Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Amendment Allowed Where Simply to Correct Name of Party (And Not To Add a New Party)

In the case of Thom v. CDM Auto Sales, 2019 Pa. Super. 315 (Pa. Super. Oct. 18, 2019 Olson, J., Strassburger, J., Stabile, J.) (Op. by Stabile, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the trial court abused its discretion in denying the Plaintiff’s Motion to Correct the Name of the Defendant Auto Sales Company in the caption and in the body of default judgment paperwork.

The court noted that the Plaintiff had failed to include “LLC” in the name of the Defendant in the pleadings and in the default judgment paperwork. The court ruled that there was no question that the Plaintiff had sued the right business entity but had just failed to use the proper LLC designation.

The appellate court additionally found that the Defendants did not claim or demonstrate any prejudice or surprise. It was additionally noted that the Defendants had participated in the proceedings by filing an Answer as well as a Petition to Open the Default Judgment.

The Superior Court also rejected the trial court’s ruling that Rule 1033 requests for amendments did not apply to judgments. Rather, the court noted that the rule did apply to allow for amendments of the entry of judgments where the amendment is made to simply correct the name of a party (and not to add a new party) if the amendment was made within 90 days of the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Nov. 5, 2019).

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