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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA BY ATTORNEY GENERAL LEROY S. ZIMMERMAN v. NATIONAL APARTMENT LEASING COMPANY A/K/A NALCO (08/10/87)

decided: August 10, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA BY ATTORNEY GENERAL LEROY S. ZIMMERMAN, PLAINTIFF
v.
NATIONAL APARTMENT LEASING COMPANY A/K/A NALCO, DEFENDANT



Original jurisdiction in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Attorney General LeRoy S. Zimmerman v. National Apartment Leasing Company a/k/a NALCO.

COUNSEL

Douglas P. Yauger, Deputy Attorney General, with him, Caren L. Mariani, Deputy Attorney General, for plaintiff.

Joan Shoemaker, with her, John V. Adams, Jr., Adams, Shoemaker & McSorley, for defendant.

Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 301]

National Apartment Leasing Company (NALCO) has filed preliminary objections to the Commonwealth's amended civil action in equity*fn1 filed in our original jurisdiction. We will overrule the objections.

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 302]

In NALCO I we set forth in some detail the gravamen of the Commonwealth's action. Suffice it to say that the Attorney General in the name of the Commonwealth, pursuant to the authority he claims to have under the provisions of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (Law), Act of December 17, 1968, P.L. 1224, as amended, 73 P.S. §§ 201-1 -- 201-9.2, seeks to impose civil penalties upon NALCO and also enjoin it from using in the conduct of its business methods, acts or practices which have been declared unlawful by Section 3 of that Law, 73 P.S. § 201-3.

In the amended pleading now before us, the Commonwealth alleges that NALCO is engaged in the business of renting apartments and residential units in the Pittsburgh area; that it requires security deposits from each of its tenants; that the Commonwealth has received complaints from former tenants of NALCO averring that NALCO has unlawfully withheld from their security deposits sums of money for cleaning the premises when, in fact, such cleaning services were unnecessary; that this fraudulent conduct violated the Law and The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951, Act of April 6, 1951, P.L. 69, as amended, 68 P.S. §§ 250.101 -- 250.602, and that citizens of the Commonwealth are suffering and will continue to suffer irreparable harm unless the acts and practices complained of are enjoined.

NALCO has filed 42 objections to the amended pleading raising a question of jurisdiction, a motion to strike alleging that the pleading lacks conformity to rule of court and contains scandalous and impertinent matter, a request for a more specific pleading, a demurrer

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 303]

    and the lack of capacity to sue and pendency of ...


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