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GEORGE FEIGLEY v. MARTIN SUOMELA AND TERRY L. JONES (09/29/89)

decided: September 29, 1989.

GEORGE FEIGLEY, APPELLANT,
v.
MARTIN SUOMELA AND TERRY L. JONES, APPELLEES



Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Huntingdon County County; Honorable Newton C. Taylor, PRES. JUDGE

COUNSEL

George Feigley, Huntingdon, pro se.

Stephen E. Geduldig, Deputy Atty. Gen., Office of Atty. Gen., Harrisburg, for appellees.

Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, and Palladino and Smith, JJ.

Author: Palladino

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 83]

George Feigley (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Huntingdon County (trial court) granting Martin Suomela and Terry L. Jones' (Appellees) petition to open or strike a default judgment (Petition). We affirm.

Appellant, an inmate at the State Correctional Institute-Huntingdon (prison), instituted a slander action against Appellees who are prison employees. Appellant applied to the trial court to proceed in forma pauperis. In granting the application, the court ordered the Sheriff of Huntingdon County (Sheriff) to serve the complaint and ordered Appellees to file responsive pleadings within twenty days.

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 84]

Sheriff served the complaint upon Appellees on July 2, 1987. On July 29, 1987, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office filed preliminary objections on Appellees behalf. The next day, July 30, 1987, the Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas of Huntingdon County entered a default judgment against Appellees pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1037(b).*fn1

On August 11, 1987, the Attorney General, on Appellees' behalf, filed a Petition to open or strike the default judgment. Following a hearing on October 7, 1988, Appellees' Petition was granted. Appellant filed a Notice of Appeal*fn2 with the Superior Court.*fn3

Appellant alleges the following in his brief at p. 11:

A. The form of the Petition to Open or Strike Judgment is defective as it is not verified so must be denied.

B. The Petition to Open or Strike Judgment was filed not by a Defendant but by the Commonwealth, which is not a party in ...


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