Appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Alton Glenson Knauer, No. 633 June Term, 1971.
Richard Kirshner, with him Gene Locks, for appellant.
Albert R. Subers, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 361]
Alton Glenson Knauer has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County dismissing his appeal from an order of a Justice of the Peace finding him guilty of violating an ordinance of Upper Gwynedd Township and ordering him to pay a fine of $25.00 and costs of $11.00.
The court below, based upon the record made before it in a trial de novo, found that the defendant, an employee on strike, was, on February 12, 1971, in an orderly picket line at the entrance of his employer's premises; that the defendant came into contact with a motor vehicle operated by another employee who, under direction of a township police officer, was departing the employer's premises; and that the defendant then went to the window of the driver's vehicle, reached in and "hit the operator's head, knocking his hat off." The court below in both its opinion and order characterized the defendant's actions as an assault and battery.
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 362]
The ordinance which Knauer was charged with violating was adopted by Upper Gwynedd, a First Class Township, in 1964, is entitled "An Ordinance Regulating Picketing Within The Township of Upper Gwynedd And Providing Penalties For Violation Of The Provisions Thereof" and renders unlawful the engaging in picketing by force, violence, duress, breach of the peace or threat thereof; engaging in picketing in such a manner as to prevent ingress and egress to or from any premises; engaging in picketing in such a manner as to obstruct, prevent, or interfere with the use of public streets by other persons; and engaging in picketing other than in a reasonable and peaceful manner.*fn1
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 363]
The appellant raises a number of questions concerning the statutory and constitutional validity of the ordinance and the procedures below which it is not necessary to discuss because we have concluded that the ordinance is in excess of the powers granted the township by the Legislature, and that Knauer's conduct, even if proscribed by a valid ordinance, was not one within the power of the township to prosecute as a violation of a municipal ordinance.
It is fundamental that municipal corporations are creatures of the State and that the authority of the Legislature over their powers is supreme. Shirk v. Lancaster City, 313 Pa. 158, 169 A. 557 (1933). Municipal corporations have no inherent powers and may do only those things which the Legislature has expressly or by necessary implication placed within their power to do. Gagliardi v. Ambridge Borough, 401 Pa. 141, 163 A.2d 418 (1960). As expressed by Judge Woodside, whose opinion was adopted by our Supreme Court in Kline v. Harrisburg, 362 Pa. 438, 443, 68 A.2d 182, 184-185 (1949): "Municipalities are not sovereigns. Their powers are limited. It has been said that: 'Nothing is better settled than that a municipal corporation does not possess and cannot exercise any other than the following powers: (1) those granted in express words; (2) those necessarily or fairly ...