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CARLYNTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BOROUGHS CARNEGIE v. JAMES G. JAMES (01/08/74)

decided: January 8, 1974.

THE CARLYNTON SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE BOROUGHS OF CARNEGIE, CRAFTON AND ROSSLYN FARMS, APPELLANT,
v.
JAMES G. JAMES, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In Re: Petition of James G. James for Rule to Show Cause Why Petitioner's Name Should Not Be Placed on the Ballot as a Nominee for Republican Candidate for School Director in Region Two of Carlynton School District, No. 162 July Term, 1973.

COUNSEL

Walter J. Phillips, for appellant.

Thomas M. Thompson, with him Buchanan, Ingersoll, Rodewald, Kyle & Buerger, for appellee.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 400]

James G. James (James), during the entire time period relevant to this case, resided at 41 Hawthorne

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 401]

Avenue in the Borough of Crafton. He decided to submit his name to the electorate for the position of School Director of Carlynton School District. This seemingly innocuous decision by James proved to be the genesis of this litigation.

Carlynton School District (School District) is a third class school district in Allegheny County comprising the Boroughs of Crafton, Rosslyn Farms and Carnegie. Under the provisions of the School Reorganization Act, Act of August 8, 1963, P.L. 564, 24 P.S. § 2-290 et seq., amending the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, 24 P.S. § 1-101 et seq., the School District developed a plan of school board representation on a regional basis. The School District was divided into three regions, each to be represented by three school directors. This plan was approved on February 1, 1967 by the Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County in accordance with Section 303(b) of the Public School Code of 1949, 24 P.S. § 3-303(b).

This plan adhered to, and was compatible with, the boundaries of the election districts in the three boroughs. On February 1, 1967, the James residence at 41 Hawthorne Avenue was in the Second Ward of the Borough of Crafton which was a part of Region One of the School District plan. On December 19, 1972, by Ordinance No. 1312, the Borough of Crafton revised its election districts and the James residence at 41 Hawthorne Avenue became a part of the Third Ward of the Borough of Crafton which had been designated a part of Region Two of the School District plan. The redistricting of the Borough of Crafton was approved by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County on February 13, 1973. The legality of this redistricting is not questioned but rather admitted here. Thereafter, James circulated and timely filed a nomination petition for school director from Region Two of the School District.

The Director of the Bureau of Elections of Allegheny County notified James that he was uncertain as to

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 402]

James' right to stand for election in Region Two. James commenced a proceeding designed to obtain a court order that would direct the Bureau of Elections to place his name upon the ballot for the May 15, 1973 primary ...


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