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Scarlett v. Mason

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

April 14, 2014

RICHARD P. SCARLETT, Appellee
v.
P. GREGORY MASON, Appellant

Argued February 25, 2014

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Snyder County, Civil Division, No(s): CV-0083-2013. Before Hudock, J.

Robert E. Kelly, Jr., Harrisburg, for appellant.

Thomas C. Clark, Middleburg, for appellee.

BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J., DONOHUE, J., and STABILE, J.

OPINION

Page 1291

GANTMAN, P.J.:

Appellant, P. Gregory Mason, appeals from the order entered in the Snyder County Court of Common Pleas, which overruled his preliminary objections to venue as improper in this breach of contract action filed by Appellee, Richard P. Scarlett. We affirm.

The relevant facts and procedural history of this case are as follows. Appellant is a resident of Franklin County. Appellee resides in Snyder County. The parties work as truck drivers for the same company. In 2008, at their place of work in Flemington, New Jersey, the parties orally agreed to the purchase of a John Deere 820 tractor from a third party so Appellee could repair the tractor and rebuild its engine for Appellant. Appellee subsequently performed the work at his Snyder County residence. In October 2011, at Appellee's residence, Appellant inspected the completed work on the tractor. On that same day, Appellee billed Appellant for $6,700.00, which represented Appellant's remaining balance for parts and labor. Appellant made a partial payment of $3,000.00 before leaving Appellee's property.

On February 22, 2013, Appellee filed a complaint in the Snyder County Court of Common Pleas alleging Appellant had failed to pay the balance due on the tractor restoration in breach of their agreement and seeking a judgment against Appellant in the amount of $3,700.00, plus interest and costs. The complaint was served on Appellant at his Franklin County residence on March 8, 2013. On March 20, 2013, Appellant filed a response to the complaint through his wife, Denise Mason. Appellee field preliminary objections to the response on April 23, 2013, asserting, inter alia, that Appellant's response was improperly filed by a non-attorney representative. On May 13, 2013, in reply to Appellee's preliminary objections, Appellant filed counseled preliminary objections pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1028(c)(1), raising improper venue in Snyder County under Pa.R.C.P. 1006(a)(1). Appellant alleged that venue in Snyder County was improper because Appellant could not be served, and was not served, in Snyder County; the cause of action arose in Flemington, New Jersey; and all transactions and occurrences out of which the cause of action arose occurred in Flemington, New Jersey. The record contains a redacted letter dated March 14, 2012 from Appellee's counsel to counsel for Appellant, which stated, in part: " The parties work together out of Flemington, New Jersey, where the transactions you refer to were formulated." (See Letter, dated 3/14/12; R.R. at 16a-17a.) Appellant requested the court to dismiss the complaint, or, in the alternative, transfer the action to Franklin County.

Page 1292

Appellee answered Appellant's preliminary objections on June 4, 2013.

On July 12, 2013, after oral argument, the court entered an order overruling Appellant's preliminary objections and directing Appellant to file an answer to Appellee's complaint on or before August 2, 2013. Appellee filed an election to have the order deemed final on July 22, 2013, per Pa.R.A.P. 311(b)(1).[1]

On August 2, 2013, Appellant timely filed a notice of appeal. The court ordered Appellant to file a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to ...


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