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STATE BOARD FUNERAL DIRECTORS v. WILLIAM SIRLIN (01/25/71)

decided: January 25, 1971.

STATE BOARD OF FUNERAL DIRECTORS
v.
WILLIAM SIRLIN



Appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County from the Adjudication of the State Board of Funeral Directors in case of State Board of Funeral Directors v. William Sirlin. Appeal transferred September 1, 1970, to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

COUNSEL

Robert E. Woodside, with him Woodside, Woodside and Zwally, for appellant.

Walter W. Wilt, Assistant Attorney General, with him Fred Speaker, Attorney General, and Marvin I. Block, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 1 Pa. Commw. Page 127]

Pursuant to the provisions of the Funeral Director's Law of January 14, 1952, P.L. (1951) 1898, Section 12, 63 P.S. 479.12, William Sirlin (hereinafter called appellant) appealed from an adjudication and order of the State Board of Funeral Directors (hereinafter called Board) to the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County. Jurisdiction of the appeal having been vested in the Commonwealth Court by Section 403(1) of the Appellate Court Jurisdiction Act of 1970, P.L. (1970), Act No. 223, approved July 31, 1970, 17 P.S. 211.403(1), the record has been transferred here for disposition.

The citation charged appellant with "gross incompetency, negligence or misconduct in the carrying on of the profession" and "violation of or noncompliance with the provisions of . . . the rules and regulations of

[ 1 Pa. Commw. Page 128]

    the board" which offenses separately and independently provide grounds for the suspension or revocation of appellant's license under the Funeral Director's Law of 1952, January 14, P.L. (1951) 1898, Section 11(5)(6), 63 P.S. 479.11(5)(6). The rule allegedly violated is 16.7 of the Board as follows: "After having been called upon to remove the remains from the scene of an accident or in comparable circumstances, the funeral director shall incur no expense beyond that for the removal, unless after reasonable effort the family of the deceased cannot be contacted. Once such contact is established, the funeral director in the above circumstances shall, in the quickest and most expeditious manner, release the remains to the funeral director of the family's choice."

The adjudication and order appealed from made February 14, 1968 suspended appellant's license to practice funeral directing issued July 1, 1924, for a period of one year. This appeal was taken and a supersedeas granted before the suspension became effective.

Although the testimony contains discrepancies as to details caused by the passage of fifteen months from the time of the questioned incident until the Board's hearing, the material facts are not in dispute.

In October 1966, Marion Edna Remaly Freeman, ill and subsisting on public welfare, lived alone in rooms in Sheffield Street on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Her marriage to one Edward Freeman was apparently putative, having been bigamous on his part. Her former married name was Remaly and there were two children of the Remaly marriage. On Friday, October 21, 1966, Mrs. Freeman delivered certain insurance policies on her life to Margaret K. Sperling, an employee of a funeral establishment ...


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