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PETITIONERS FOR FORMATION AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR PURPOSE TRANSFER TO NORTH ALLEGHENY SCHOOL DISTRICT v. SECRETARY EDUCATION AND COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/29/87)

decided: June 29, 1987.

PETITIONERS FOR THE FORMATION OF AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSFER TO THE NORTH ALLEGHENY SCHOOL DISTRICT, PETITIONERS
v.
SECRETARY OF EDUCATION AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, RESPONDENTS



Original Jurisdiction in case of Petitioners for the Formation of an Independent School District for the Purpose of Transfer to the North Allegheny School District v. Secretary of Education and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Education.

COUNSEL

William Claney Smith, for petitioners.

Michael B. Sutton, Deputy Attorney General, with him, Andrew S. Gordon, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Litigation Section, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondents.

William C. Andrews, Maiello, Andrews & Price, for intervenor, Avonworth School District.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 161]

On February 10, 1987, Petitioners for the Formation of an Independent School District for the Purpose of Transfer to the North Allegheny School District (Petitioners) filed a petition for review in the nature of mandamus in our original jurisdiction*fn1 requesting that we direct Respondents Secretary of Education and the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to approve their petition for transfer. For the reasons set forth below, we sustain Respondents' preliminary objections to the petition for review.

Petitioners commenced an action in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County seeking to have established as an independent school district a portion of Avonworth School District in Ohio Township for the sole purpose of transferring the new district to the contiguous North Allegheny School District, under Section 242.1 of the Public School Code of 1949.*fn2 The common

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 162]

    pleas court requested the reaction of the Secretary of Education, as required by Section 242.1, and the Secretary advised the court that the transfer was meritless. Without waiting for an adverse ruling from the court from which they could appeal, Petitioners filed the instant petition for review in the nature of mandamus.*fn3

On March 12, 1987, Respondents filed preliminary objections to Petitioners' petition for review asserting that Petitioners failed to state a cause of action in mandamus.*fn4 Such preliminary objections are now before this Court for disposition.

It is well settled that mandamus is an extraordinary writ which will lie only if there is no other appropriate and adequate remedy. Pennsylvania Dental Ass'n v. Insurance Department, 512 Pa. 217, 516 A.2d 647 (1986); Sever v. Department of Environmental Resources, 100 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 217, 514 A.2d 656 (1986). "It must not be turned into a general writ of error or writ of review lest we further encourage interlocutory and piecemeal appellate review. . . ." Pennsylvania Dental Ass'n at 228, 516 A.2d at 652. Further, a writ of mandamus ...


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