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HAYDEN C. JONES v. ISRAEL PACKEL (08/01/75)

decided: August 1, 1975.

HAYDEN C. JONES, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
ISRAEL PACKEL, ROBERT CASEY, GRACE SLOAN, MARTIN L. MURRAY, THOMAS M. NOLAN, KENNETH B. LEE, ROBERT J. BUTERA, HERBERT FINEMAN, H. JACK SELTZER, GUY A. KISTLER, HENRY J. CIANFRANI AND RAYMOND LEDERER, DEFENDANTS



Original jurisdiction in case of Hayden C. Jones, Jr., v. Israel Packel, Robert Casey, Grace Sloan, Martin L. Murray, Thomas M. Nolan, Kenneth B. Lee, Robert J. Butera, Herbert Fineman, H. Jack Seltzer, Guy A. Kistler, Henry J. Cianfrani and Raymond Lederer.

COUNSEL

H. David Spirt, with him Steven G. Laver, for plaintiff.

Norman J. Watkins, Deputy Attorney General with him Alan C. Warshaw, Deputy Attorney General, and Lawrence Silver, Deputy Attorney General, for defendants, Packel and Sloan.

Frank Adam Woelfling, Deputy Counsel, with him Frank P. Lawley, Jr., and William H. Smith, Chief Counsel, for defendant, Casey.

A. Richard Gerber, for remaining defendants.

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

Author: Per Curiam

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 608]

On June 8, 1949, plaintiff, Hayden C. Jones, Jr., was convicted on numerous bills of indictment, and sentenced to a term of fifteen to thirty years. Nineteen years subsequent to his incarceration, plaintiff petitioned for post-conviction relief. The same was granted and plaintiff obtained his release from prison, the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County having found that plaintiff's conviction had resulted, at least in part, from perjured testimony.

On June 18, 1974, plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court, naming therein as defendants, the Attorney General of the Commonwealth, the Auditor General and Treasurer of the Commonwealth, as the "Board of Claims," and eleven members of the General Assembly. All of the named defendants responded by preliminary objections, essentially in the forms of demurrers, the dispositions of which are the subject of this opinion.

By this action, plaintiff seeks money damages arising from an alleged cause of action in tort, which cause of

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 609]

    action may be most appropriately described as one for false imprisonment. In the alternative, plaintiff requests relief in mandamus and/or equity, which, if granted, is intended to ultimately provide plaintiff with financial compensation.

In seeking a monetary verdict against defendants, plaintiff recognizes the bar presented by the principle of sovereign immunity.*fn1 Plaintiff perceives two routes to overcome the barrier ...


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