Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in the case of In Re: Nomination Petition of Natale F. Carabello, Jr., as Candidate for the Office of Member of the Ward Executive Committee of the Democratic Party for the 47th Division of the 39th Ward of the City and County of Philadelphia -- Objection of Mary Ann Soriano, No. 458 February Term, 1984.
Gregory M. Harvey, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, for appellant.
Steven Arinson, for appellee.
Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
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On March 20, 1984, we entered an order reversing an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. This opinion is written to support our order.
Mr. Carabello is a candidate for the office of member of the Ward Executive Committee of the Democratic Party from the 47th Division of the 39th Ward of Philadelphia. His nomination petition was challenged on the ground that the candidate did not meet the residency qualifications as set forth in Sections 807 and 812 of the Pennsylvania Election Code (Code), Act of June 3, 1937, P.L. 1333, as amended, 25 P.S. §§ 2837 and 2842, and Rule II, Article 2, Section B of the Rules of the Democratic Party of the City and County of Philadelphia.*fn1
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Although we have no opinion from the Court of Common Pleas,*fn2 it appears from the record that the basis upon which the petition was denied was that matters of residency should first be adjudicated by the City's Election Bureau.*fn3
There is, of course, The First Class City Permanent Registration Act (Act), Act of March 30, 1937, P.L. 115, as amended, 25 P.S. §§ 623-1 -- 623-46, which relates in part to challenges to persons desiring to register*fn4 but the Act is not part of the Code and, as we have noted, pertains to registration only. We find no provisions in the Code nor have any been cited to us which would require challenges to nominating petitions based upon residency requirements to be filed with a registration commission or a city election bureau. We conclude, therefore, that the Court of Common Pleas erred in this respect.
Concerning the merits of the residency requirement, we note that the record is clear that the candidate testified that he owns and resides in a residence at 2133 Porter Street in Philadelphia with his wife and child. That address is not within the district the candidate
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seeks to represent. The candidate's voter registration certificate gives his address as 1330 Mifflin Street which is within the district the candidate seeks to represent. That residence, however, is owned by the candidate's mother who, ...