15769, the complaint seeks the same relief as presented to my associate, i.e., to declare that the municipal tax liens for the year 1954 are illegal and void and of no effect.
I had considered the legal issues raised and intended to file an adjudication. However, the United States Court of Appeals has ruled that in a multiple complement court one member of the court has no right or authority to adjudicate a legal issue which bears on the same question of law that has been considered by another member of the court under the same set of facts and circumstances. United States v. Wheeler, 3 Cir., 1958, 256 F.2d 745.
Although the civil action before this member of the court carries with it a different civil action number than the proceeding heard by my associate, it appears from a reading of the complaint filed by the government in each of said actions that the same legal question is posed, i.e., are the tax liens entered in favor of the municipalities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania illegal and void and of no effect for the year 1954.
Even if I reached the same conclusion as my associate based on the same or different reasons, no authority exists for me to determine and adjudicate the legal question posed in this action. United States v. Wheeler, supra.
The fact that the instant action is identified by a different civil action number does not, in my opinion, require a contrary conclusion since the identical legal question is presented to me that was presented to Judge Willson.
In view of the foregoing and solely on the basis of the directive of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit as to the practice to be followed in a multiple complement court, it is my considered judgment that no authority exists for this member of the court to determine the legal issue presented. In an effort to comply with the directive of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, since no other member of the court has authority or power to resolve the legal issue, the determination and adjudication must be made by my learned associate.
An appropriate Order is entered.
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