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RONALD E. TOMASETTI AND WILLIAM J. HARPER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/03/80)

decided: July 3, 1980.

RONALD E. TOMASETTI AND WILLIAM J. HARPER, APPELLANTS,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, GAME COMMISSION AND GLENN L. BOWERS, DIRECTOR, PENNSYLVANIA GAME COMMISSION, APPELLEES



No. 77 MAY TERM, 1979, Appeal from the Order of the Order of Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court entered on November 19, 1979.

COUNSEL

James R. Ronca, Harrisburg, for appellants.

Ronald H. Skubecz, Deputy Atty. Gen., Edward G. Biester, Jr., Atty. Gen., Stuart M. Bliwas, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellees.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Eagen, C. J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Flaherty

[ 490 Pa. Page 320]

OPINION OF THE COURT

On April 27, 1977 appellants Tomasetti and Harper, both of whom were commissioned as deputy game protectors, were called to a meeting at which the supervisor for the Southeast Division of the Pennsylvania Game Commission recalled their commissions and summarily discharged them from their duties as deputy game protectors. On May 13, 1977, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission issued a formal written approval of the dismissal. Appellants on August 14, 1978 formally requested a hearing regarding their discharge as required by the Game Law of 1937. The Commission denied the request for a hearing.

On September 5, 1978 appellants filed a complaint in mandamus in the Commonwealth Court and respondents filed objections in the nature of a demurrer. The case was submitted on briefs to the Commonwealth Court, and on November 19, 1979, the court filed an Opinion and Order sustaining respondent's preliminary objections and dismissing appellants' complaint. Tomasetti and Harper then appealed to this Court, seeking a reversal of the Commonwealth Court's Order and reinstatement of the complaint.

The main issue in the case is whether two sections of the Game Law of 1937, Act of June 3, 1937, P.L. 1225, Art. II, § 201, et seq. can be read in pari materia or whether the sections are in irreconcilable conflict. Section 208 of the Game Law, entitled "Deputy game protectors," provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

The commission may appoint competent men throughout the Commonwealth to be known as deputy game protectors, in such numbers as the commission may deem necessary, who shall possess the rights and powers given by law to game protectors and be subject to all requirements and regulations, either of the law or of the rules of

[ 490 Pa. Page 321]

    the commission, controlling the action of ...


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