Appeal from the Order of September 25, 1985 in the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Delaware County, No. 81-19435.
James D. Jordan, Media, for appellant.
Leonard J. Tripodi, Media, for appellee.
Cirillo, President Judge, and Rowley and Wieand, JJ.
[ 357 Pa. Super. Page 250]
In 1981 appellee, Ruby Johnson, obtained a judgment against John E. Johnson, her former husband, for non-payment of support. The judgment was not paid. On October 26, 1984, John's father died. His father's will, which was admitted to probate on November 5, 1984, contained a specific bequest to John of $6,000. On November 30, 1984, Ruby filed a praecipe for a writ of execution on the 1981 judgment in the amount of $9,558.11 against Eva Lou Winters, the executrix of John's father's estate. At the same time, Ruby filed interrogatories which were served on the executrix together with the writ on December 3, 1984. On December 10, 1984, John filed a renunciation and disclaimer of his interest under his father's will. On January 15, 1985, the executrix filed answers to the interrogatories in which she asserted that because of John's renunciation and disclaimer, he had no interest in the estate.
Ruby petitioned for a Rule to Show Cause Why the Answers to Interrogatories Should Not Be Stricken As Contrary to the Law. A "hearing" consisting exclusively of oral argument was held on May 13, 1985. On August 2, 1985, the court entered an order which recited that upon "the Petition and Briefs of the parties, there being no facts in dispute, it is ORDERED that the Answers to the Interrogatories are hereby stricken as legally inaccurate and judgment is entered against [the executrix] . . . in the amount of $6,000.00 together with such interest and/or costs as allowed by statute . . . ." The order was accompanied by an "Opinion and Judgment." On August 9, 1985,
[ 357 Pa. Super. Page 251]
the executrix filed a motion entitled "Motion for Post-trial Relief" in which the only issue raised was her claim that the trial court erred by failing to address the issue of the effective date of the disclaimer. By order dated September 20, 1985 and filed September 25, 1985, the trial court dismissed the exceptions. The court further directed that "Upon praecipe of the plaintiff, the Office of Judicial Support shall enter the prior Order as a final Order and Judgment." On October 3, 1985, judgment was entered, and on October 11, 1985, the executrix filed a notice of appeal from the Order entered on September 25, 1985 and the judgment entered on October 3, 1985.*fn1
Because an appeal was not filed from the August 2, 1985 order and within 30 days thereof, we must quash this appeal.
The Rules of Civil Procedure for the Enforcement of Money Judgments do not provide for the filing of a Rule to Show Cause Why Interrogatories Should Not Be Stricken. The Rules provide that the procedure between the plaintiff and the garnishee "shall, as far as practicable, be the same as though the interrogatories were a complaint and the answer of the garnishee were an answer in a civil action. Pa.R.C.P. 3145(a). In her Rule to Show Cause, Ruby Johnson sought to have the court decide, based solely on the interrogatories and the answers thereto, that the executrix was holding assets of John Johnson. Construing the interrogatories filed by Ruby Johnson as a complaint and the answers to interrogatories filed by the executrix as answers, we conclude that Ruby Johnson's Rule to Show Cause was actually a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.
Pa.R.C.P. 3147 permits the trial court to enter judgment on the pleadings for the plaintiff ...