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VIVIAN MAXTON v. PHILADELPHIA HOUSING AUTHORITY (12/30/82)

filed: December 30, 1982.

VIVIAN MAXTON, APPELLANT,
v.
PHILADELPHIA HOUSING AUTHORITY



No. 3012 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Order dated October 28, 1981, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Civil Trial Division, at No. 3145, July Term, 1981.

COUNSEL

Arthur Edgar Schmidt, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Harold L. Frank, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Hester, Cirillo and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 308 Pa. Super. Page 446]

In 1972 public housing tenants in Philadelphia brought suit in federal court against the Philadelphia Housing Authority*fn1 in order to secure their procedural due process rights. A consent decree was entered in 1974 and amended in 1978. The 1978 amendment dealt with the tenants' grievance procedure. It provided, at paragraph 3 of the stipulation of counsel which was approved and adopted by the court:*fn2

If either party should appeal an arbitration award, such appeal shall be governed by the provisions of the Pennsylvania Arbitration Act of 1927. A party contesting an arbitrator's award shall have thirty (30) days to notify the other party of its intention of appealing, and sixty (60) days thereafter to perfect said appeal.

The Pennsylvania Arbitration Act of 1927*fn3 was repealed by the Act of October 5, 1980, P.L. 693, No. 142, § 501(c). It was replaced by the Uniform Arbitration Act, Act of October 5, 1980, P.L. 693, No. 142, § 501(a), 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 7301 et seq. (Purdon Pamp. 1982).

[ 308 Pa. Super. Page 447]

The Pennsylvania Arbitration Act of 1927 provided, at 5 P.S. § 173, that notice of a motion to vacate, modify, or correct an award should be filed within three months after the award was filed or delivered. The current Uniform Arbitration Act, in force since 1980, provides that an application for vacating or modifying or correcting an arbitrator's award shall be made within thirty days of delivery of the award. 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 7314(b), 7315(a).

In March 1980, the appellant in this case, a tenant of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, requested an adjustment in her rent, based on a federal regulation which allows a deduction, for certain medical expenses, from a tenant's gross income in the computation of the adjusted income on which the rent is based.

Appellant's reason for requesting the medical expense deduction was that her son suffers from juvenile diabetes mellitus, which can be controlled, inter alia, by a nutritionally balanced diet, consisting of three balanced meals and three nutritious snacks per day, of low carbohydrate and high protein, and avoiding "junk foods."*fn4

Appellant's request was denied. Appellant thereupon requested a grievance hearing before an arbitrator in accordance with the consent decree's grievance procedure. The arbitrator concluded that the diet prescribed for appellant's child was not a medical expense, and denied ...


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