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HENRY J. CIANFRANI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/01/83)

decided: December 1, 1983.

HENRY J. CIANFRANI, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM BENEFICIARIES, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT BOARD, RESPONDENT



Original jurisdiction in case of Henry J. Cianfrani, individually and on behalf of the State Employees' Retirement System Beneficiaries v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State Employees' Retirement Board.

COUNSEL

Charles M. Golden, Daniels, Golden & Saltz, P.C., for petitioner.

Susan J. Forney, Deputy Attorney General, with her Elisabeth S. Shuster and Allen C. Warshaw, Deputy Attorneys General, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr., Craig, MacPhail, Doyle and Barry. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Judge Barry concurs in the result only.

Author: Macphail

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 599]

Henry J. Cianfrani, a former employee of the Commonwealth, has filed a class action in our original jurisdiction seeking from us an order which would direct the State Employees' Retirement Board (Board) to pay interest, counsel fees and costs on retirement benefits adjudged in Cianfrani v. State Employees' Retirement Board (Cianfrani I), 498 Pa. 204, 445 A.2d 737 (1982) to have been illegally withheld by the Board from employees whose retirement rights vested prior to the effective date of the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act (Forfeiture Act), Act of July 8, 1978, P.L. 752, 43 P.S. §§ 1311-1315. The decision in Cianfrani I affirmed a per curiam order of this Court granting Cianfrani summary judgment in an original action in mandamus and for a declaratory judgment.

The petition for review now before us does not specifically identify the nature of the proceeding but inasmuch as the request for relief asks, inter alia, that we declare the determination of the Board to withhold interest a violation of the rights of Cianfrani and the class he purports to represent, we will treat the petition for review as one seeking a declaratory judgment under the provisions of the Declaratory Judgments Act, 42 Pa. C.S. §§ 7531-7541.

The Board has filed preliminary objections in the nature of a motion to strike for failure of the petition to conform with the provisions of Pa. R.C.P. No. 1019(h) and a demurrer.

Motion to Strike

Paragraph 14 of the petition for review states:

Under the terms of the System, Respondent was obligated to calculate and credit interest

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 600]

    to the Retirement and Benefit accounts of members.

The Board claims that Cianfrani's failure to attach a copy of the "terms of the System" referred to in that paragraph requires us to ...


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