This may be the world’s shortest blog but the decision is precedential. In August 2022 Rachel Moyer filed a Protection from Abuse action against Ryan Shaffer. But she did not appear for the hearing on the matter, so her case was dismissed. Ten weeks later, she refiled alleging the same facts. The Berks County Court ruled the prior dismissal made her claim non-justiciable.
The Superior Court reversed. Failure to appear is not a finding on the merits and not res judicata because there is no judgment on the merits. Wilmington Trust N.A. v. Unknown Heirs, 219 A.3d 1173,1179 (Pa.S. 2019). Ditto with collateral estoppel Vignola v. Vignola 39 A.3d 390, 393 (Pa.S. 2012).
Moyer v. Shaffer, 2023 Pa. Super. 239 (11/17/23)