Clark v. Peugh

The Pennsylvania Superior Court heard an appeal taken after the Court of Common Pleas granted the defendant’s preliminary objections, thereby dismissing the action. The plaintiff and defendant got into a bar fight, which ended when the plaintiff fell backward and struck his head on a gate. The plaintiff was charged criminally, convicted, and sentenced. As part of his sentence, he was required to pay for the defendant’s lost wages. He filed this suit claiming that the defendant did not have lost wages. First, the Court held that the plaintiff did not waive a claim by failing to respond to the defendant’s preliminary objection to subject matter jurisdiction. On the merits, the Court held that a criminal defendant could not collaterally attack his criminal conviction through a civil action asserting common law claims. As a result, the Court held it did not have jurisdiction and affirmed the lower court’s order.

Clark