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ROGER J. PRICE v. ROBERT GRENCAVAGE (09/16/87)

decided: September 16, 1987.

ROGER J. PRICE, ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
ROBERT GRENCAVAGE, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS MAYOR OF THE TOWNSHIP OF WILKES-BARRE, ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in case of Roger J. Price, Albert S. Baran, Robert E. Delescavage, Frank Tarnalicki, and Michael Brozowski, in their official capacity as the Council of the Township of Wilkes-Barre; and Edmund T. Pawlowski, Catherine Welgosh and Patricia Karazia, in their official capacity as the Civil Service Commission of the Township of Wilkes-Barre v. Robert Grencavage, in his official capacity as Mayor of the Township of Wilkes-Barre; Jo Ann Chwiej, in her official capacity as the Treasurer of the Township of Wilkes-Barre; Leo G. Kucewicz, in his official capacity as the Business Administrator of the Township of Wilkes-Barre; and Joseph Grencavage, Individually, No. 16-E of 1986.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Makowski, with him, Michael R. Kostelansky, for appellants.

Michael I. Butera, for Mayor Robert Grencavage, et al., for appellees.

Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr., Lowery, Ciavarella & Rogers, for appellee, Joseph Grencavage, Individually.

Judges Doyle and Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 362]

The members of the Civil Service Commission and Township Council of Wilkes-Barre (appellants) appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County denying their petition for a preliminary injunction. We affirm.

[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 363]

On January 22, 1986, without approval from appellants, Mayor Robert Grencavage appointed his brother, Joseph Grencavage, as assistant chief of police. This resulted in an action by the appellants seeking to enjoin Joseph Grencavage from acting as assistant chief of police, the mayor from appointing him to that position, and Jo Ann Chwiej, Township Treasurer, and Leo G. Kucewicz, Township Business Administrator, from signing the necessary documents to effectuate his employment. The trial court refused to issue the injunction on the basis that the appellants' right to relief is not clear and they failed to show irreparable harm. This appeal followed.

It is well established that petitioners seeking a preliminary injunction must establish: (1) immediate and irreparable harm not compensable by damages; (2) greater injury resulting from a refusal of the injunction than from a grant of it; (3) effectiveness of the injunction in restoring the status quo; and (4) an actionable wrong abatable by the injunction. Leonard v. Thornburgh, 75 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 553, 463 A.2d 77 (1983). Moreover, a preliminary injunction will not be granted unless the petitioner's right is clear and the wrong is manifest. AFSCME, AFL-CIO v. Commonwealth, 77 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 37, 465 A.2d 62 (1983).

The township of Wilkes-Barre is a home rule community that has adopted an optional form of government, the Mayor-Council plan A under the provisions of the Act of April 13, 1972, No. 62, § 501, 53 P.S. § 1-501. Under this option the township which continues to be governed generally under the provisions of the first class township code has also adopted a home rule charter which has certain provisions which are pertinent to the issues in this case.

The home rule charter creates a township council of five members which provides in ...


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