Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil at No. 946 Nov. 1980.
James E. Beasley, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Flora B. Wolf, Assistant City Solicitor, Philadelphia, for City of Philadelphia, appellee.
Leonard J. Bucki, Philadelphia, for Second Floor, Inc., appellee.
Montemuro, Popovich and Cercone, JJ.
[ 369 Pa. Super. Page 248]
This lawsuit has been pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for nearly seven years. It began in 1980 as a code enforcement action brought by the City of Philadelphia to compel compliance by both owners and tenants of a building located at 1125 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, with building and fire safety provisions of the Philadelphia Code of Ordinances. In 1976, Pierre Uniforms, Inc., a previous owner of the property, entered into two leases with Wayne Geftman and Barry Geftman (hereinafter "Geftmans") for the second floor and basement of the building.*fn1 The Geftmans, doing business through two corporations known as Second Floor, Inc. and Catacombs, Inc., have used the basement and second floor of the building as a nightclub and discotheque. In its code enforcement action, the City sought to force the owners and tenants to install required fire safety equipment, to obtain licenses and permits, and to either cease public occupancy of the basement or take steps to bring it into compliance with code standards. Only some of the code violations were cured over the years through cooperation between the owner and the tenants of this property.
On July 16, 1986, the building was purchased by the appellant, 12th and Walnut Street Associates, who was then
[ 369 Pa. Super. Page 249]
brought into the City's action as party-defendants. On that same day, the trial court entered an order which directed, inter alia, that the appellant submit to the Court a plan and timetable for the remaining required improvements to the building. On September 16, 1986, instead of filing the plan, the appellant filed a "Petition to Prevent Waste and For Injunction and Eviction." This petition was filed pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1576 and sought an injunction to prevent waste by the tenants and the eviction of the tenants. Several hearings were held on the petition. The trial court then entered two orders on November 17, 1986. In its first order, the trial court found that the premises were not in compliance with the Philadelphia Code of Ordinances and the court ordered the tenants, the Geftmans, to cease and desist from operating their businesses until the premises were brought into compliance with the Philadelphia Code.*fn2 In the second order, the trial court denied appellant all equitable relief under its petition to prevent waste. This appeal was taken from the entry of the latter order.
Appellant has raised two issues for our review as follows:
1. Whether the trial court erred in refusing to grant appellant relief pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1576?
2. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to hear the testimony of appellant's expert ...