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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/24/77)

decided: February 24, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. IN THE MATTER OF BAKER NURSING HOME, INC. BAKER NURSING HOME, INC., APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Department of Health in case of In the Matter of Baker Nursing Home, Inc., dated April 8, 1976.

COUNSEL

Michael I. Levin, with him William Fearen, and Cleckner & Fearen, for appellant.

John G. Knorr, III, with him Jennifer A. Stiller, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 604]

This is the appeal of Baker Nursing Home, Inc. from the action of the Pennsylvania Department of Health revoking the appellant's nursing home license.

The Department revoked Baker Nursing Home, Inc.'s license after an investigation, a hearing and report of an examiner, exceptions to the report and review by the Department.

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 605]

The order of revocation was made on April 8, 1976 and it was appealed to this Court on May 5, 1976. On June 16, 1976 the appellant's nursing home premises at Mechanicsburg, the subject of the proceedings, were sold at sheriff's sale in execution on a judgment against appellant in the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas.

The Department has moved that Baker's appeal be quashed for mootness. The matter is now before us on the motion to quash and on the merits. Since we grant the motion to quash, there is no need to explore the merits.

The general principles relating to mootness and unenforceable decrees were succinctly expressed in O'Donnell v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, 158 Pa. Superior Ct. 533, 536, 45 A.2d 369, 370 (1946):

We cannot decide moot or abstract questions. Faust v. Cairns, 242 Pa. 15, 88 A. 786. We cannot enter judgments or decrees to which effect cannot be given. Winston v. Ladner, 264 Pa. 548, 108 A. 22; Commonwealth ex rel. v. Lawler, 343 Pa. 353, 22 A.2d 900. The rule is that where . . . pending an appeal, an event occurs which renders it impossible for the appellate court to grant any relief, the appeal will be dismissed. Commonwealth ex rel. v. Cairns, 48 Pa. Superior Ct. 265; Reichard's License, 45 Pa. Superior Ct. 606; Mills v. Green, 159 U.S. 651, 16 S. Ct. 132.

The appellant says that it "intends to attempt to obtain the premises it originally owned." It thus seeks reinstatement of its license to conduct a nursing home on premises which it no longer possesses and in which it has no present right, title or interest whatever. Even if we were to decide that the appellant's license was improperly ...


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