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HARRISON TOWNSHIP CASE. (06/04/63)

June 4, 1963

HARRISON TOWNSHIP CASE.


Appeal, No. 106, March T., 1963, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County, Sept. T., 1960, No. 3, Miscellaneous Docket, in re petition for division into wards of Harrison Township. Order, as modified, affirmed.

COUNSEL

Cyril C. Vidra, for appellant.

Maurice H. Goldstein, for appellees.

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

Author: Eagen

[ 411 Pa. Page 227]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

Acting in accordance with the provisions of the Act of June 24, 1931, P.L. 1206, § 401, as amended, 53 P.S. § 55401, more than one hundred freeholders and residents

[ 411 Pa. Page 228]

    of Harrison Township, a first class township in Allegheny County, petitioned the court of quarter sessions for a redivision of the wards thereof. Commissioners were appointed and several reports filed. Various exceptions thereto were acted upon by the court and from the final order entered in the proceedings, this appeal ensued.

The statute, § 403 of the Act of June 24, 1931, supra, as amended, 53 P.S. § 55403, specifically provides that from such decree there shall be no appeal, hence our inquiry and review is limited to the questions of jurisdiction, the regularity of the proceedings, and whether or not the court below acted within the scope of its powers: Scott Twp. Appeal, 388 Pa. 539, 130 A.2d 695 (1957). The merits of the controversy and the interpretation given to the facts or the law by the court below may not be reviewed: Raby v. Board of Finance and Revenue, 405 Pa. 495, 176 A.2d 661 (1962).

The jurisdiction of the court and the regularity of the proceedings are not questioned. The attack on appeal is limited to the assertion that the court exceeded its statutory powers.

Section 401 of the Act of 1931, supra, provides in part: "The court of quarter sessions, upon petition, may divide or redivide any township ... into wards, erect any wards out of two or more adjoining wards, or parts thereof, divide any wards already erected into two or more wards, or alter the lines or boundaries of and two or more adjoining wards, and may cause lines or boundaries of wards to be fixed and established."

In Scott Twp. Appeal, supra, this Court ruled that the statute does not give the court of quarter sessions the power to abolish a ward (containing three hundred and fifty electors or more) even though the abolishment be accomplished by a consolidation, and that such action would be contrary to ...


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