Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Scholl v. Hartzell case brief

Scholl v. Hartzell case brief summary
20 Pa. D. & C.3d 304 (1981)

Defendant seller filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer to plaintiff buyer's complaint in replevin, which sought to enforce the parties' contract for the sale of an automobile.

The seller placed a newspaper advertisement for the sale of an automobile and miscellaneous parts. The buyer and seller later entered into an agreement of sale for a total sale price, at which time the buyer gave the seller a deposit. On the same date, the buyer notified that he was willing to deliver bank money order to the seller when the vehicle and parts were tendered. The seller later advised the buyer that he did not accept the buyer's tender of the balance of the sale price, and returned the buyer's deposit. The buyer brought an action in replevin, demanding delivery of the automobile and parts upon payment of the sale price. The seller filed preliminary objections to the buyer's complaint in the nature of a demurrer, contending that an action in replevin did not lie in any situation where a prospective buyer placed a deposit on a piece of merchandise.


  • The court held that the buyer's action did not lie in replevin, but more appropriately may have been brought in assumpsit. 
  • Although the automobile was a collector's item, it was not a "unique" good contemplated by 13 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2716. 
  • The buyer failed to allege that he was unable to cover as provided in § 2716.

The court sustained the seller's preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer and gave the buyer leave to file an amended complaint.

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