Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Tioga County in the case of Evelyn E. Husted v. Board of Directors of Wellsboro Area School District, No. 993 Civil Division, 1979.
William A. Hebe, Spencer, Gleason & Hebe, for appellant.
Robert F. Cox, Sr., with him Robert F. Cox, Jr., of Cox, Wilcox, Owlett & Lewis, for appellee.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 521]
This is an appeal by Evelyn E. Husted (Appellant) from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Tioga County, which sustained one of the preliminary objections filed by the Board of Directors of Wellsboro Area School District (School Board),*fn1 and which dismissed Appellant's complaint in equity but granted her leave to file a complaint on the law side within twenty days of the order.
From the allegations set forth in Appellant's complaint, it appears that for more than ten years Appellant had contracted with the School Board for the transportation of school pupils without ever being required
[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 522]
to submit a bid prior to renewal of her yearly contracts. On June 26, 1979, the School Board decided that in the future, at least two school bus routes per year were to be bid, subject to the conditions that the bidding contractors' buses be 1973 models or newer with seventy-two passenger capacity. At the same meeting, the School Board identified four school bus routes to be bid for the 1979-80 school year. Two of those were so identified as Appellant's routes. Appellant contended that when she received the bid notice on July 24, 1979, her buses did not qualify under the new requirements and she was unable financially to obtain such buses by the bid deadline of August 10, 1979.
Appellant averred that the School Board had acted arbitrarily, capriciously and in disregard of her constitutional rights in requiring her to bid on the school bus routes for which she had long contracted without bidding, in singling her out for this treatment, and also in specifying the year and size of buses required. Secondly, Appellant asserted that the School Board rendered an "adjudication" when it elected to require newer and larger buses and when it decided that Appellant must bid on the two routes she had serviced in the past. Appellant claimed she was a party to that proceeding before the School Board -- a local agency, but was offered no hearing or opportunity to be heard. Appellant therefore contended that the adjudication reached by the School Board was in violation of the Local Agency Law,*fn2 and thus was invalid as to Appellant. Appellant claimed she was entitled to reinstatement
[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 523]
in respect to "her" bus routes until afforded a proper hearing.
In her prayer for relief Appellant asked the court below to 1) enjoin the School Board from permitting the bidding and contracting out of her routes, 2) order the School Board to treat her on an equal basis with the other school bus contractors, 3) order the School Board to award her a 1979-80 school year contract for the ...