Complaint in Mandamus in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, No. 338 C.D. 1970, in case of Joseph R. Glancey, President Judge of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia, on behalf of himself and all other Judges of said court v. Robert P. Casey, Auditor General and Grace M. Sloan, State Treasurer. Transferred September 1, 1970 to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
Norman C. Henss, with him Robert C. Duffy, for plaintiffs.
William H. Smith, Chief Counsel to the Auditor General, with him Charles A. Woods, Jr., Deputy Attorney General and J. Shane Creamer, Attorney General, for defendants.
President Judge Bowman, and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Manderino, Mencer and Rogers. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Manderino joins in this Opinion.
[2 Pa. Commw. 250 Page 251]
Plaintiff, the President Judge of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia, brings this action in mandamus on behalf of himself and his fellow judges against the Auditor General and State Treasurer to compel the payment of warrants alleged to cover the judges' proper salaries during the period January 1, 1969, to and including June 30, 1969. During that period, the plaintiffs served as judges of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia, "successor" to the Magistrates' Court, having been duly appointed by the Governor in accordance with the Constitution of 1968. As required by the Constitution of 1968, all had been magistrates in the City of Philadelphia and had been paid by the City of Philadelphia a salary of $12,500 per year, with the chief magistrate receiving $2500 additional, as fixed by the state legislature in the Act of June 15, 1937, P.L. 1743, as amended, 42 P.S. 1138. After their appointments and prior to new legislation, either fixing the new salaries or increasing the old salaries, the plaintiffs submitted vouchers to the defendants requesting compensation at the following rates:
[2 Pa. Commw. 250 Page 252]
President Judge -- $21,000.00 annually, payable $1,750.00 per month;
Law Judges -- $20,000.00 annually, payable $1,666.67 per month;
Lay Judges -- $16,000.00 annually, payable $1,375.00 per month.
The defendants declined to honor the vouchers as drawn but approved and made payments to the plaintiffs at the rate previously authorized by the Legislature to be paid by the City to the plaintiffs as magistrates. This was done apparently on the basis that the new Constitution provided for payment by the Commonwealth at a rate "as provided by law". See Article V, section 16(a). Acts were introduced in the Legislature in 1969, variously amended but ultimately passed as the Act of October 17, 1969, P.L. 259, 17 P.S. 711, which fixed the compensation of the plaintiffs at the rates specified in the vouchers but made the salary effective from July 1, 1969. The complaint prays that the defendants be ordered to pay the vouchers for the period January 1, 1969 through June 30, 1969, "crediting against said vouchers the sums already paid to the Judges for the said period."
Prior to the passage of the Act of October 17, 1969, P.L. 259, 17 P.S. 711, but while it was pending before the Legislature, the plaintiffs brought an action in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to direct the defendants to pay the vouchers here in issue. An answer was filed which, in addition to the other matters of defense, pled in paragraph 10 that a bill for the payment of salaries as prayed for in the complaint "had passed the House of Representatives on June 17, 1969, and had passed first consideration in the Senate on July 22, 1969, and ...