court certified the matter to proceed to the law side of the court. A motion for reconsideration was denied, and this appeal followed.
Appellants raise the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred in sustaining the appellees' preliminary objections and in concluding that the appellants have an adequate remedy at law; and (2) whether the effect of the trial court's certification order deprives appellants of the opportunity to seek the relief requested in their complaint.
As a general rule, an order certifying a case from equity to law is generally unappealable because it is interlocutory. Goldman v. McChain, 432 Pa. 61, 247 A.2d 455 (1968). Of course, there is an exception to this rule. That exception is "where an order certifying a case from equity to law in effect puts a party 'out of court,' it is not interlocutory, but is a final order." Husted v. Board of Directors of Wellsboro Area, 57 Pa. Commw. 520, 524-25, 427 A.2d 272, 274 (1981). Id. The pertinent guidelines have been set forth in the following manner:
In other words, "[a]n order is not interlocutory if it precludes a party from presenting the merits of his claim to the lower court." Marino Estate, 440 Pa. 492, 494, 269 A.2d 645, 646 (1970).
To determine whether an order is final, the Supreme Court has cautioned, we must look beyond the technical effect of the adjudication to its practical ramifications. T.C.R. Realty, Inc. v. Cox, 472 Pa. ...