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PETITION CITY PITTSBURGH. FRANK A. DABECCO (04/17/78)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: April 17, 1978.

IN RE: PETITION OF CITY OF PITTSBURGH. FRANK A. DABECCO, APPELLANT

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In Re: Petition of City of Pittsburgh, No. 1687 July Term, 1974.

COUNSEL

Thomas J. Cox, Jr., with him Daniel Krause, for appellant.

Rodney W. Fink, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of two. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 19]

Appellant, Frank A. Dabecco, appeals a decision of the Court of Common Pleas dismissing his petition to show cause why a tax sale to Objectors, Anthony Pivisotto and Robert Woods, should not be set aside.

The following factual presentation serves as the genesis of this controversy.

Pursuant to Section 1 of the Act of July 5, 1947 (Act), P.L. 1258, as amended, 53 P.S. § 26101,*fn1 certain

[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 20]

    tax delinquent properties located in the City of Pittsburgh (City) were offered for sale to the public by the City. Appellant submitted a bid of $5,000.00 for these properties and, in accordance with Section 12(b) of the Act, 53 P.S. § 26112(b), the City petitioned for the validation of Appellant's tax title and approval of the sale.*fn2 Objectors entered an objection to the City's petition alleging that Appellant's bid price was inadequate. A hearing on the City's petition, therefore, was held pursuant to Section 14 of the Act, 53 P.S. § 26114,*fn3 at which Objectors submitted a bid of $5,500.00. Appellant, appearing as a bidder, refused

[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 21]

    to increase his bid*fn4 claiming that, although he was a low bidder, he was a more qualified developer than Objectors and, therefore, the interest of the City would be better served by approving his bid. After taking evidence on the qualifications of each bidder, the court below concluded that sale of the properties to Objectors as high bidder would be in the best interest of the City. The City's petition for validation and approval, therefore, was denied and sale of the properties to Objectors for $5,500.00 was approved.

The City thereafter filed a petition for rule to show cause why the sale to Objectors should not be set aside alleging that the information received at the hearing on their petition for validation and approval regarding Objectors' ability to develop the subject properties was inaccurate and incomplete. The petition was granted and the matter retried. The City moved to make the rule to show cause absolute. Finding no basis for the City's allegations, the court below denied the motion and concluded that no abuse of discretion or error of law was committed.

The City pursued no further appeals. Appellant, however, petitioned the court below to set aside the sale to Objectors alleging that Objectors failed to pay the full purchase price of the properties; that Objectors failed to develop or arrange for the development of the properties; and that Objectors posted the properties for sale at public auction, thereby demonstrating no intention to develop the properties. The court below refused to disturb the sale to Objectors, finding that all conditions of the sale had been satisfied.

Appellant comes to us contending that he is a more qualified developer than Objectors and that the lower court abused its discretion in sustaining approval of

[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 22]

    the properties to Objectors. We fail to find an adequate basis for Appellant's standing to raise these issues.

Our Supreme Court, in William Penn Parking Garage, Inc. v. City of Pittsburgh, 464 Pa. 168, 346 A.2d 269 (1975), held that standing requires an aggrieved party showing a substantial, direct and immediate interest in the subject matter of the litigation. The requirement of a "substantial interest" simply means that there must be some discernible adverse effect to some interest other than the abstract interest of all citizens in having others comply with the law. The requirement of a "direct interest" means that the person claiming to be aggrieved must show causation of harm to his interest by the matter of which he complains. The nature of the connection between the action complained of and the injury to the person challenging it is the concern of the immediate interest element. 464 Pa. at 195, 346 A.2d at 282.

Appellant fails to demonstrate how he is aggrieved under these standards. He is merely a disappointed bidder and has no standing to raise the objections herein enumerated.*fn5

Accordingly, we

Order

And Now, this 17th day of April, 1978, the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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