HARRISBURG – The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has ruled to dismiss a litigant’s appeal of a judgment in excess of $5,000, one he was ordered to pay in exchange for landscaping work which was supposedly not compensated for.

On Dec. 12, judges Jack A. Panella, Judith Ference Olson and William H. Platt dismissed an appeal from defendant Arvind Delvadia regarding a judgment which was levied on allegedly-unpaid landscaping contract work with Sal’s Landscaping & Lawn Care. Platt authored the Court’s opinion in this case.

On Nov. 10, 2015, the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas conducted a non-jury trial, during which neither the defendant nor his counsel, were present. After trial, the court found that Sal’s was first a sub-contractor hired to provide landscaping for Delvadia’s residence; however, Delvadia and Sal’s entered into a subsequent direct contractual relationship for further work.

The court found Delvadia failed to pay Sal’s for the additional work, and awarded judgment in Sal’s favor in the amount of $5,062.85.

“The court entered final judgment on May 20, pursuant to Rule of Civil Procedure 227.4(1)(b), which provides for entry of judgment when post-trial motions are filed, but not disposed of within 120 days. On Dec. 10, defendant [Delvadia] filed both a motion for post-trial relief and a notice of appeal from the non-jury verdict,” Platt said.

“Although defendant [Delvadia] challenges the verdict and judgment entered following the Nov. 10, 2015 non-jury trial, he has failed to ensure the certified record includes a transcript of the notes of testimony from the trial,” Platt said. “Although not required to do so, we contacted the trial court seeking a copy of the non-jury trial transcript and were notified that there are no transcripts filed in this matter.”

Platt cited Commonwealth v. Preston in explaining that “a court cannot meaningfully review claims raised on appeal unless we are provided with a full and complete certified record.”

“Accordingly, all of defendant’s issues are waived,” Platt concluded.

The plaintiff is represented by Michael Kochkodin of Kozloff Stoudt, in Wyomissing.

The defendant Delvadia is represented by Alphonso Arnold Jr. in Harrisburg.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania case 2171 MDA 2015

Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas case 2013-CV-01386

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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