Jaroszewicz v. Buxton Enterprises, LLC, 052820 PASUP, 2637 EDA 2019

Docket Nº:2637 EDA 2019
Opinion Judge:STRASSBURGER, J.
Party Name:JOHN JAROSZEWICZ, Appellant v. BUXTON ENTERPRISES, LLC D/B/A 1-800-GOT-JUNK AND WALTER KOLECKI, Appellee
Judge Panel:BEFORE: NICHOLS, J., KING, J. and STRASSBURGER, J.
Case Date:May 28, 2020
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania
 
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JOHN JAROSZEWICZ, Appellant

v.

BUXTON ENTERPRISES, LLC D/B/A 1-800-GOT-JUNK AND WALTER KOLECKI, Appellee

No. 2637 EDA 2019

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

May 28, 2020

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION - SEE SUPERIOR COURT I.O.P. 65.37

Appeal from the Order Entered August 27, 2019 in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County Civil Division at No(s): No. 2017-26353

BEFORE: NICHOLS, J., KING, J. and STRASSBURGER, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

STRASSBURGER, J.

John Jaroszewicz (Appellant) appeals the August 27, 2019 order which denied his motion for reconsideration. Upon review, we quash this appeal.

The trial court set forth the following factual and procedural history. Appellant instituted the action from which this appeal was taken by writ of summons filed in November 2017, against an entity called 1-800-GOT-JUNK, later revising the name of the entity on the docket to Buxton Enterprises, LLC, doing business as 1-800-GOT-JUNK.1 In a complaint filed in the action in February 2018, Appellant sought damages for conversion, alleging that representatives of Buxton, acting on the instructions of Walter Kolecki, Appellant's brother-in-law, had entered Appellant's apartment and a shed he used, in which neither Kolecki nor Buxton had any right or interest, and removed items of Appellant's personal property including cash without his knowledge or consent, never to return them. Kolecki pled guilty to the crime of theft by unlawful taking of moveable property over the incident.

Buxton filed an answer to the complaint, with new matter, and also a complaint against Kolecki, joining him to the action, and he answered, introducing new matter of his own. Earlier, in September 2016, Appellant had started suit against Kolecki over the same incident; in January 2019, [the trial court] consolidated the earlier action into this one, based on a stipulation submitted by all parties' counsel.

On April 8, 2019, the case went to compulsory arbitration pursuant to the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. § 7361, the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, Pa.R.C.P. 1301, and local rule, Montg. Co., Pa.R.C.P. 1301. The board of arbitrators rendered an award in favor of Appellant and against Kolecki in the amount of $45, 000, specifying $30, 000 as punitive damages and $15, 000 as legal fees. The arbitrators found, "[Appellant] has been previously compensated for all compensatory damages." The arbitrators also found in favor of Buxton and against Appellant.

The same day, the Prothonotary of [the trial court] entered the award of record on the docket and notified all parties' attorneys of its entry pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1307(a). Ordinarily, under Pa.R.C.P. 1307(c), "If no appeal is taken within thirty days after the entry of the award on the docket, the prothonotary on praecipe shall enter judgment on the award." However, on the thirtieth day from entry of the award, May 8, 2019, Kolecki (through counsel) filed a petition entitled "Application to Mold Arbitration Award," invoking another provision of that rule, Pa.R.C.P. 1307(d) []:

Where the record and the award disclose an obvious and unambiguous error in the award in mathematics or language, the court, on application of a party within the thirty-day period allowed for appeal, may mold the award to the same extent and with the same effect as the court may mold the verdict of a jury. The filing of such an application shall stay all proceedings including the running of the thirty-day period for appeal until disposition of the application by the court. Any party may file a notice of appeal within the thirty-day appeal period prescribed by Rule 1308(a) or within ten days after disposition of the application, whichever is later.

[Pa.R.C.P. 1307(d) (emphasis added).]

With the thirty-day period for appealing the award of arbitrators thus stayed under this provision, [the trial court] proceeded to consider Kolecki's application. On...

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