Default judgment in favor of the Phillies kept intact by Superior Court

By Shanice Harris | Mar 8, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – The Superior Court has ruled in an appeal filed (too late) by Regional Resources Management Inc.(RRM) and Joseph S. Simone Jr. in a case involving the Philadelphia Phillies.

RRM and Simone filed an appeal after an order from the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County had denied their petition to strike or open a default judgment entered against them. The Superior Court ruled for the Phillies on Feb. 22.

The Phillies had filed a lawsuit against RRM in February 2015 for an alleged unpaid contract balance of more than $150,000. The balance was for a partial suite license, Diamond Club seating, season tickets and other services. 

The complaint accused the defendants of breach of contract, breach of promise and unjust enrichment.  The contract included a suite license agreement that was signed by RRM through Simone, the complaint states

In November 2015, RRM and Simone filed a petition to open judgment. 

According to court documents, the “appellants argued that the entities were not parties to the contract and that this constituted grounds to open the default judgment, as it was a meritorious defense.” 

Simone also allegedly made a statement in the affidavit that said Regional Resources Inc. does not exist, Regional Resources Energy Group is a limited liability company that is separate from RRM and that Simone did not have an attorney present when the contract was signed.

In December 2015, the Phillies filed an answer in opposition to RRM and Simone's open judgment motion. The Phillies argued that Simone and RRM had known about the lawsuit since February 2015 and had been told that a default judgment was entered against them that April.

 The appellants did not provide an explanation for their failure to respond to the complaint. 

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas denied the petition in January 2016, which resulted in RRM and Simone filing a notice of appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

In the end, the trial court determined that the petition to open was untimely and stated it would make no sense to go forth with the proceedings, with which the Superior Court agreed.

"Although appellants argue that they were entitled to discovery to determine whether there was the unjust enrichment claimed by appellee and were entitled to discovery on the 'a/k/a' allegation that, they claim, was the heart of appellee’s case, this court does not agree," the Superior Court ruled.

"The trial court could and did determine that the petition to open was untimely without the benefit of a hearing or discovery. It would make no sense for the trial court to prolong the proceedings by granting a discovery request when the underlying petition is untimely "

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