writs of prohibition - King's Bench - Pa. Supreme Court
Mayer v. Garman - Pa. Supreme Court - August 4, 2006
Majority - http://www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-140-2006mo.pdf
Concurring - http://www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-140-2006co.pdf
Exercising its "inherent King's Bench supervisory power over inferior tribunals," the state supreme court vacated the trial court's order directing that the assets of a non-party to a divorce case be frozen.
The non-party was the "paramour" of the defendant/husband divorce; she lived in Hong Kong. No original process was ever served on her. The lower court sua sponte ordered her joinder in the case, reciting an "overarching mandate…to 'effectuate economic justice.' "
The Supreme Court issued a writ of prohibition against the lower court, which it determined had acted ultra vires, without compliance with the joinder rules, Pa. RCP 2251-2255, and in violation of due process principles giving potential parties formal notice and an opportunity to object to joinder. The court held that that test to apply the writ -- which is to be used with "great caution and forbearance" -- had been satisfied: there was no adequate remedy at law, and the requested relief was necessary to "secure order and regularity in judicial proceedings."