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[U] L & W Supply Corp. v. Amin

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

January 13, 2014

L & W SUPPLY CORP. D/B/A BUILDING SPECIALTIES Appellant
v.
ATUL K. AMIN AND CMG OF EASTON, INC. Appellee L & W SUPPLY CORP. D/B/A BUILDING SPECIALTIES Appellant
v.
ATUL K. AMIN, INDIVIDUALLY AND T/D/B/A AKA-PRA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP AND PANNDA, INC. AND CMG OF EASTON, INC. Appellee

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order Entered October 10, 2012 In the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County Civil Division at No(s): 4733 CV 2010, 10051 CV 2010

BEFORE: BOWES, J., MUNDY, J., and FITZGERALD, J.[*]

MEMORANDUM

MUNDY, J.

Appellant, L. & W. Supply Corp., d/b/a Building Specialties, appeals from the trial court's final orders entered October 10, 2012, in these related mechanics' lien and civil actions. In its appeal, Appellant challenges decisions contained in a number of the trial court's orders, including the trial court's 1) March 25, 2011 order granting in part Appellee Atul K. Amin's (Amin) preliminary objections to Appellant's amended complaint in its civil action; 2) December 14, 2011 order granting CMG of Easton, Inc.'s (CMG) motion for summary judgment in Appellant's civil action; and 3) October 10, 2012 order granting Amin's combined motion for summary judgment in both Appellant's mechanics' lien claim and civil action. After careful review, we affirm.

Based on our close review of the certified record, we set forth the pertinent factual and procedural history of these cases as follows. On or about January 8, 2008, AKA-PRA Limited Partnership (AKA-PRA) as owner, and CMG as general contractor, entered into a contract for certain construction on an outpatient surgery center and doctor offices located at 7191 State Route 611, Stroud Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Subsequently, CMG subcontracted with Vegas East Construction, LLC (Vegas) in July 2008 to perform certain specified work for phase III of the project. Vegas, in turn, contracted with Appellant to supply materials required for its performance of the subcontract, including metal studs, drywall and insulation. According to Appellant, as of the time it initiated the instant suits, it had provided Vegas with $17, 905.81 worth of materials for which it had not been paid. Vegas filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on July 21, 2010.

Relative to Appellant's mechanics' lien claim, the following ensued. On May 21, 2010, Appellant filed a mechanics' lien claim at trial court docket number 4733 CV 2010 against Amin, as alleged owner of the project premises, claiming $17, 905.81 due from Vegas for unpaid invoices. Amin filed preliminary objections on September 22, 2010, alleging procedural deficiencies in the filing of the claim.[1] With leave of court, Appellant filed an amended mechanics' lien claim against Amin on December 2, 2010, addressing the procedural concerns.

On December 20, 2010, Amin filed preliminary objections to Appellant's amended mechanics' lien claim, averring in part that he was not the owner of the property as alleged by Appellant. Appellant, on January 6, 2011, filed a petition for leave to amend its mechanics' lien claim, seeking to add AKA-PRA as owner. On March 25, 2011, the trial court denied Amin's preliminary objections and denied without prejudice Appellant's petition to amend. Appellant subsequently filed a praecipe for entry of default judgment in the mechanics' lien claim on April 6, 2011. Amin filed a petition to open the judgment on April 15, 2011. On April 21, 2011, Amin filed a complaint to join additional defendant CMG. On July 6, 2011, the trial court granted Amin's petition to open the default judgment. On August 1, 2011, the trial court granted Amin's unopposed motion to discontinue his third party complaint against CMG. On January 9, 2012, Appellant filed a second amended mechanics' lien claim, revising the claim to $9, 905.81 due, reflecting receipt of subsequent payments.

Amin filed a motion for summary judgment on July 17, 2012, again averring he was erroneously designated as owner of the premises. On March 9, 2012, Appellant filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted Amin's motion for summary judgment and denied Appellant's cross motion for summary judgment on October 10, 2012, and dismissed Appellant's mechanic's lien claim.

Relative to Appellant's civil case, which commenced the action on its mechanics' lien claim, Appellant filed a civil complaint at trial court docket number 10051 CV 2010 against Amin and CMG on October 18, 2010. CMG filed preliminary objections to Appellant's complaint on November 12, 2010, averring, inter alia, that Appellant failed to join an indispensable party. Thereafter, Appellant filed a seven count amended complaint, naming as defendants Atul K. Amin, individually and t/d/b/a AKA-PRA Limited Partnership and Pannda, Inc., and CMG on November 29, 2010.[2]

On December 20, 2010, Amin filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer to all counts against it in Appellant's amended complaint.[3] On March 25, 2011, the trial court sustained Amin's preliminary objections in part and denied them in part. Specifically, the trial court sustained Amin's objections to counts I, II, IV, and VII, and denied his objections to counts III and V.

Amin filed a motion for summary judgment on July 17, 2011 on the remaining counts.[4] On September 12, 2011, CMG filed a motion for summary judgment on all counts against it in Appellant's amended complaint. On December 14, 2011, the trial court granted CMG's motion for summary judgment, dismissing, as against CMG, counts III, IV, V, and VI. Amin filed another motion for summary judgment on February 9, 2012. On October 10, 2012, in the same order that dismissed Appellant's mechanics' lien claim, the trial court granted Amin's motions for summary judgment, dismissing all remaining claims in Appellant's amended complaint. On November 7, 2012, Appellant filed timely notices of appeal from the orders in both cases.[5] This Court, acting sua sponte, consolidated the appeals on January 29, 2013.

On appeal, Appellant raises the following issues for our consideration.

A. [Whether] [] Amin is the owner or reputed owner of the property, as defined by the Mechanic's Lien Law of 1963, that ...

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