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STAVRO N. SEMANDERES v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/11/89)

decided: December 11, 1989.

STAVRO N. SEMANDERES, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Allegheny County; Honorable Leonard C. Staisey, Judge.

COUNSEL

Samuel P. Kamin, Goldberg & Kamin, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Jeffrey L. Giltenboth, Sr. Asst. Counsel, Pittsburgh, William J. Cressler, Asst. Chief Counsel, John L. Heaton, Chief Counsel, Harrisburg, for appellee.

Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, Craig, Barry, Colins, Palladino, McGinley and Smith, JJ.

Author: Smith

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 95]

Stavro N. Semanderes (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County denying Appellant's motion for post-trial relief and entering judgment on the verdict of the jury which awarded Appellant $98,000 as compensation for the condemnation of his property by the Department of Transportation (Appellee). This Court affirms the trial court order.

Appellant raises various issues on appeal including whether Appellee should have been allowed to cross-examine Appellant's valuation expert concerning the purchase price of the subject property; whether the jury verdict was inadequate; whether Appellee's expert was improperly permitted to testify; and whether his testimony should have been stricken due to his failure to inspect the property.

Appellant purchased the subject property located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1979 for $19,500. At the time of purchase, the building was vacant and Appellant began immediate repairs and renovations to parts of the building

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 96]

    to enable him to locate his office and warehouse at the site.*fn1 In 1982, Appellant received notice from Appellee that his property would be condemned, and at that point he ceased renovation of the building except for finishing his own office space. On May 29, 1985, the property was condemned in its entirety so that it could become the site of a ramp for the East Street Expressway.

The parties were unable to agree upon just compensation for the taking*fn2 and upon petition by Appellant, the trial court appointed a Board of Viewers pursuant to Section 502 of the Eminent Domain Code of 1964.*fn3 The Board of Viewers awarded Appellant $106,700 which was appealed by Appellant, and following a jury trial, a verdict of $98,000 was returned on February 11, 1988. Appellant filed a motion for post-trial relief and request for new trial on February 19, 1988. On February 21, 1989, the trial court issued an order denying Appellant's motion and entering judgment on the verdict of the jury. It is from this order that Appellant's appeal filed March 17, 1989 is taken.*fn4

Prior to reviewing the merits of the appeal however, this Court's appellate jurisdiction must be addressed. The question of jurisdiction, raised sua sponte by this Court, has been addressed by both parties in their respective briefs. At issue is the timeliness of Appellant's notice of appeal and whether or not it was filed within the time limit of Pa.R.A.P. 903(a) which ...


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