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[U] Karden Construction Services, Inc. v. Pitney Road Partners, LLC

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 21, 2014

KARDEN CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC., Appellee,
v.
PITNEY ROAD PARTNERS, LLC Appellant KARDEN CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC., Appellant,
v.
PITNEY ROAD PARTNERS, LLC, Appellee

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order Entered July 9, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County Civil Division at No(s): CI-10-00404.

Appeal from the Order Entered July 18, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County Civil Division at No(s): CI-10-00404.

BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J., OTT, J., and MUSMANNO, J.

JUDGMENT ORDER

GANTMAN, P.J.:

The parties have appealed the trial court's orders denying their respective post-verdict motions in this contract action. Preliminarily, we observe the court held a non-jury trial on June 26, 2013. On June 27, 2013, the court entered what it called a "judgment" on behalf of Karden Construction Services, Inc. ("Karden") and against Pitney Road Partners, LLC ("Pitney") in the amount of $21,569.83. On July 5, 2013, Pitney filed a motion for post-trial relief, which the court denied on July 10, 2013. Karden filed a motion for post-trial relief on July 12, 2013, which the court denied on July 18, 2013. On July 26, 2013, Pitney filed a notice of appeal. The court ordered Pitney to file a concise statement of matters complained of on appeal pursuant to Rule 1925(b), and Pitney complied. Karden filed a notice of cross appeal on August 12, 2013. On August 14, 2013, the court ordered Karden to file a Rule 1925(b) statement, and Karden complied.

Review of this matter indicates the following procedural irregularity that must be corrected before we can proceed with this appeal. The certified docket entries indicate the court entered a "judgment" when it should have entered a "verdict" in the case. See Shonberger v. Oswell, 530 A.2d 112 (Pa.Super. 1987) (stating initial and erroneously labeled judgment entered before filing of post-verdict motions, or before expiration of time to file post-verdict motions, is premature and void). The parties essentially disregarded the court's mislabeling and promptly filed their post-verdict motions. Following the denial of those motions, the parties filed notices of appeal. Nevertheless, orders denying post-verdict motions are interlocutory and unappealable until the entry of a valid final judgment. See Prime Medica Associates v. Valley Forge Ins. Co., 970 A.2d 1149 (Pa.Super. 2009), appeal denied, 605 Pa. 688, 989 A.2d 918 (2010) (stating order denying post-trial motions is interlocutory and not appealable until entry of final judgment). No final judgment has properly been entered in this case to date.

Pursuant to this Court's policy, we direct Pitney to praecipe the trial court Prothonotary to enter final judgment on the verdict and to file with the Prothonotary of the Superior Court, within ten (10) days of the date of this judgment order, a certified copy of the trial court docket reflecting the entry of judgment. Upon compliance with Pa.R.A.P. 301, the notices of appeal previously filed in this case will be treated as filed on the date of entry of the final judgment. See Pa.R.A.P. 905(a)(5). Failure to comply with this Court's directives may result in the dismissal of this appeal without further notice. See Johnston the Florist, Inc. v. TEDCO Const. Corp., 657 A.2d 511 (Pa.Super. 1995) (stating Superior Court has no authority to review merits of appeal in face of refusal by parties to enter judgment). Accordingly, we remand the matter for entry of judgment and retain panel jurisdiction.

Case remanded with instructions. Panel jurisdiction is retained.


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