decided: July 16, 1981.
IN RE: APPEAL OF ROBERT Z. MILLER FROM THE RULING OF THE EXECUTIVE OF HAMPTON TOWNSHIP. ROBERT Z. MILLER, APPELLANT
Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In Re: Appeal of Robert Z. Miller from the Ruling of Executive of Hampton Township, No. 723 of 1980.
William D. Anthony, for appellant.
John R. Orie, Jr., Orie & Zivic, Hampton Township Solicitor, with him Arthur J. Murphy, Jr., Meyer, Darraugh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, for appellee.
Judges Mencer, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 568]
Robert Z. Miller (Miller) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which quashed his appeal to that court because the
[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 569]
action of the executive of Hampton Township, Allegheny County, discharging him from his public employment did not constitute an adjudication, as defined by 2 Pa. C.S. § 101, so as to entitle him to a due process hearing by the officials of Hampton Township and an appeal to court.
On May 21, 1980, the township executive dismissed Miller from his position as head of the Department of Recreation for the Township of Hampton. At Miller's request, the township executive provided him an opportunity to be heard*fn1 and protest his dismissal. However, the township executive decided not to reinstate Miller, and the dismissal became effective June 9, 1980.
This case is controlled by our holding in Amesbury v. Luzerne County Institution District, 27 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 418, 366 A.2d 631 (1976). There we held that an employee's discharge had to affect a property right in the employment in order to constitute an adjudication requiring a due process hearing under Section 4 of the Local Agency Law.*fn2
Thus, we must only determine whether or not the court below was correct in concluding that Miller did not have any property rights in his township position.
Here, as in Amesbury, the employee had no statutory or contractual rights granting tenure in his public
[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 570]
employment.*fn3 Thus, Miller was an employee at will, who could be discharged at any time. Accordingly, Miller's status, devoid of any property rights in his employment, made a due process hearing before discharging him unnecessary. See Perkiomen Township v. Hunsberger, 55 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 6, 423 A.2d 13 (1980); Hoffman v. Montour County, 50 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 101, 411 A.2d 1319 (1980); Hecknauer v. Coder, 32 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 308, 379 A.2d 638 (1977).
And Now, this 16th day of July, 1981, the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, dated September 23, 1980, quashing the appeal of Robert Z. Miller from his dismissal as head of the Department of Recreation for the Township of Hampton, is hereby affirmed.