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SCOTT TOWNSHIP APPEAL. (03/29/57)

March 29, 1957

SCOTT TOWNSHIP APPEAL.


Appeals, Nos. 77, 78, 81 and 82, March T., 1957, from decree and order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County, Feb. T., 1955, No. 40, in re petition for division into wards of Scott Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Decree reversed.

COUNSEL

Maurice Louik, for appellants.

Louis D. Cooper, with him Cooper, Hunter & Lewis, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 388 Pa. Page 540]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

Pursuant to the provisions of The First Class Township Code*fn1 a number of residents of Scott Township, Allegheny County, petitioned the Court of Quarter Sessions to change the existing ward structure of the township. At the conclusion of the statutorily prescribed preliminary proceedings, the court entered a nisi decree reducing the number of wards in the township from seven to five. Appellant Wenger, a resident of the township, was granted leave to intervene and file exceptions. The court en banc, (one judge dissenting), made the decree final and also entered an order

[ 388 Pa. Page 541]

    terminating the tenures of office of the incumbent commissioners and providing for the election of new ward commissioners.

The Township of Scott and the commissioners adversely affected by the termination order thereupon petitioned for leave to intervene. Leave was granted to the Township but denied to the individual commissioners. From the order denying intervention, and from the final decree, the present appeals are prosecuted.

Wenger appeals to this Court maintaining that the redistricting fashioned by the court below is unsupported by evidence. The Township of Scott contends that the provisions of the order terminating the offices of the incumbent township commissioners are contrary to the Township Code and violate Article VI, Section 4 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.*fn2 Commissioners Hartz and Shaffron appeal from the order denying their petitions to intervene.

The First Class Township Code expressly provides that there shall be no appeal from a decree of a quarter sessions court changing the ward structure of a township.*fn3 This Court will therefore consider the matter as on certiorari only, and will direct its inquiry to (1) the jurisdiction of the ...


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