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HARTSHORN v. ALLEGHENY COUNTY (05/16/73)

decided: May 16, 1973.

HARTSHORN, ET AL.
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, ET AL.



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in case of Robert L. Hartshorn and Michael Davis v. The County of Allegheny, Leonard C. Staisey, Thomas J. Foerster, William R. Hunt, M.D. and Robert Duggan, No. 1433 January Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

Henry W. Ewalt, Special Labor Counsel and Assistant County Solicitor, with him Francis A. Barry, County Solicitor, for appellants.

Ronald P. Koerner, with him Gatz, Cohen, Segal & Koerner, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. President Judge Bowman dissents.

Author: Crumlish

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 133]

The Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County held that the county detectives of Allegheny County are "policemen" within the meaning of the Act of June 24, 1968, P.L. 247, Section 1, 43 P.S. § 217.1. (Act 111).

Hence this appeal by the County Commissioners and the District Attorney.

The appellees herein were appointed and presently serve as county detectives for Allegheny County by the District Attorney by virtue of the power vested in him by the Act of July 28, 1953, P.L. 723, 16 P.S. § 4440. They were elected to the Wage and Police Committee

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 134]

    by the county detectives pursuant to the provisions of Act 111.

On June 24, 1971, appellees as representatives of the staff of county detectives notified in writing the County Commissioners and the District Attorney of their desire to engage in collective bargaining as provided in Act 111. On September 10, 1971, they notified appellants in writing of their intention to engage in binding arbitration under the same Act.

Appellants ignored both of these requests and this litigation ensued. Appellees filed a Complaint in Mandamus by which they sought to compel appellants to arbitrate. Preliminary Objections of appellants and Motions for Summary Judgment by both parties were heard by Judge John J. McLean who filed an opinion which contained an order which dismissed the Preliminary Objections and granted summary judgment in favor of appellees.

Appellants argue that (1) this Court should overrule its own ruling in Venneri v. County of Allegheny, 5 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 105, 289 A.2d 523 (1972), and designate the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board as the initial forum in which to determine the issue of the status of certain public employees under Act 111 and (2) appellees are not "policemen" as described in Act 111, but on the contrary they ...


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