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Harleysville Homestead, Inc. v. Lower Salford Township Authority

August 28, 2009

HARLEYSVILLE HOMESTEAD, INC., APPELLANT
v.
LOWER SALFORD TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Senior Judge Kelley

Argued: June 8, 2009

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, President Judge, HONORABLE BERNARD L. McGINLEY, Judge, HONORABLE JAMES R. KELLEY, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Harleysville Homestead, Inc. (Harleysville) appeals the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County (trial court) that granted the motion for judgment on the pleadings of Lower Salford Township Authority (Authority) and entered judgment in favor of the Authority and against Harleysville on all claims and counterclaims. We affirm.

The sole issue presented for review is whether the trial court erred when it granted the motion for judgment on the pleadings on the basis that Harleysville's amended complaint was barred by the two year statute of limitations set forth in Section 5524 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. §5524. In pertinent part, Section 5524 provides:

The following actions and proceedings must be commenced within two years:

....

(3) An action for taking, detaining or injuring personal property, including actions for specific recovery thereof.

....

(7) Any other action or proceeding to recover damages for injury to person or property which is founded on negligent, intentional, or otherwise tortious conduct or any other action or proceeding sounding in trespass, including deceit or fraud, except an action or proceeding subject to another limitation specified in this subchapter.

The facts in this matter are as follows. The Authority is a municipal authority governed by the Municipality Authorities Act (Act).*fn1 In 1996, Harleysville was a developer of a single family residential community of one hundred four homes in a community known as Harleysville Homestead in Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County. Harleysville applied to the Authority to secure public sanitary sewer service.

In order to provide the sanitary sewer service for Harleysville Homestead, the Authority and Harleysville entered into an Agreement for the Construction of Sewer Lines ("Agreement") on or about October 15, 1996. Under the Agreement, Harleysville agreed to pay tapping fees in the amount of $6,545.00 per dwelling unit to be constructed, plus a one-time connection fee of $500.00, for a total sum of $681,180.00. Since the development of Harleysville Homestead was to be completed in three phases, Harleysville paid the tapping fees in three installments: $248,710.00 on or about October 30, 1996, for thirty-eight dwelling units; $274,890.00 on or about April 21, 1997, for forty-two dwelling units; and $157,080.00 on or about October 7, 1997, for twenty-four dwelling units.*fn2

Harleysville also paid the one time connection fee of $500.00 on October 30, 1996.

On September 25, 2000, Harleysville initiated a lawsuit against the Authority by writ of summons. Thereafter, Harleysville filed a one count complaint on July 31, 2002. The Authority preliminarily objected and Harleysville filed an amended complaint on November 17, 2006. In the amended complaint, Harleysville alleges that the Authority's charges calculated under the Agreement for the tapping fees were in error and that the Authority had violated the requirements of Section 4 of the 1945 Act by overcharging for Harleysville's purchase of sanitary sewer capacity from the Authority. Harleysville sought ...


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