Original Jurisdiction in case of William D. Reider v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Bureau of Correction, et al.
William D. Reider, petitioner, for himself.
LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, with him, Amy Zapp, Deputy Attorney General, and Allen C. Warshaw, Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Litigation Section.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Rogers, Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
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William D. Reider (Petitioner) has filed a petition for review addressed to our original jurisdiction seeking relief*fn1 from the actions of the Bureau of Corrections
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(Respondent)*fn2 denying Petitioner prerelease status. Petitioner avers that in denying him prerelease status, Respondent has violated his constitutional rights. Presently before the Court are Respondent's preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer and a motion for a more specific pleading.
Preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer are deemed to admit all well-pleaded facts and inferences reasonably deduced therefrom but not conclusions or averments of law. Madden v. Jeffes, 85 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 414, 416 n. 1, 482 A.2d 1162, 1164 n. 1 (1984). Additionally, the allegations of a pro se complaint, such as we have here, are held to a less stringent standard than that applied to the formal pleadings drafted by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972). If a fair reading of the petition leads to the conclusion that Petitioner has pleaded facts which may entitle him to relief, the preliminary objections will not be sustained. Commonwealth v. Creamer, 464 Pa. 2, 345 A.2d 702 (1975).
We first turn to the question of our original jurisdiction over Respondents Gillis, Zimmerman and Zumpetta. Respondents have filed a preliminary objection to the exercise of our original jurisdiction over these named Respondents on the basis that they are employees and not officers of the Bureau. The scope of our original jurisdiction is governed by 42 Pa. C.S. § 761(a), which provides in part:
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(a) General Rule -- the Commonwealth Court shall have original jurisdiction of all civil ...