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ANTHONY J. CHUPLIS v. SHENANDOAH FIREMEN'S RELIEF ASSOCIATION ET AL. (05/02/84)

decided: May 2, 1984.

ANTHONY J. CHUPLIS, JR. ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
SHENANDOAH FIREMEN'S RELIEF ASSOCIATION ET AL., APPELLEES. POLISH AMERICAN FIRE COMPANY NO. 4 OF SHENANDOAH, PENNSYLVANIA ET AL., APPELLANTS V. SHENANDOAH FIREMEN'S RELIEF ASSOCIATION ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County in case of Anthony J. Chuplis, Jr., Polish American Fire Company No. 4 of Shenandoah, Pa. v. Shenandoah Firemen's Relief Association, Alfred H. Knott, Adam Balkiewicz, John F. Williams, Frank P. Nork, Joseph D. Dower and Joseph Reese, No. S-1974-1981, and in case of Polish American Fire Company No. 4 of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, by John Kayes and Joseph Kleha, Trustees Ad Litem v. Shenandoah Firemen's Relief Association, Alfred H. Knott, Adam Balkiewicz, John F. Williams, Frank P. Nork, Joseph D. Dower and Joseph Reese No. S-2034-1981.

COUNSEL

Anthony J. Miernicki, for appellants.

W. J. Krencewicz, for appellees.

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

Author: Colins

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 213]

In these two consolidated cases, Anthony J. Chuplis, Jr. and the Polish American Fire Company No. 4 of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania (Polish American Fire Company) (appellants), appeal from two Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County sustaining the Shenandoah Firemen's Relief Association's*fn1 (appellee) preliminary objections and dismissing

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 214]

    the appellants' complaints for want of jurisdiction on the grounds that the appellee is neither a "local agency" pursuant to Section 101 of the Administrative Agency Law*fn2 nor an "agency" under Section 1 of the Sunshine Law.*fn3

Appellants first filed a complaint alleging, inter alia, that on or about April 7, 1980, Mr. Chuplis, while he was a member of the Polish American Fire Company, was injured while fighting a fire and was denied his allowable per diem injury payments of $210.00 by the appellee, without a hearing, as required by the Local Agency Law.

In the second complaint, the Polish American Fire Company, by certain trustees ad litem, alleged that appellee was not conducting its meetings in accordance with public meeting requirements of the Sunshine Law. The relief sought was a declaratory judgment holding that the appellee is an agency within the definition of the Sunshine Law, therefore subject to its provisions, and an injunction preventing the appellee from holding any future meetings in violation of said Law.

The appellee, in both actions, filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer which were sustained by the Court of Common Pleas. The appellants then filed a Motion to Consolidate these actions on appeal to this Court, which was granted.

Appellants raise two issues: (1) whether the appellee association is a "local agency" pursuant to Section 101 of the Local Agency Law from whose action an appeal may be taken, and (2) whether the ...


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