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ANTHONY SZYMANSKI v. ALLEGHENY COUNTY COURT CRIMINAL DIVISION AND COURT ADMINISTRATOR (09/27/83)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: September 27, 1983.

ANTHONY SZYMANSKI, PETITIONER
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY COURT CRIMINAL DIVISION AND COURT ADMINISTRATOR, RESPONDENTS

Original Jurisdiction in case of Anthony Szymanski v. Allegheny County Court Criminal Division and Court Administrator.

COUNSEL

Anthony Szymanski, petitioner, for himself.

Paul J. Gelman, with him Charles W. Johns, for respondents.

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 317]

Petitioner, Anthony Szymanski, filed a complaint for civil damages under our original jurisdiction, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated during a criminal proceeding in which he was convicted and sentenced for robbery and murder. The preliminary objections of Respondents, Allegheny County Court and Court Administrator, are now before us. We find that we cannot reach the merits of these preliminary objections because this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.

A careful examination of Petitioner's complaint reveals that the action is essentially one in trespass, based upon allegations that Respondents' negligence resulted in violations of Petitioner's constitutional rights. Section 761 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 761, states, in pertinent part:

(a) General Rule. -- The Commonwealth Court shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions or proceedings:

(1) Against the Commonwealth Government, including any officer thereof, acting in his official capacity, except:

(v) actions or proceedings in the nature of trespass as to which the Commonwealth government

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 318]

    formerly enjoyed sovereign or other immunity and actions or proceedings in the nature of assumpsit relating to such actions or proceedings in the nature of trespass.

Under this section it is clear that the Commonwealth Court's original jurisdiction does not extend to the present action in trespass against the Allegheny County Court and Court Administrator.*fn1

Petitioner's complaint also includes a request for release from incarceration. Such a request is in the nature of an application for a writ of habeas corpus or a petition for post conviction relief, matters over which this Court also lacks jurisdiction. Section 761 (a)(1)(i) of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 761(a)(1)(i). Accordingly, we shall transfer the complaint to the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas,*fn2 pursuant to Section 5103 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 5103, to insure that Petitioner's rights, including those relating to post conviction relief, and Petitioner's right to counsel,*fn3 are addressed.*fn4

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 319]

Order

Now, September 27, 1983, this Court being without jurisdiction, the complaint of the Petitioner in the above referenced matter, docketed in the Commonwealth Court at 449 Miscellaneous Docket No. 3, is hereby transferred to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, pursuant to the provisions of Pa. R.A.P. 751.

Disposition

Case transferred to Allegheny County.


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