Appeal from the Order entered June 7, 1996 in the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, Civil Division, at No. AD No. 95-10841. Before O'Brien, J.
Before: Del Sole, Popovich And Eakin, JJ. Opinion BY Del Sole, J.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Del Sole
This is an appeal from a trial court order sustaining preliminary objections and dismissing the complaint. The trial court ruled that the Boosels were not real parties in interest in this replevin action, according to Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 2002. Determining that Janice Craig is the real party in interest, we reverse and remand.
Walter and Eleanor Boosel were granted a power of attorney by their granddaughter Janice Craig, a Vermont resident, in an effort to institute the underlying action to recover personal property in Appellees' possession. Appellees, Daniel and Doris Kay Farren, are Ms. Craig's parents. The Complaint alleged that Ms. Craig resided at Appellees' residence until her move to Vermont and upon her departure, she left behind certain listed items of personal property. The Complaint contends that although Appellees agreed to care for and store the property until it could be retrieved, they have refused requests to return the property to Ms. Craig. Appellees filed preliminary objections stating that the Boosels were not the real parties in interest and therefore the claim should be dismissed. The trial court granted the preliminary objections and dismissed the complaint. This appeal followed.
Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 2002 governs and states:
Rule 2002. Prosecution of Actions by Real Parties in Interest. Exceptions.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in clauses (b), (c) and (d) of this rule, all actions shall be prosecuted by and in the name of the real party in interest, without distinction between contracts under seal and parol contracts.
(b) A plaintiff may sue in his own name without joining as plaintiff or use-plaintiff any person beneficially interested when such plaintiff
(1) is acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, which capacity is disclosed in the caption and in the plaintiff's initial pleading; or
(2) is a person with whom or in whose name a contract has been made for the benefit of another.
This rule was enacted to simplify proceedings by banning legal fictions, technicalities, and the hiding of the real party in interest behind the legal plaintiff. Ham v. Sulek, ...