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PETITION FOR REFERENDUM TO AMEND HOME RULE CHARTER CITY PITTSBURGH. THOMAS FLAHERTY (10/01/82)

decided: October 1, 1982.

IN RE: PETITION FOR REFERENDUM TO AMEND HOME RULE CHARTER OF CITY OF PITTSBURGH. THOMAS FLAHERTY, AN INDIVIDUAL REGISTERED VOTER ETC., APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of In Re: Petition for Referendum to Amend Home Rule Charter of City of Pittsburgh, No. G.D. 82-14973.

COUNSEL

Thomas M. Kerr, with him Paul H. Titus, Titus, Marcus & Shapira, for appellant.

D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, with him Marvin A. Fein, Deputy City Solicitor, for appellee, City of Pittsburgh.

John M. Feeney, with him Charles P. Falk, Baskin and Sears, P.C., for appellee, Ben Woods.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Blatt, Craig and Doyle. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 293]

Thomas Flaherty appeals an Allegheny County Common Pleas Court order sustaining Ben Woods' petition to set aside a Petition for Referendum to Amend the Home Rule Charter (Charter) of the City of Pittsburgh. We grant Woods' motion to quash the appeal.

On August 3, 1982, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) filed with

[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 294]

    the Allegheny County Board of Elections (Board) a petition to place a referendum*fn1 on the November 2, 1982 ballot. The Board certified the question, after which Woods, a city councilman, petitioned to strike the referendum. Common pleas court scheduled the matter for hearing and the City of Pittsburgh, ACORN, and the Board were duly notified. Counsel for both the City and the Board entered their respective appearances, although no appearance was entered by ACORN. Flaherty, also a councilman, entered the proceedings solely as an amicus curiae. After extensive oral argument, the court below sustained Woods' petition and directed the Board to set aside ACORN's referendum petition. Flaherty appeals and Woods motions to quash.

The issue for our determination is straightforward -- whether an individual, who has appeared solely as an amicus curiae in the court below, has standing to appeal a decision of that court.

Pa. R.A.P. 501 provides that:

Except where the right of appeal is enlarged by statute, any party who is aggrieved by an appealable order, or a fiduciary whose estate or trust is so ...


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