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ANNEXATION TO BOROUGH WEST ALEXANDER A PORTION DONEGAL TOWNSHIP BY TOWN COUNCIL. BOROUGH WEST ALEXANDER (12/30/80)

decided: December 30, 1980.

IN RE: ANNEXATION TO THE BOROUGH OF WEST ALEXANDER OF A PORTION OF DONEGAL TOWNSHIP BY THE TOWN COUNCIL. THE BOROUGH OF WEST ALEXANDER, APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County in the case of In Re: Annexation to the Borough of West Alexander of a Portion of Donegal Township by the Town Council, No. 487 May Term, 1967 Q.S.

COUNSEL

Sanford S. Finder, for appellant.

Frank C. Carroll, P.C., for appellees.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 606]

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County dismissing the

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 607]

    petition filed by the Borough of West Alexander seeking annexation of a portion of Donegal Township, a second class township, to the Borough of West Alexander.

The procedural background of the instant appeal can be summarized as follows. In August of 1967, appellant, Borough of West Alexander, filed an annexation petition pursuant to Section 1 of the Act of July 20, 1953, P.L. 550, 53 P.S. § 67501. In May of 1968, following a hearing on the proposed annexation, the trial court appointed a board of commissioners under the provisions of Section 3 of the Act of July 20, 1953, 53 P.S. § 67503.

The commissioners filed a report, in March of 1969, stating that they were unable to determine whether a majority of the freeholders in the area proposed to be annexed had signed the petition, because the description contained in the petition did not completely enclose any area when plotted. Following the dismissal of a proposed amendment to the petition, the trial court, in April of 1970, entered an opinion and order dismissing the proceedings. In September of 1971, the Superior Court*fn1 affirmed the dismissal. Donegal Township Annexation Case. West Alexander Borough Appeal, 219 Pa. Superior Ct. 770, 281 A.2d 338 (1971).

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, in West Alexander Borough Annexation Case, 450 Pa. 453, 301 A.2d 662 (1973), reversed the Superior Court and held that the commission violated due process in failing to provide an opportunity for the appellant to present rebuttal evidence as to the adequacy of the description and with regard to whether a sufficient number of freeholders had signed the petition for

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 608]

    annexation. The case was remanded so that such a fair ...


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