No. 76 January Term, 1979, Appeal from Order of the Superior Court at No. 1752 October Term, 1977, Reversing Order ofthe Court of Common Pleas, Chester County, at No. 118 Miscellaneous, 1976.
J. Curtis Joyner, Donald A. Mancini, Asst. Dist. Attys., Chester, for appellant.
Michael L. Levy, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Nix, J., files a dissenting opinion.
On March 5, 1976, appellee, Sentry Security, Inc., applied to the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County for a detective license, pursuant to the Private Detective Act of 1953.*fn1 Appellant, the District Attorney of Chester County, who is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Act, 22 P.S. § 15, did not object to the application and the court granted the license on April 22, 1976. Four months later, the District Attorney petitioned the court for revocation of the previously issued license, alleging that the license had been improperly granted, alleging that Sentry did not meet the statutory requirements prescribed in the act. The Court of Common Pleas revoked the license on May 17, 1977. The Superior Court reversed, In re: Sentry Security, Inc., 259 Pa. Super. 385,
A.2d 880 (1978), and we granted appellant's petition for allowance of appeal.
The act provides in § 14(a), 22 P.S. § 14(a), that an individual applying for a license must have been:
". . . regularly employed as a detective, or shall have been a member of the United States Government investigative service, a sheriff, or member of a city police department of a rank or grade higher than that of patrolman, for a period of not less than three years." (Emphasis added.)
If the applicant is a corporation, at least one officer must meet the above-quoted requirement. Whether Joseph P. Shepsko, president of Sentry, has met the licensing requirement is the issue in the instant appeal.
At the original hearing when the license was granted, the following constitutes the complete record of testimony:
"THE COURT: This an application for license as a private detective.
"MR. HALPREN: (Attorney for Sentry) Yes, Your Honor. The application is made on behalf of Sentry Security, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation, trading under a fictitious name of Sentinel Security. The principles are Joseph Shepsko, president, and Warren Frock, secretary-treasurer, both of whom are present.
They have complied with the requirements insofar as the paid-in capital is concerned and the necessary fees.
"THE COURT: I'm told the District Attorney has no opposition to the application, as represented to me this morning. Very good.
I've read the application, and I am glad to say both individuals are known to the Court as persons of good character, and I am glad to sign the order.
"MR. HALPREN: May I file it with the papers and ...