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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA ET AL. v. ALLISON RICH ET AL. (12/01/81)

decided: December 1, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
ALLISON RICH ET AL., APPELLEES. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA AND CITY OF PHILADELPHIA V. PAUL HARRIS ET AL. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in the cases of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Allison Rich, Citation No. 77-06-57243; Darryl Edwards (a/k/a David Gemza) Citation No. 77-06-062364; Fred Vennell, Citation No. 77-06-054700; Linda Jackson and Ronald Kifer, Citation No. 77-06-57898 and Betty Jane Allsup, Citation No. 77-09-048506, and in cases of Paul Harris, Citation No. 78-06-11876; Robert Lee Bradfield, Citation No. 78-06-11878; Julia Rieman, Citation No. 78-09-09306; Robert Goldsmith, Citation No. 78-15-13536 and Joseph Steiner, Citation No. 78-24-07007, dated July 25, 1978.

COUNSEL

Maxine J. Stotland, Assistant District Attorney, with her Steven H. Goldblatt, Deputy District Attorney, and Edward G. Rendell, District Attorney, for appellant, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Michael A. Seidman, for appellee, Allison Rich.

Joseph N. Bongiovanni, III, for appellee, Darryl Edwards a/k/a David Gemza.

Norman A. Oshtry, with him Judith S. Eden, for appellees, Betty Jane Allsup, Linda Jackson, Fred Vennell, Robert Lee Bradford, and Julia Rieman.

Alan J. Davis, City Solicitor, with him Judith N. Dean, Deputy City Solicitor, for appellant, City of Philadelphia.

Joan Botto Williamson, for appellee, Paul Harris.

Michael A. Seidman, for appellees, Robert Goldsmith and Joseph Steiner.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Craig, MacPhail and Palladino. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judges Mencer and MacPhail dissent. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Crumlish

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 32]

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia appeal a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas decision*fn1 which struck down as unconstitutional and preempted Philadelphia's Obscenity Ordinance (Ordinance)*fn2 and discharged appellees. We reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 33]

Preemption

The State Obscenity Act*fn3 (Act) is silent on the issue of preemption, leading us to ascertain the intent of the legislature. If the general tenor of the Act reflects an intent to prohibit local ordinances, we are bound to follow that intention. United Tavern Owners of Philadelphia v. Philadelphia School District, 441 Pa. 274, 272 A.2d 868 (1971). Our review of the statute reveals neither an express nor implied legislative intention to prevent municipalities from enacting supplemental pornography legislation.*fn4 Thus, United Taverns requires us to compare these two enactments for inconsistencies or contradictions. ...


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