Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Elmer Jonnet v. The Municipality of Monroeville, Thomas Schuerger, Miles J. Span, John P. Vicinski, Joseph K. Burton, George Dale, Lavergne Gardner, Anthony Lagorga and Ronald Droske, No. GD 76-10118.
David Abrams, with him Abrams & Mazer, for appellants.
John D. Finnegan, with him Martin & Finnegan, for appellees.
Jerome M. Meyers, with him Meyers & Keyser, and Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, for intervening appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 31 Pa. Commw. Page 438]
Elmer Jonnet brings this appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which denied his request that the Municipality of Monroeville (Monroeville) be enjoined from enacting an ordinance authorizing the formation of a hospital authority.
In January 1976, the Borough of Monroeville adopted a home rule charter pursuant to the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law.*fn1 Prior to the charter's adoption, Monroeville had taken preliminary steps in planning the construction of a hospital to
[ 31 Pa. Commw. Page 439]
serve the community, and, subsequent to adopting the home rule charter form of government, the Monroeville Municipal Council had entertained a request that a hospital authority be established pursuant to the Municipality Authorities Act of 1945*fn2 (Act). On May 10, 1976, Jonnet filed a complaint in equity in the court of common pleas seeking to enjoin Monroeville from enacting an ordinance authorizing the formation of a hospital authority, charging that Monroeville, as a home rule charter community, no longer qualified as a "municipality" as that term is defined in Section 2(f) of the Act,*fn3 and that it had no statutory authority, therefore, to enact such an ordinance. The court below refused to grant a preliminary injunction, and Monroeville adopted an ordinance organizing the Monroeville Hospital Authority (Authority) on May 11, 1976, for which the Secretary of the Commonwealth approved articles of incorporation on May 27, 1976. After a hearing on the merits of Jonnet's complaint, the lower court refused to grant an injunction on June 3, 1976, and an appeal has now been brought to this court.
Our Supreme Court has explained the character of municipal authorities in Commonwealth v. Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, 444 Pa. 345, 348, 281 A.2d 882, 884 (1971):
This Court has consistently held that municipal authorities are not the creatures, agents or representatives of the municipalities which organize them, but rather are 'independent agencies of the ...