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UNIONVILLE-CHADDS FORD SCHOOL DISTRICT v. CORNELIUS A. ROTTEVEEL (02/04/85)

decided: February 4, 1985.

UNIONVILLE-CHADDS FORD SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT
v.
CORNELIUS A. ROTTEVEEL, PARENT AND NATURAL GUARDIAN OF CORNELIUS ROTTEVEEL, A MINOR, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in the case of Cornelius A. Rotteveel, Parent and natural guardian of Cornelius Rotteveel, a minor v. Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, No. 83-8669.

COUNSEL

Robert S. Gawthrop, Jr., Gawthrop, Greenwood & Halsted, for appellant.

Francis P. Connors, for appellee.

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

Author: Williams

[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 335]

The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (School District) appeals from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County granting the request of Cornelius A. Rotteveel (appellee) and his son (minor appellee) to preliminarily enjoin the School District to provide free bus transportation to the kindergarten which the minor appellee attended in the 1983-84 school year.*fn1

[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 336]

The facts as found by the trial court, which the parties*fn2 do not materially dispute, reveal that appellee and minor appellee are residents of Delaware County and of the School District. The father enrolled his son in St. Patrick's School kindergarten*fn3 for the school year which began in September, 1983 because the minor appellee met the age requirements of that institution, attainment of five years of age on or before January 31 of the school year. Prior to the minor appellee's enrollment at St. Patrick's, the School District altered its kindergarten age requirement from attainment of age five on or before January 31 to attainment of that age on or before November 15. The minor appellee's fifth birthday was November 20, 1983.

The School District in the past has provided free bus transportation to its residents who were kindergarten and elementary school pupils at St. Patrick's and was doing so in September, 1983. Nonetheless, the School District refused to provide such transportation to the minor appellee on the ground that it was not obligated to do so because he did not meet the age requirement for attendance at its kindergartens.

It is a general rule that, where a preliminary injunction has been granted, the scope of appellate review is limited to examining the record to determine if there were "any apparently reasonable

[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 337]

    grounds" for the action of the court below. Only if it is plain that no grounds exist to support the decree, or that the rule of law relied upon was palpably erroneous or misapplied, will the decision be interfered with.

In sum, a decree granting a preliminary injunction will not be interfered with on appellate review in the absence of a plain abuse of discretion by the court below. Moreover, in the exercise of such review, an appellate court will ...


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