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SAMUEL H. BLACK v. BOARD DIRECTORS WEST CHESTER AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT (06/11/86)

decided: June 11, 1986.

SAMUEL H. BLACK, SR., APPELLANT
v.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE WEST CHESTER AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in the case of Samuel H. Black, Sr. v. Board of Directors of the West Chester Area School District, No. 84 June Term, 1982.

COUNSEL

Bruce Alan Herald, Goldberg, Evans, Herald & Donatoni, for appellant.

Ross A. Unruh, with him, Mary Ann Rossi, MacElree, Harvey, Gallagher, O'Donnell & Featherman, Ltd., for appellee.

Judges Barry and Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.

Author: Colins

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 92]

Samuel H. Black, Sr. (appellant) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County which sustained the preliminary objections of the Board of Directors of the West Chester Area School District (appellee) and dismissed Count II of appellant's Amended Complaint for lack of jurisdiction.*fn1 Count I of the Amended Complaint, a mandamus action in which appellant sought an order compelling appellee to afford him tenure, remains before the trial court.

Appellant had been employed by appellee as the Supervisor of State and Federal Programs, an administrative position with an annual salary of $31,750 plus benefits. By letter dated June 25, 1981, the Superintendent of the School District, a Mr. Langlois, informed appellant that his position had been eliminated as a result of budgetary constraints adopted by appellee and necessitated by reductions in enrollment and funding. Thereafter, appellant was "reassigned" to a position of guidance counselor, with an annual salary of $26,460, and was informed of his right to request a hearing before the School Board (Board) if he objected to the

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 93]

    assignment. On August 13, 1981, appellant did request a hearing before the Board but appellee did not respond to his demand.

On June 4, 1982, appellant filed a single count complaint in mandamus regarding his entitlement to tenure, and some months later, renewed his request for a hearing before the Board on his alleged demotion to the position of guidance counselor pursuant to Section 1151 of the Public School Code of 1949 (Code).*fn2 On August 4, 1982, appellee denied appellant's request for a hearing.

Upon leave of court, appellant then amended his complaint in mandamus by the addition of a second count (Count II), in which he averred that he had been demoted without his consent and denied a hearing before the Board, in contravention of Section 1151 of the Code.*fn3 In the alternative, appellant pled that his

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 94]

    consent to the transfer had been obtained by fraud on the part of appellee.*fn4 Count II, entitled mandamus, sought an order compelling appellee to reinstate appellant in his former position or an ...


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