Appeal from judgment of Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Docket, 1970, No. 338, in case of Joseph R. Glancey, President Judge of 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.
Norman C. Henss, with him Robert C. Duffy, for appellant.
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 appellees.
Jones, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Jones. Mr. Justice Eagen and Mr. Justice Roberts concur in the result. The former Mr. Chief Justice Bell and the former Mr. Justice Barbieri took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Concurring Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy.
Prior to January 1, 1969, there were twenty-eight magistrates in the City of Philadelphia whose salaries, by statute,*fn1 were paid by the City. The chief magistrate's salary was $15,000 per annum and the salary of each of the other magistrates was $12,500 per annum. As of January 1, 1969, the office of magistrate was abolished: Article 5, Schedule 16(u) of the Pennsylvania Constitution. On January 1, 1969, a new Municipal Court, a court of record, and a new Traffic Court for the City of Philadelphia came into existence: Article 5, Section 6(c), and Article 5, Schedule 16(e) of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
The Governor of the Commonwealth then named twenty-two former magistrates as judges of the new
Municipal Court and six former magistrates as judges of the new Traffic Court. Seven of the appointed judges of the Municipal Court -- members of the bar of this Court -- were termed "Law Judges" and fifteen of the appointed judges -- nonmembers of the bar of this Court -- were termed "Lay Judges." By virtue of Section 16(r) of the Schedule to Article 5 of the Constitution, the jurisdiction of the new Municipal Court, particularly as to the "Law Judges," was enlarged and exceeded the jurisdiction possessed by the former magistrates.
From January 1, 1969, until July 1, 1969, the judges of the Municipal Court performed their duties in full compliance with the constitutional requirements.*fn2 The Constitution of 1968 did not specify the amount of compensation to be paid to the Municipal Court judges. The only reference in the Constitution to judicial compensation is the mandate that "judges . . . shall be compensated by the Commonwealth as provided by law. Their compensation shall not be diminished during their terms of office, unless by law applying generally to all salaried officers of the Commonwealth." (Emphasis added) See, Article 5, Section 16(a).
During the period from January 1, 1969, until the passage of legislation on October 17, 1969, the Municipal Court judges were paid the same salaries they had been paid while acting in a magisterial status prior to January 1, 1969. During this period the judges submitted monthly vouchers requesting the Auditor General and the State Treasurer (appellees) to approve
and to pay, respectively, salaries in the following amounts: President Judge, $21,000, payable $1,750 monthly, Law Judges, $20,000, payable $1,667 monthly, and Lay Judges, $16,000, payable $1,375 monthly.*fn3 Appellees, in the absence of any legislation, refused to approve and pay the amounts of said vouchers in excess of the salaries which the said judges had been receiving when they were in a magisterial status.
Finally, the General Assembly, on October 17, 1969, enacted legislation which provided a salary scale for Municipal Court judges in the amounts requested. However, this statute provided that, although it should take effect immediately, the salaries fixed should "relate back to and be payable from July 1, 1969." Since July 1, 1969, Municipal Court judges have been paid the salaries fixed by such legislation.
The crux of the instant controversy is whether the Municipal Court judges are entitled to the salary payments under the ...