Stephen A. Sheller, Kenneth E. Aaron, Astor & Weiss, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Albert J. Persichetti, Deputy City Sol., Philadelphia, for appellee.
Kathleen Herzog Larkin, Dep. Atty. Gen., Harrisburg, for Commonwealth.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ., concur in the result.
This appeal arises from an order of the Commonwealth Court, which affirmed orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, declaring that writs of
capias ad respondendum should issue for appellants and bail be set for nonpayment of the Philadelphia wage tax. We granted allocatur. The facts surrounding this appeal are as follows.
On September 7, 1972, appellee, City of Philadelphia, filed with the Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, a praecipe for a writ of capias ad respondendum and a petition for a rule to show cause why a writ of capias ad respondendum should not issue and bail be fixed against appellants, Raymond F. Percival, Abner B. Deckert, Timothy J. Eastburn, Michael J. Nole, William A. MacDonald, Guy W. Harvey, Jr., William E. Gould, Nicholas Buampastore, William H. Hazzard, B. R. Covert, Joseph F. Kenny and E. A. Thomas, for nonpayment of the Philadelphia wage tax. The rule to show cause was filed pursuant to Philadelphia Local Rule of Court 917, subsections (c) and (d), which reads:
"(c) Arrest by capias ad respondendum must be specially allowed and bail must be specially fixed by the Civil Motion Court Judge or the weekend Emergency Court Judge, after a hearing on a Petition for Rule to Show Cause, which Petition shall be filed with the praecipe for the writ in the Prothonotary's Office. Service of the petition on the defendant must be accomplished either by personal service or by certified mail, in accordance with Pa.R.C.P. 233[(a)](2).
"(d) Upon the arrest of a defendant by a capias ad respondendum, if the defendant fails or refuses to post bond, he shall be brought forthwith to the Civil Motion Court Judge or the weekend Emergency Court Judge for a determination as to whether or not he shall be released without the posting of said bail."
The petitions alleged that appellants were non-Philadelphia residents who were employed within Philadelphia and, therefore, liable for the Philadelphia wage tax on the money earned within the city and that ...