Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of James Gough v. Borough of Norristown, No. 79-23312, In Mandamus.
William F. Fox, Jr., Fox, Differ, Callahan, Ulrich and O'Hara, for appellant.
Paul C. Vangrossi, for appellee.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge Mencer.
[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 402]
James Gough has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County sustaining the Borough of Norristown's demurrer to his complaint in mandamus.
Gough alleges in his complaint pertinently that he was an employee of the Borough, that he was dismissed on January 23, 1979, that he was entitled to a hearing pursuant to the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. §§ 551-555, 751-754, and that he was denied such a hearing. He also avers that the borough manager sent a letter dismissing him, a copy of which, he says, was attached to the complaint. However, no letter is attached to the original complaint in the record certified to us and we have not been supplied with a copy. The prayer of the complaint in mandamus was for an order reinstating him with back pay.
The Borough's demurrer is based on the failure of Gough to allege that his expectation of continued employment was established, guaranteed or otherwise governed by contract or statute, that therefore his dismissal was not an adjudication requiring hearing under the Local Agency Law, with the consequence that no cause of action was stated. The lower court sustained the demurrer. We affirm.
Section 553, of the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. 553, states in pertinent part that "[n]o adjudication shall be valid as to any party unless he shall have been
[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 403]
afforded reasonable notice of a hearing and opportunity to be heard." "Adjudication" is defined in 2 Pa. C.S. § 101, applicable to the Local Agency Law, as:
Any final order, decree, decision, determination or ruling by an agency affecting personal or property rights, privileges, immunities, duties, liabilities or obligations of any or all of the parties to the proceeding in which the adjudication is made. The term does not include any order based upon a proceeding before a court or which involves the seizure or forfeiture of property, paroles, pardons or releases from mental institutions.
An individual employed by a local agency does not enjoy a property right in his employment unless he has an expectation of continued employment guaranteed by contract or statute. McCorkle v. Bellefonte Area Board of School Directors, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 581, 401 A.2d 371 (1979), Fair v. Delaney, 35 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 103, 385 A.2d 601 (1978). An employee ...