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BAPTIST CHILDREN'S HOUSE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/07/80)

decided: May 7, 1980.

BAPTIST CHILDREN'S HOUSE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, INDUSTRIAL BOARD OF DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Industrial Board of the Department of Labor and Industry in case of In Re: Baptist Children's Home, No. 858-BL-S.

COUNSEL

Raymond Jenkins, with him George B. Ditter, for petitioner.

Daniel R. Schuckers, with him Susan Shinkman, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. President Judge Bowman did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mencer

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 228]

This is an appeal by the Baptist Children's House (petitioner) from an adjudication by the Industrial Board of the Department of Labor and Industry (Board).

Petitioner owns and operates a group foster home located in a single-family residence and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Steven McKee (houseparents), their two children, and five foster children. On January 19, 1977, the Department of Labor and Industry (Department) issued an order directing petitioner to submit

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 229]

    plans which demonstrate the group home's compliance with the Fire and Panic Act (Act), Act of April 27, 1927, P.L. 465, as amended, 35 P.S. § 1221 et seq., and regulations promulgated thereunder.

On June 20, 1977, the Department issued an order to show cause why, inter alia, petitioner should not be directed to comply with Section 8 of the Act, 35 P.S. § 1228,*fn1 and further, why, by its noncompliance, the premises should not be vacated, in accordance with Section 12 of the Act, 35 P.S. § 1232.*fn2 After a hearing, the Board found that the group home was subject to, and was being operated in violation of, the Act. The Board ordered that the Department institute an order to vacate and denied petitioner's request to vacate the order to show cause. This appeal followed. We reverse.

The Department determined that petitioner's group home is subject to its regulations under Section 2 of the Act, 35 P.S. § 1222, which provides that

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 230]

"[t]enement houses, apartment houses, apartment hotels, club houses, lodging houses, and rooming houses" are Class IV buildings covered by the Act and under Department regulations, found at 34 Pa. Code § 37.1, which define "lodging house" and "rooming house" as "boarding house," which is defined as "[a]ny building, except a hotel, inn, or tavern, in which persons are lodged, for a day or night or longer period, for consideration." Petitioner argues that it is not subject to ...


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