Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Case Dismissed for Failing to Substitute Estate for Deceased Defendant and For Service of Process Issues



In a recent detailed Order issued in the case of Byrne v. Quinn, No. S-1140-2015 (C.P. Schuyl. Co. Oct. 10, 2018 Goodman, J), Judge James P. Goodman of the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas, granted a Defendant’s Preliminary Objections to the Plaintiff’s Complaint.  

The court primarily based its decision to dismiss the Complaint on the fact that both parties acknowledged that one of the Defendants had passed away previously and that the Plaintiff was aware of this fact at the time she filed the Complaint but did not seek to substitute a personal representative/estate in the place of the deceased Defendant.  As such, the court held that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over that particular Defendant.  

The court went on to address the other Defendant’s Preliminary Objections which were filed on the basis that the Complaint was not served prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations.   The court reviewed the law of Lamp v. Hayman, 366 A.2d 882 (Pa. 1976) and its progeny to conclude that the Plaintiff failed to comply with the requirements of Pennsylvania law to undertake a good faith effort to complete service of original process.  

As such, the case was dismissed with prejudice.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  

I thank the prevailing defense counsel, Stephen T. Kopko of my office for bringing this decision to my attention.  

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