Wednesday, February 14, 2018

contracts - statute of limitations - contract under seal

Driscoll v. Arena – Pa. Super.  – February 12, 2018  (2-1)

Held:  A contract which does not have “seal” or “L.S.” or other language to indicate that it was signed under seal is subject to the regular contract statute of limitation of four (4) years,  42 Pa. C.S. 55245(a)(8) and not the extended 20-years SOL for contracts under seal, 42 Pa. C.S. 55245(b)(1).

That result is not changed by the inclusion of a paragraph entitled “waiver” which includes the following language: ““Borrower intends this to be a sealed instrument and to be legally bound thereby.”

The court recognized that contracts under seal are a “vestige of the past.” 

Ed. note:  What the court did not say is that the seal practice is a trap for all but the very most sophisticated parties, and that virtually no one has the slightest idea of what “seal” means or does.   This seems like something that could be challenged in an appropriate case.  See, e.g., Investors Loan Corp.v. Perez, 74 D & C 2d149 (C.P.Adams 1975).

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