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RICHARD P. RYAN v. BERTRAND J. JOHNSON AND SUSAN L. JOHNSON (10/13/89)

decided: October 13, 1989.

RICHARD P. RYAN, APPELLEE
v.
BERTRAND J. JOHNSON AND SUSAN L. JOHNSON, H/W AND BERTRAND J. JOHNSON AND SUSAN L. JOHNSON, T/A WEST END STYLES. APPEAL OF SUSAN L. JOHNSON



Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court dated November 30, 1987 at No. 3346 Philadelphia, 1986.

COUNSEL

Samuel A. Litzenberger, Quakertown, for appellant.

Harold D. Borek, for appellee.

Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Zappala, Papadakos and Stout, JJ. Stout, former J., did not participate in the decision of this case. Larsen, J., files a dissenting opinion joined by Papadakos, J.

Author: Flaherty

[ 522 Pa. Page 557]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is an appeal from an order of the Superior Court which dismissed an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which denied a petition to strike/open judgment filed by Susan L. Johnson, appellant herein. Ryan v. Johnson, 369 Pa. Super. 377, 535 A.2d 207 (1987). The factual background of the case is as follows.

In 1981, appellant and her husband signed an installment note in the amount of $20,000.00. In 1983, they failed to pay an installment, of $3,600.00, which was due on the note. The note contained an acceleration clause permitting the holder to declare the entire balance of the note due upon default in any payment. The holder of the note, Richard P. Ryan, appellee herein, exercised his rights under that clause. The note contained a confession of judgment clause. On October 14, 1983, at Ryan's behest, judgment was confessed and entered in Montgomery County.

On October 27, 1983, appellant filed a petition to strike/open the judgment. On December 2, 1986, after oral arguments upon the petition had been conducted, relief was denied by the Court of Common Pleas. In connection with its order denying relief, the court offered no statement of its rationale. The order stated only the following: "[A]fter

[ 522 Pa. Page 558]

    argument and upon consideration of the briefs of counsel, the Petition of defendant Susan L. Johnson To Strike/Open Judgment is dismissed and the prayer for relief denied." The record provided no indication of the basis for the court's order.

Appellant filed a notice of appeal on December 12, 1986. The Court of Common Pleas subsequently ordered appellant to file a concise statement of matters complained of on appeal, pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b), which provides:

(b) Direction to File Statement of Matters Complained of. The lower court forthwith may enter an order directing the appellant to file of record in the lower court and serve on the trial judge a concise statement of the matters complained of on the appeal no later than 14 days after entry of such order. A failure to comply with such direction may be considered by the ...


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