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Submitted: August 31, 2001

Before this Court is yet another appeal by Amrit Lal concerning the apartment complex known as Scarlett Manor Apartments (Scarlett Manor). Lal appeals from three orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County that granted the motion for summary judgment of Gawthrop, Greenwood and Halsted, P.C. (Gawthrop), granted the motion for summary judgment of Maria Hutchinson and sustained the preliminary objections of the Borough of Kennett Square (Borough) to the tort claims filed by Lal. Lal contends that the trial court erred in granting the motions for summary judgment because outstanding legal and factual issues existed in the case and because he was not given a chance to conduct discovery. Lal contends that the trial court erred in sustaining the preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer because he set forth a cause of action upon which relief might be granted. Finally, Lal contends that the Honorable Thomas G. Gavin ought to have recused himself from the matter.

This appeal represents the continuation of approximately a decade of litigation by Lal involving Scarlett Manor, first to avoid compliance with the Maintenance Building Code of Kennett Square (Code) and then to avoid the consequences of his noncompliance. Lal purchased Scarlett Manor in March 1988, at which time the buildings were apparently in a good state of repair and free of any Code violations. Throughout Lal’s ownership of Scarlett Manor he received hundreds of citations for Code violations, resulting in a multiplicity of litigation. In December 1993 the trial court appointed Hutchinson as an agent for Lal to manage Scarlett Manor in order to bring it into compliance with the Code. On April 3, 1997, Lal conveyed all of his interest in Scarlett Manor to his son, A. Roby Lal; however, the trial court’s order appointing Hutchinson remained in effect. On November 28, 1997, A. Roby Lal transferred his interest in Scarlett Manor to Richard and Donna Everts pursuant to a court-approved stipulation between Lal, A. Roby Lal, the Borough, Hutchinson and the Everts allowing transfer of the property free of the encumbrances and restrictions of the appointment order.

 
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