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ALBERTS v. GAROFALO. (06/04/58)

June 4, 1958

ALBERTS, APPELLANT,
v.
GAROFALO.



Appeal, No. 28, March T., 1958, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, June T., 1956, No. 434, in case of George Alberts v. Ralph Garofalo et al. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Ira B. Coldren, Jr., with him Herman M. Buck, and Ray, Coldren & Buck, for appellant.

John L. Spurgeon, with him A. J. Kuzdenyi, S. J. Feigus, Fred C. Adams, and Spurgeon & Spurgeon, for appellees.

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

Author: Cohen

[ 393 Pa. Page 213]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

Plaintiff appeals from a judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County entered after the court en banc overruled exceptions to the dismissal of his complaint in mandamus in which he sough reinstatement as the supervising principal of the defendant school district and payment of his statutory compensation during the period of his suspension.

The plaintiff was elected supervising principal of Luzerne Township School District at a meeting of defendant school directors on July 1, 1955, and on the same date was given a duly executed professional employe contract. Thereafter, the plaintiff performed the duties of his post until June 25, 1956, when, at a special meeting of the school directors, a resolution was passed abolishing the position of supervising principal and suspending plaintiff from his employment. Although there was testimony before the court below that this action was taken as an "economy measure," no reason therefor was recorded in the minutes of the meeting; nor is there evidence that there had been previous discussion or approval of this action by the directors,

[ 393 Pa. Page 214]

    the county superintendent or the superintendent of public instruction.

After the plaintiff's exceptions to the dismissal of his complaint were overruled, the defendants, on their own volition, reinstated him as supervising principal of the school district as of September 3, 1957. However, they refused him compensation for the period of his suspension. For this reason the plaintiff has taken the present appeal.

Although the plaintiff has been reinstated voluntarily, his entire cause of action was not thereby rendered moot. Defendants cannot defeat plaintiff's claim for damages by complying with his demand for reinstatement to his position after this action of mandamus was brought. See 55 C.J.S., Mandamus, ยง 342 (1948).

Furthermore, mandamus remains the appropriate remedy to determine to what portion of his unpaid salary plaintiff is entitled as damages, for plaintiff must still establish his right to the position of supervising principal from the date of his suspension until the date of his reinstatement. See discussion in Cain v. Stucker, 159 Pa. Superior Ct. 466, 48 A.2d 162 (1946); ...


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