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YORK-ADAMS COUNTY CONSTABLES ASSOCIATION v. COURT COMMON PLEAS YORK COUNTY (04/16/84)

decided: April 16, 1984.

THE YORK-ADAMS COUNTY CONSTABLES ASSOCIATION, BY RICHARD V. SPONSELLER, TRUSTEE AD LITEM, PETITIONER
v.
THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENT



Original Jurisdiction in the case of The York-Adams County Constables Association, by Richard V. Sponseller, Trustee, ad litem v. The Court of Common Pleas of York County, Pennsylvania, and Michael Gingrich, York County Controller and Russell A. Myers, York County Court Administrator.

COUNSEL

Anthony C. Busillo, II, Mancke, Lightman & Wagner, for petitioner.

John M. Garber, Garber & Garber, for respondent, Michael Gingerich, York County Controller.

Gordon A. Roe, York County Solicitor, for Russell A. Myers, York County Court Administrator.

Judges Williams, Jr., Barry and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 568]

Petitioner, The York-Adams County Constables Association, seeks a declaratory judgment in order to obtain an interpretation of certain sections of The Constable Fees Act (Act), Act of July 20, 1917, P.L. 1158, as amended, 13 P.S. §§ 61-75. The Act requires remuneration to constables for the performance of certain services listed by the Act.

In its amended petition for review, Petitioner has named the Court of Common Pleas of York County (Court of Common Pleas), the York County Court Administrator (Court Administrator), and the York County Controller (Controller) as respondents. Each respondent has filed preliminary objections, which are presently before us.*fn1

The Controller has raised two objections. The first is in the nature of a demurrer and asserts that

[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 569]

Petitioner has not alleged an actual controversy, as required under Section 7532 of the Declaratory Judgments Act, 42 Pa. C.S. § 7532, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. S.G.S. Co., 456 Pa. 94, 318 A.2d 906 (1974).

Petitioner alleges that Respondents have narrowly construed the Act as not providing remuneration for returns made to the Court of Common Pleas, for taking defendants into custody or for conveying defendants for arraignment. Petitioner also alleges that this dispute involves an actual and ongoing controversy between the parties which requires a judicial interpretation of the Act in order to insure proper remuneration for the constables' services.

The pleadings presented in this case, while not crystal clear in their presentation of the facts surrounding the dispute, are facially specific enough to allow this Court to enter a declaratory judgment terminating ...


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