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PAUL BAHIAN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/07/85)

decided: June 7, 1985.

PAUL BAHIAN, A MINOR, BY HIS PARENTS, JOHN AND DOLORES BAHIAN, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE ET AL., RESPONDENTS



Original jurisdiction in case of Paul Bahian, a minor, by his parents, John and Dolores Bahian v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare et al.

COUNSEL

Leonard Rieser, for petitioners.

Howard Ulan, Assistant Counsel, with him, Jules S. Henshell, Assistant Counsel, for respondent, Department of Public Welfare.

Martha Gale, Chief Assistant City Solicitor, for respondent, County of Philadelphia.

Judges Craig and Colins and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Williams, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Blatt

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 645]

John and Dolores Bahian (petitioners) have filed a petition for review addressed to our Court's original jurisdiction, seeking equitable relief in the nature of mandamus*fn1 against, inter alia, the Department of Public Welfare, the Secretary of the Department and the Deputy Secretary of the Department for Mental Retardation (Commonwealth), as well as the County of Philadelphia and various appointed and elected officials thereof (County). The petitioners seek to compel

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 646]

    the County to arrange to provide for a suitable residential placement for their son, the minor plaintiff, and to compel the Commonwealth to assure that such a placement is provided for and funded.

Presently before us for disposition are the Commonwealth's preliminary objections, challenging the petitioners' standing, asserting that they have failed to join indispensable parties, and demurring to the petition for review.*fn2

The petition for review alleges, in pertinent part, that the minor plaintiff is a profoundly retarded, nonverbal twelve year old boy suffering from a number of other disabling physical handicaps and behavior disorders. As a consequence, the minor petitioner purportedly requires extensive training, constant supervision and attention, and placement in a community based residential or intermediate care facility, but not, however, commitment to a state institution.

The petitioners allege that they notified the County of their predicament and had applied for such placement and services, but that the County failed to provide or arrange for suitable placement, even though the local Mental Health/Mental Retardation unit had recommended such treatment and had indicated to the County that the circumstances presented an emergency. They also allege that they had notified the Commonwealth of the need for a ...


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