Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Civil division, at No. 2744-1987.
John P. Goodrich, Pittsburgh, for appellants.
Ray F. Middleman, Pittsburgh, for appellees.
Brosky, Popovich and Montgomery, JJ. Montgomery, J., concurs in the result.
[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 512]
Patrick J. McGonigle and Marlene McGonigle take the present appeal from an Order dismissing their de novo appeal from the award of arbitrators because the McGonigles and their counsel failed to appear at the arbitration hearing on the former's suit against William W. Currence and Pamela Currence, appellees herein.
On appeal, the McGonigles argue that the rules of civil procedure do not require a litigant to appear at an arbitration hearing as a condition of his right to file an appeal de novo from the award of arbitrators and that the trial court cannot, at its own discretion, dismiss an appeal for such
[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 513]
failure to appear.*fn1 Because no legal authority exists for the trial court's dismissal of the McMonigles' de novo appeal, we reverse and remand for reinstatement of the said appeal.
Section 7361 of the Uniform Arbitration Act ("the Act"), 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 7301 et seq., provides for compulsory arbitration and states in pertinent part:
(a) General Rule. -- Except as provided in subsection (b), when prescribed by general rule or rule of court [sic] such civil matters or issues therein as shall be specified by rule shall first be submitted to and heard by a board [of arbitrators].
(d) Appeal for trial de novo. -- Any party to a matter shall have the right to appeal for trial de novo in the court. The party who takes the appeal shall pay such amount or proportion of fees and costs and shall comply with ...