Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in case of Sgt. James Bonner, Jr., et al. v. Orville W. Jones, James White and Mayor W. Wilson Goode, No. 617 February Term, 1986.
Susan Shinkman, Deputy City Solicitor, for appellants.
F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick Law Offices, for appellees.
Judges Doyle and Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 284]
This is an appeal by several officials of the City of Philadelphia,*fn1 Appellants, who appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County directing the Appellants to consider the Appellees, certain
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 285]
Sergeants of the Philadelphia Police Department, eligible to take a Lieutenant's promotional examination given on February 8, 1986. The common pleas court found the City Personnel Director abused his discretion in refusing to allow the Appellees to anticipate eligibility so they could take the Lieutenant's examination.
The essential facts are undisputed. On December 19, 1985, the Philadelphia Police Department announced that an examination for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant would be given on February 8, 1986. The examination announcement stated that applications to sit for the examination must be filed no later than January 15, 1986, and that candidates must meet eligibility requirements for Lieutenant within thirty days of the closing date of the announcement. For the Lieutenant's examination, a candidate must (1) be presently employed in the Philadelphia Police Department with a permanent Civil Service status in the City of Philadelphia with a satisfactory performance rating; (2) have one year of permanent Civil Service Status as a Police Sergeant; and (3) have successfully completed the Recruit Training Course given by the Philadelphia Police Department. The thirty-day requirement is imposed by the City's civil service regulations.
The Appellee-Sergeants, all of whom would not have completed one year of permanent Civil Service Status as Sergeant until June 12, 1986, four months after the cut-off date, sought to have the city Personnel Director waive the eligibility requirements for the examination as granting such a waiver was within the Personnel Director's discretion. If the Personnel Director would have granted the waiver and allowed the Appellees to anticipate their eligibility, they would have been able to sit for the Lieutenant's examination but would not be eligible for promotion to Lieutenant until they had met the eligibility requirements. The Personnel Director refused to anticipate eligibility and the Appellees brought
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suit in common pleas court for an injunction allowing them to sit for the examination. On February 5, 1986, Judge Thomas A. White issued an order allowing Appellees to take the Lieutenant's examination pending resolution of the matter. Following a hearing, Judge White granted the Appellee's Motion for Injunction on March 14, 1986. This appeal followed.
Before this Court, Appellants contend that (1) the Personnel Director did not abuse his discretion in refusing to allow Appellees to anticipate their eligibility for the Lieutenant's examination; and (2) the Appellees did not satisfy the requirements for injunctive relief. We shall address those issues in the order stated, ever mindful that our limited scope of review requires us to affirm the common pleas court unless that court abused its discretion or ...