Appeal, No. 37, May T., 1954, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Commonwealth Docket, 1954, No. 44, in re objections to nomination petition filed by Kurt J. Lesker etc. Order affirmed.
William S. Bailey, with him G. Thomas Miller and Storey, Bailey & Rupp, for appellant.
Saul L. Rubin, for appellee.
Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO
On March 15, 1954, Kurt J. Lesker, indicating his residence to be 1814 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, filed a nomination petition in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth as a candidate for Republican nomination for the office of assemblyman from the 9th Legislative District in Allegheny County. On March 22, 1954, Andrew P. Burgess filed objections to Lesker's petition, asserting that Lesker lived at 4334 Brownsville Road, Brentwood Borough, was thus an inhabitant of the 15th Legislative District, and therefore disqualified from being a candidate in the 9th Legislative District.
On March 30, 1954, the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, after hearing both sides, dismissed the objections interposed by Burgess, whereupon he appealed to this Court. In support of his contention that Lesker has abandoned his residence at 1814 Brownsville Road, Burgess introduced evidence to show that in applying, in 1953, for a motor vehicle operator's license and an automobile owner's registration card, Lesker stated his residence address to be 4334 Brownsville Road. Further, that in applying for a liquor license Lesker gave his home address as 4334 Brownsville Road. Also, that Lesker's listing in the telephone book carried the address of 4334 Brownsville Road, and that on the morning of March 23, 1954, Lesker was located at this address where notice of Burgess' objections was served upon him.
In reply to these allegations, Lesker testified that he had lived at 1810 Brownsville Road for 18 years and then in 1951 moved two doors away to 1814 Brownsville Road where he has resided ever since; that he maintains a four-room apartment at 1814 Brownsville
Road and that for five years he has been the Republican chairman of the 25th Ward which embraces both 1810 and 1814 Brownsville Road. Lesker further testified that his wife's death, which occurred on December 21, 1953, had been preceded by a protracted illness and that during this period of distress and concern over his wife's condition, followed by her demise, he had arranged to have important mail sent to his son's home located at 4334 Brownsville Road, but that he himself never took up habitation at that address. Also, that his son bore the same name as himself, which explained the Lesker listing in the telephone book. With regard to the liquor license application, Lesker stated that the 4334 Brownsville Road address appearing on that paper was the result of a clerical error in the office of the Liquor Dealer's Association, of which he was a member and officer.
Article 2, Section 5 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania provides that: "[Representatives]... shall have been citizens and inhabitants of the State four years, and inhabitants of their respective districts one year next before their election (unless absent on the public business of the United States or of this State), and shall reside in their respective districts during their terms of service."
An inhabitant is defined in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary as "one who dwells or resides permanently in a place, as distinguished from a transient lodger or visitor." Further, that the general term "implies permanent abode." There can be no doubt that in the terminology of Pennsylvania jurisprudence, inhabitant is intended to mean the most permanent type of dweller or resident. Justice AGNEW, in Fry's Election Case, 71 Pa. 302, 308, treated this subject ...