Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, in case of Gleave Baker and Elizabeth Baker, h/w v. Middletown Township, Delaware County Sewer Authority, No. 78-5603.
Robert B. Surrick, with him, Glenn R. Diehl, for appellant.
Peter J. Nolan, for appellees.
Judges MacPhail and Colins, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Kalish. Judge MacPhail concurs in the result only.
The Middletown Township, Delaware County Sewer Authority (Sewer Authority) appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County granting just compensation of $6,000 plus $500 for expenses to Gleave and Elizabeth Baker (appellees). We affirm the trial court's award.
The Sewer Authority condemned a portion of the appellees' property for the construction of a sewer line. The condemnation included a temporary construction easement, the construction of a manhole on the property, and alterations and adjustments to the remainder of the property.
The appellees contend that since no objections were taken at the trial and no exceptions were filed to the trial court's general findings, the matters raised in this appeal were waived and are not properly before the court. The appellees further argue that even if this appeal is considered on the merits, the findings of the trial court are based on substantial evidence.
The Sewer Authority denies any violations of appellate procedural rules, and contends that even if there were violations, if the matter is considered on its merits, the trial court's findings are not based on substantial evidence.
The first question we must decide is whether the issues raised are properly before this court. While the Eminent Domain Code (Code), Act of June 22, 1964, Special Sess., P.L. 84, as amended, 26 P.S. §§ 1-101 -- 1-903, provides the exclusive method and practice governing eminent domain matters, it is silent with respect to procedural matters on appeals to the appellate court.
However, what is clear from the cases, and has been reiterated in our Rules of Civil Procedure, is that if no objection is made at trial, error which could have been corrected in pretrial proceedings by timely objections may not constitute a ground for post-trial relief. In Yudacufski v. Department of Transportation, 499 Pa. 605, 608, 454 A.2d 923, 924 (1982), an eminent domain case, the court stated, "It is axiomatic that timely and specific objections are required to preserve claims of error during a civil trial." The court cited Dilliplaine v. Lehigh Valley Trust Co., 457 Pa. 255, 322 A.2d 114 (1974), where ...