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SAM IORFIDA v. MARY ROBERT REALTY COMPANY (03/16/88)

filed: March 16, 1988.

SAM IORFIDA, MARGARET PELLICIA, GRACE MULLEN, WILLIAM RINALDI, MARY ANN RINALDI, THERESA ROSSI, NICHOLAS ROSSI, EUGENE C. DONNELLY, CHERYL C. DONNELLY, VINCENT J. GROSS, EUGENE J. CAMELI, MARIANE C. CAMELI, LEO C. MORAN, MARY ELLEN MORAN, PETER RIDOLFI, JOHN RIDOLFI, DONALD D. BARNHART, MARGARET M. BARNHART, JOSEPH E. STELLA, CLARE STELLA, RECOLUS YANIELLO, EVELYN A. YANIELLO, ALBA MATTEUCI SEBASTIANELLI, DONALD R. TAROLI, ALFONSO ZANGARDI, MIRELLA PEGA, MARTIN L. VITCOSKY, DAISY VITCOSKY, JOSEPH M. TIERNEY, HELEN C. TIERNEY, THERESA CHIAVACCI, DANIEL ROSENCRANCE, JEANETTE CHARGE, MARGARET ROWAN, LUCY VALENTI, SAMUEL PAGLIAMETE, CATHERINE PAGLIAMETE, JAMES A. PISANO, JR., MARY C. PISANO, BARBARA ROSE ZANGARDI, APPELLANTS,
v.
MARY ROBERT REALTY COMPANY, INC., MICHAEL G. LEFCHAK, JOSEPHINE LEFCHAK, SALVATORE J. SPERRAZZA AND DORIS SPERRAZZA, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order Entered July 1, 1987 in the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Civil, No. 65-E 1983.

COUNSEL

Paul A. Barrett, Scranton, for appellants.

Arthur L. Piccone, Wilkes-Barre, for appellees.

Cirillo, President Judge, and McEwen and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 372 Pa. Super. Page 173]

This is an appeal from a final decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County disposing of the parties' exceptions to the decree nisi and making final its denial of the injunctive relief requested by appellants.

Appellants brought an action in equity seeking to enjoin appellees Lefchak and Sperrazza from continuing to obstruct and interfere with appellants' easement over an alleyway traversing the rear portions of their adjoining properties and an order requiring the removal of fences

[ 372 Pa. Super. Page 174]

    located there.*fn1 Appellants claimed, and the court found, an implied easement appurtenant by reference to two maps: one made by Pennsylvania Coal Company, their common source of title, and referred to in their deeds of conveyance, and the other an unrecorded subdivision map, both showing the unnamed alley in question. In appellees' new matter was this paragraph, numbered forty-four, which is crucial to disposition of this appeal:

That the alley way in question has in fact been blocked for a period of over 46 years, by virtue of the existence of a garage, an ice cream store being located upon the alley way in question, and thereafter being blocked by fences and prior to both of those blockages, by being normally unpassable because of debris, rocks, trees and other fauna [sic] located thereon and as a result thereof, since this condition has existed in excess of 46 years, the Plaintiffs are guilty of laches and therefore are denied any right to proceed either at law or in equity.

After a hearing at which conflicting testimony as to the extent of use of the alley was presented, the chancellor found inter alia that, since the Stellas, two of the appellants in this action, had acted to block the alleyway to a material extent for a minimum of ten years and the alleyway now showed no evidence of vehicular travel, the easement had been abandoned.

The opinion of the chancellor rendered in conjunction with the issuance of the decree nisi does not address the issue of laches, which was specifically raised in appellees' paragraph forty-four, but deals strictly with the existence of the easement and the finding of abandonment. Based on the duration of a blockage by two appellants (the Stellas had a garage and ice ...


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