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TURTZO v. BOYER (05/27/52)

May 27, 1952

TURTZO, APPELLANT,
v.
BOYER



Appeal, No. 92, Jan T., 1952, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Nov. T., 1951, in Equity, No. 5, in case of Ernest Turtzo v. E. Albert Boyer, Arthur Riland and Norman Peil, Commissioners etc. Appeal dismissed.

COUNSEL

Israel Krohn, with him Edmund P. Turtzo, for appellant.

Everett Kent and Richard D. Grifo, County Solicitor, with them Joseph G. Hildenberger, for appellees.

Before Drew, C.j., Jones, Bell, Chidsey and Musmanno, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 370 Pa. Page 527]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

On May 15, 1951, Fred McFall of the borough of Bangor, Northampton County, entered the St. Lukes Hospital in Bethlehem to undergo a serious operation, which did take place on May 17, 1951. Prior to his hospitalization he authorized certain friends, who had urged him to be a candidate for Justice of the Peace, to take whatever action might be required to qualify him as a candidate. A nomination petition was circulated in his name and the Qualified Elector's affidavit, as well as the Candidate's affidavit attached thereto, were signed by Chas. R. Steinmetz, county treasurer of Northampton County. The paper, with the affidavits appended thereto, was taken to Chris J. Hannon, Justice

[ 370 Pa. Page 528]

    of the Peace, who affixed his jurat and filed it with other petitions with the County Board of Elections.

McFall, being the only candidate on the Democratic ticket, for Justice of the Peace, was duly nominated on July 24th. On September 28th, Ernest Turtzo, who received the nomination for the same office on the Republican ticket, filed a bill in equity in the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, seeking to restrain the county commissioners from printing the name of McFall on the ballot for November 6, 1951. The lower court dismissed the bill, and the petitioner appealed to this Court.

It is the contention of the appellant that since it is admitted McFall did not personally sign the Candidate's Affidavit and Steinmetz did not circulate the petition, nor swear to the affidavit he signed, the nomination petition was void and, therefore, McFall could not have been elected in November.

Section 977 of the Pennsylvania Election Code Act of June 3, 1937, P.L. 1333, Art IX, as amended May 21, 1943, P.L. 353, Sec. 1, provides, inter alia: "All nomination petitions and papers received and filed within the periods limited by this act shall be deemed to be valid, unless, within seven days after the last day for filing said nomination petition or paper, a petition is presented to the court of common pleas of the county in which the nomination petition or paper was filed, specifically setting forth the objections thereto, and praying that the said petition or paper be set aside."

This means, therefore, that unless objections were filed on or before May 28, 1951, (the last day for filing such petition being May 21st) McFall's nomination petition would be deemed valid. Ernest Turtzo did not file his objections until ...


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