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CONDEMNATION BY COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/03/86)

decided: October 3, 1986.

IN RE CONDEMNATION BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, OF RIGHT-OF-WAY FOR LEGISLATIVE ROUTE 1021, SECTION IB, A LIMITED ACCESS HIGHWAY IN THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH. ESTATE OF JULIA F. ROCHEZ, DECEASED, BY EDWARD GOSLIN, THOMAS GOSLIN, AND MARY GRACE DIGIORGI AS CO-EXECUTORS, AND EDWARD GOSLIN, THOMAS GOSLIN AND MARY GRACE DIGIORGI, IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. APPEALS OF COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil division, entered August 30, 1985 and September 27, 1985, at No. G.D. 84-6940.

COUNSEL

Jeffrey L. Giltenboth, Asst. Counsel, Com. of Pa., Dept. of Transp., Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Thomas J. Dempsey, Pittsburgh, Leroy S. Zimmerman, Atty. Gen., Harrisburg, for appellee.

Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson, Zappala and Papadakos, JJ.

Author: Nix

[ 511 Pa. Page 622]

OPINION

In this matter we are called upon to determine whether the title to section 3 of the Act of December 7, 1979, P.L. 478, No. 1979-100 ("Act 1979-100"), 71 P.S. ยง 513(e), violates Article III, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. On April 25, 1984, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation ("Commonwealth") filed a Declaration of Taking in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County to acquire a fee simple interest in approximately 50% of appellees' property. Such condemnation was necessary for the construction of a limited access highway (Legislative Route 1021, section 1B). Appellees filed preliminary objections to the Declaration of Taking.

After hearing testimony and argument, the trial court sustained three of the preliminary objections on the ground that Act 1979-100 violated Article III, Section 3 of the

[ 511 Pa. Page 623]

Pennsylvania Constitution because the title of the act failed to give notice that its amendment to the Administrative Code of 1929, Act of April 9, 1929, Public Law 177, No. 175 ("Code"), changed the law concerning condemnation for highway rights of way to permit such condemnation in fee simple. The Commonwealth filed direct appeals to this Court seeking reversal of the trial court's orders denying its request for a Declaration of Taking.*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, we now reverse.

I.

Act 1979-100 amended the Code and bore the following title:

An Act amending the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 177, No. 175), entitled "An act providing for and reorganizing the conduct of the executive and administrative work of the Commonwealth by the Executive Department thereof and the administrative departments, boards, commissions, and officers thereof, including the boards of trustees of State Normal Schools, or Teachers Colleges; abolishing, creating, reorganizing or authorizing the reorganization of certain administrative departments, boards, and commissions; defining the powers and duties of the Governor and other executive and administrative departments, boards, commissions, and officers; fixing the salaries of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and certain other executive and administrative ...


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