Original jurisdiction in the case of Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association, by its Officers and J. Clark Feiser, Baron Rowland, Harvey L. Corba, and James E. Humphrey, in their own right v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State Board of Funeral Directors.
J. Scott Calkins, with him, Loudon L. Campbell, Calkins & Campbell, for petitioners.
Calvin R. Koons, Deputy Attorney General, with him, Allen C. Warshaw, Deputy Attorney General, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondents.
Gary L. James, Yost, Davidson & James, for intervenors, Pennsylvania Pre-Need Association and Graham S. Hetrick.
James O. Hausch, LaBrum and Doak, for intervenor, John F. Givnish, Inc.
Judge Doyle. Opinion and Order by Judge Doyle.
[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 176]
The present action for a declaratory judgment comes before us in our original jurisdiction pursuant to Section 761(a)(1) of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 761(a)(1), and seeks relief pursuant to Section 7532 of the Declaratory Judgments Act, 42 Pa. C.S. § 7532. The Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association (Plaintiffs) seek, by way of a motion for summary judgment, a declaratory judgment determining the applicability of two seemingly conflicting statutes to funeral directors. Plaintiffs are an association and representative members of the association who are
[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 177]
licensees of the State Board of Funeral Directors (State Board). The State Board is the principal defendant.*fn1 The case at bar involves a determination of what percentage of funds collected by funeral directors from consumers who enter into pre-need, pre-financed contracts with them for the sale of funeral services (and merchandise incident to such services) must be placed in escrow.
Section 13(c) of the Funeral Director Law, Act of January 14, (1951), P.L. 1898, as amended, 63 P.S. § 479.13(c),*fn2 requires all such receipts to be escrowed, and provides in pertinent part:
No person other than a licensed funeral director shall, directly or indirectly, or through an agent, offer to or enter into a contract with a living person to render funeral services to such person when needed. If any such licensed funeral director shall accept any money for such contracts, he shall, forthwith, either deposit the same in an escrow account in, or transfer the same in trust to, a banking institution in this Commonwealth, conditioned upon its withdrawal or disbursement only for the purposes for which such money was accepted. (Emphasis added.)
[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 178]
Definitionally, under Section 2 of the Funeral Director Law, 63 P.S. § 479.2(1), the term ...