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[U] PNC Bank N. A. v. Gantt

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 11, 2014

PNC BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, Appellee
v.
JENNIFER GANTT, MICHAEL MANBECK, UNNAMED CHILDREN, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order Entered May 7, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Perry County Civil Division at No(s): LP EJ 2012-15.

Joseph D. Seletyn, Esq.

BEFORE: BENDER, P.J., PANELLA, J., and MUSMANNO, J.

MEMORANDUM

BENDER, P.J.

Appellants, Jennifer Gantt, Michael Manbeck, et. al, appeal pro se from the May 7, 2013 order granting summary judgment in favor of plaintiff PNC Bank National Association (PNC), for possession of certain real property in an ejectment action. After review, we affirm.

PNC received title to 33 North 5th Street, Newport Borough, Pennsylvania (the premises), at a sheriff's sale on July 20, 2012, following a mortgage foreclosure action against the owner of the premises.[1] On December 17, 2012, PNC filed a complaint in ejectment against Appellants, who were residing at the premises. Appellants filed an answer on January 14, 2013. In that response, Appellants stated that the mortgage on the premises "was agreed upon by Scott Gantt, the spouse (legally separated) of [Appellant] Jennifer Gantt. At the time of their separation, Scott Gantt advised Ms. Gantt that he (Mr. Gantt) would continue to pay the monthly mortgage payments…." Appellant's Response to PNC's Complaint, at 3 (unnumbered). Appellants characterized the mortgagor of the premises as Ms. Gantt's "spouse, " and did not aver in their pleading that the marriage had been dissolved. Thus, Appellants averred that the property was acquired prior to the marital separation, appearing to suggest that Ms. Gantt possessed an ownership interest in this residence as marital property.

Additionally, Appellants' answer stated that PNC was "unwilling to work with Ms. Gantt to correct the issue, unless she was willing to pay the entire past due amount of $5, 734.81, in addition to the next month's payment of $598.52." Id. Appellants also averred in their pleading that PNC offered to accept mortgage payments from them. By doing so, Appellants claimed that PNC acknowledged Appellants had an ownership interest in this property.

On March 22, 2013, PNC filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted by the trial court on May 7, 2013. The trial court's Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a) opinion notes that a "hearing" on the motion for summary judgment was held on May 7, 2013, at which Appellants "offered no legally cognizable argument, and admitted to the facts as presented by [PNC]." Trial Court Opinion, 6/26/13, at 1.[2] The court further concluded that:

[A]fter review, this Court believes [Appellants'] arguments to be absolutely baseless.
[]Appellants were afforded a full hearing on May 7, 2013, and essentially chose to not take advantage of the opportunity to be heard.

Id. at 2.

Appellants filed a timely notice of appeal from the grant of summary judgment in PNC's favor. They also filed a timely Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) concise statement of errors complained of on appeal in response to the trial court's order requiring that statement. The issues as related in Appellants' Rule 1925(b) statement are as follows:

1) If this Court granted plaintiff(s) Ejectment motion on evidence provided by Plaintiffs, the Court erred in not requiring additional evidence which would have ...

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