Original Jurisdiction in case of Allegheny County Constables Association, Inc. v. Honorable Michael J. O'Malley.
Arnold H. Cantor, for petitioner.
Howland W. Abramson, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.
The Allegheny County Constables Association, Inc. (Petitioner) filed a complaint in an action for a declaratory judgment, which this Court, by order dated September 18, 1985, declared would be treated as a petition for review addressed to our original jurisdiction. Before us now for disposition are the preliminary objections of the Honorable Michael J. O'Malley, President Judge of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas (Respondent).
Three issues have been raised for our consideration: 1) whether the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County should be substituted as respondent in place of the President Judge (to which the Petitioner has no objection), 2) whether we are presented with a justiciable controversy, and 3) whether the Petitioner association has standing to sue on behalf of its elected membership. Because we answer the second question in the negative, we do not address the remaining issues.
Petitioner's complaint was filed in response to an order issued by Respondent dated March 15, 1985,*fn1 in
which Respondent decreed that constables and their deputies in Allegheny County were not to be provided with traffic or non-traffic citation forms. Petitioner avers that this order diminishes the powers of constables and seeks a judgment declaring "that the office of constable and deputy constable is one which is vested with police powers pursuant to 13 P.S. § 45"*fn2 and "that the term police officer as defined in Rule 51(c) Pa. R. Crim. P. includes the office of constables and deputy constables and that constables and deputy constables have the power to execute police complaints and all other police documents including citations to initiate criminal proceedings . . ." (Complaint, paras. 2 and 3 of the prayer for relief).
The complaint, in relevant part, makes the following allegations:
4. Pursuant to . . . 13 P.S. § 45 constables were given the power to arrest without warrant and upon view. The statute provides and [sic] pertinent part.
[C]onstables of the several boroughs of this [c]ommonwealth . . . shall and may, without warrant and upon view, arrest and commit for hearing any and all persons guilty of a breach of the peace, vagrancy, riotous or disorderly conduct or drunken[n]ess, or may be engaged in the commission of any unlawful act tending to imperil the ...