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CARNEGIE BOROUGH ANNEXATION CASE. (06/28/62)

June 28, 1962

CARNEGIE BOROUGH ANNEXATION CASE.


Appeal, No. 8, March T., 1962, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County, Dec. T., 1956, No. 36, Miscellaneous, in re annexation by Borough of Carnegie of certain tract of land in Township of Robinson. Order affirmed; reargument refused July 18, 1962.

COUNSEL

Joseph I. Lewis, for appellant.

T. Robert Brennan, with him Brennan and Brennan, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 408 Pa. Page 148]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

In 1955 the council of the Borough of Carnegie (Borough), Allegheny County, enacted an ordinance purporting to annex 190 acres of land in Robinson Township (Township). This ordinance was enacted following presentation of a petition to the council by the freeholders within the area involved seeking the annexation. Township appealed to the court of quarter sessions from the passage of this ordinance. The proceeding lay dormant until March, 1956, when, upon motion of Borough, the court gave it leave to withdraw its application for approval of the annexation "without prejudice."

On November 1, 1956 (at 8:00 p.m.), a new petition signed by a majority of the freeholders seeking annexation of the same 190 acres was presented to the council of Borough at its regular meeting. The petition was accompanied by a $150 fee and contained a description of the land to be annexed. An affidavit by one of the petitioners regarding the validity and number of the signatures was filed with the council. The same petitioner also executed an affidavit stating that at 6:00 p.m. the same evening a blank copy of the petition, without signatures, was served upon the township secretary by the attesting petitioner at the former's residence.

On November 6, 1956, the date of the general election that year, five days after presentation of the petition to council and ten days prior to passage of the ordinance, the voters of Township elected to change the status of Township from second class to first class, effective the first Monday in January, 1957. On November 16, 1956, the borough council, at a special meeting properly called for general purposes, enacted an ordinance

[ 408 Pa. Page 149]

    purporting to annex the 190 acres of land. In December, 1956, through its properly designated officials, Borough filed its petition seeking approval of the annexation with the court of quarter sessions. The next month Township filed a complaint in that court seeking to invalidate the annexation.

The matter apparently again lagged; but in July, 1958, the court convened to take testimony regarding the proceedings. The next month it handed down its adjudication rejecting the various contentions of Township and upholding the legality and propriety of the annexation. Exceptions were filed by Township, but the court en banc dismissed the exceptions and upheld the annexation.

Township appealed to the Superior Court which quashed the appeal. It pointed out that the proceedings arose under the Act of July 20, 1953, P.L. 550, 53 P.S. ยงยง 67501-67508, under which the lower court's determination of legality and propriety became an interlocutory proceeding if a complaint to the annexation was made. Under such circumstances, the Superior Court continued, the lower court, if satisfied as to the propriety and legality of the annexation, had then to refer the matter to commissioners to hold a hearing and to make findings of ...


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