Appeal, No. 8, April T., 1960, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County, Feb. T., 1959, No. 90, Miscellaneous, in re annual audit of Borough of Turtle Creek. Case certified to Supreme Court.
John A. Metz, Jr., with him Milton Fine, Joseph B. Mitinger, and Metz, Cook, Hanna & Kelly, for appellants.
Bresci R. P. Leonard, with him Royston, Robb & Leonard, for appellees.
Before Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).
[ 191 Pa. Super. Page 393]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County dismissing the appellants' petition challenging the jurisdiction of that court over a petition to quash a supplement to the auditor's report of the Borough of Turtle Creek for the fiscal year 1958.
The appeal was filed in the Supreme Court which entered thereon the following order: "October 2, 1959, the jurisdiction of this appeal being in the Superior Court, it is accordingly remitted to that court: see Manor Township School District Audit, 281 Pa. 116, 117-118."
Believing that the order gives us jurisdiction of this case and imposes upon us a duty to pass upon the merits, we shall, of course, do so. However, except for the order, it is not clear to us how we acquire jurisdiction of this dispute. It would, therefore, be helpful to us, and we believe to the profession,*fn1 if the Supreme Court would give us further guidance concerning our jurisdiction over this and similar disputes. The Supreme Court can best do this by knowing what thinking on our part gives rise to the need for further guidance.
[ 191 Pa. Super. Page 394]
For that reason, we feel justified in discussing the appellate jurisdictional problem involved.
In Manor Township School District Audit, cited in the Supreme Court order, that Court said: "The act establishing the Superior Court (June 24, 1895, P.L. 212) invests that court with exclusive and final appellate jurisdiction of all appeals in designated cases, among them '(a) all proceedings of any kind in the court of quarter sessions of the peace or before any judge thereof, except cases involving the right to a public office, in which cases the remedy by appeal to the Supreme Court shall not be affected by this act.' Here the proceedings appealed from were had in the quarter sessions, the court having jurisdiction of the matter, and does not involve the right to a public office, consequently this court is without jurisdiction and the case must be remitted to the Superior Court for determination there."
It is to be noted that the Court there relied upon § 7(a) of the Act of June 24, 1895, P.L. 212, 17 PS § 181, § 182, which provides that this Court "shall have exclusive and final appellate jurisdiction of all appeals which are now allowed to the Supreme Court in the following classes of cases: (a) All proceedings of any kind in the court of quarter sessions of the peace, or before any judge thereof, except in cases involving the right to a public office..."
The Act of March 2, 1923, P.L. 3, § 1, 18 PS § 187, provides: "From and after the passage of this act, appeals from any order, judgment or sentence of the County Court of Allegheny County, or the Municipal Court of Philadelphia... not provided by law to be taken to the court of common pleas or court of quarter sessions of the peace of the particular county, shall be taken to and heard by the Superior Court, and shall not be appealable to the Supreme Court, except upon
[ 191 Pa. Super. Page 395]
allowance as in the case of other orders, judgments, and sentences of the Superior Court."
We assume that "appeals" as used in both of these acts has the same meaning, although we recognize that at times the word is used by the legislature and the courts with different meanings. The term may include review by certiorari and it may exclude review by certiorari. It may include review by writ of error and writ of certiorari or it may include review by writ of error and not review by writ of certiorari. See 4 C.J.S. Appeal & Error § 17; 2 P.L.E. Appeals § 3; Rand v. King, 134 Pa. 641, 19 A. 806 (1890). It is not always easy to ascertain in which sense either the courts or the legislature have been using the word.
In Bell Appeal, 396 Pa. 592, 152 A.2d 731 (1959), the Supreme Court dealt extensively with the jurisdiction of this Court. The County Court of Allegheny County first heard that case and an appeal from its order was taken and heard by this Court without objection by either party. When the Supreme Court allowed an allocatur, the City Solicitor of Philadelphia joined the City Solicitor of Pittsburgh, and under ...