Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County in case of Henry Pedersen v. South Williamsport Area School District, No. 80-4423.
Clifford A. Rieders, Murphy, Mussina, Harris, Travis, Rieders & Humphrey, for appellant.
John R. Bonner, Casale & Bonner, P.C., for appellee.
Judges Craig, Doyle and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 293]
Appellant, Henry Pedersen, appeals the order of the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas which dismissed Appellant's appeal of his discharge from employment by the South Williamsport Area School District (School District).
Appellant was discharged from his position as a maintenance worker with the School District on charges of theft, unauthorized use of School District property, and insubordination. Pursuant to his union's collective bargaining agreement with the School District, Appellant filed a grievance which ultimately resulted in a binding arbitration award favorable to the School District.
Thereafter, Appellant filed two actions in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, both of which have since been dismissed.*fn1 A hearing was then held pursuant to the Public School Code of 1949,*fn2 and the Board of School Directors of the School District upheld Appellant's discharge. Appellant appealed the decision of the Board of School Directors to the common pleas court pursuant to the Local Agency Law.*fn3 The School District filed a motion to strike the appeal, which was granted by the court on January 21, 1983. Appellant's exceptions to this order were denied on February 15,
[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 2941983]
, and on March 4, 1983, Appellant filed his present appeal to this Court.
Initially before us is the School District's motion to quash for Appellant's failure to timely file this appeal. The record in this case indicates that the present appeal was filed seventeen days after the court's order denying exceptions, but forty-two days after the original order of January 21, 1983, granting the motion to strike. The School District contends that since the filing of exceptions was not proper in an appeal from a local agency decision, the present appeal should have been filed within thirty days of the original order granting the motion to strike.*fn4 We agree.
Neither the Local Agency Law nor the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure provide for the filing of exceptions in appeals from local agency decisions. Appellant urges that it was proper to follow procedure in equity, including the filing of exceptions, because the court was exercising its equitable powers by striking the appeal rather than affirming the agency's decision. The Rules of Civil Procedure authorize the filing of exceptions in equity actions, but only with respect to an adjudication, containing findings of fact and conclusions of law.*fn5 Here there was no such adjudication. The court of common pleas neither heard testimony nor made findings of fact, but rather ...