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JOHN L. ORAGE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/15/84)

decided: October 15, 1984.

JOHN L. ORAGE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Office of Administration in case of John Orage, dated August 15, 1983.

COUNSEL

Betty F. Perry, Killian & Gephart, for petitioner.

Nathan C. Pringle, Jr., Assistant Counsel, with him, Jay C. Waldman and John D. Raup, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr., Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Barry and Colins. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. Judges MacPhail and Colins dissent.

Author: Williams

[ 85 Pa. Commw. Page 497]

John L. Orage, a Department of Transportation (DOT) employe, appeals from the Office of Administration's

[ 85 Pa. Commw. Page 498]

(OA) Classification Review Board's (Board) decision which denied his reclassification request. The OA seeks to quash the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction.

In January 1983 Orage demanded that DOT reclassify his position from Construction Cost Specialist IV to Program Analyst V. DOT subsequently assigned Orage's job to the Program Analyst III class. Dissatisfied with this reclassification, Orage appealed to the Bureau of Personnel of OA (Bureau) which -- jointly with DOT -- audited his position's duties and responsibilities. In June 1983 the OA determined that Orage's job "is reflective of the level of responsibility" consistent with the Program Analyst III class specifications.

Still seeking reclassification to Program Analyst V, Orage appealed to the Board for a hearing regarding the accuracy and fairness of the Bureau's determination. Proceedings transpired on July 18, 1983, and, by letter dated August 15, 1983, the Board upheld the Bureau's Program Analyst III reclassification. Orage appealed to this Court from the adverse decision embodied in the Board's August 15, 1983 letter, and the OA filed a motion to quash the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Our jurisdiction over this appeal hinges on whether the Board's refusal to reclassify Orage's job constitutes an "adjudication" as defined under Section 101 of the Administrative Agency Law (Law), 2 Pa. C.S. § 101.*fn1 See Section 702 of the Law, 2 Pa. C.S.

[ 85 Pa. Commw. Page 499]

§ 702; Section 763 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 763. To qualify as an adjudication the Board's letter denying reclassification must, with finality, affect Orage's personal or property rights, privileges, immunities, duties, liabilities or obligations. While the Board's letter embodied the government agency's final decision, the narrow fundamental question is whether the ruling impinged upon ...


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