Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in case of E-Z Parks, Inc. v. Philadelphia Parking Authority, No. 4941 May Term, 1986.
Bruce L. Thall, with him, Gilbert B. Abramson and Thomas S. McNamara, Abramson, Cogan, Kogan, Freedman & Thall, P.C., for appellant.
S. David Fineman, with him, Diane C. Bernoff, Hunt & Fineman, P.C. ; Of Counsel, James C. Crumlish, III, General Counsel, for appellee.
Judge Craig, and Senior Judges Barbieri and Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Kalish. President Judge Crumlish, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 630]
E-Z Parks, Inc. (E-Z Parks) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which granted the motion of the Philadelphia Parking Authority (Authority) for judgment on the pleadings. The trial court found that the Authority was immune from suit under section 8541 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 8541. We affirm.
[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 631]
This case concerns a piece of property located on the south side of Vine Street, between 15th and 16th Streets in the City of Philadelphia. E-Z Parks' tenancy on the property has been the subject of two prior decisions of this court. See E-Z Parks, Inc. v. Larson, 91 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 600, 498 A.2d 1364 (1985), aff'd per curiam, 509 Pa. 496, 503 A.2d 931 (1986) (E-Z Parks I), and E-Z Parks, Inc. v. Philadelphia Parking Authority, 103 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 627, 521 A.2d 71 (1987) (E-Z Parks II). The facts relevant herein are that on May 27, 1983, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Department) and E-Z Parks entered into a lease whereby E-Z Parks would operate a parking lot upon the property for a period of five years, subject to termination upon ninety days notice by the Department in the event that all or any portion of the property was required "for construction of the highway or related transportation purposes."
Subsequently, on January 17, 1984, while the Department's lease with E-Z Parks was still in force, the Department entered into a joint use agreement with the Authority under which the Authority would lease the property for ninety-nine years and construct a parking garage on the site. On November 21, 1984, the Department notified E-Z Parks that its lease was being terminated "for the construction of the Vine Street Expressway."
E-Z Parks' first legal maneuver was to file a four-count complaint in this court's original jurisdiction.*fn1 E-Z Parks I. The first count was based upon section 2003(e)
[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 632]
of The Administrative Code of 1929,*fn2 pertaining to the Department's authority, or lack of authority, to buy land. The second and third counts were directed solely against the Department for breach of the lease, and the fourth count sought damages and injunctive relief against the Authority for tortious interference with the lease between E-Z Parks and the Department.
Ruling upon the Department's and the Authority's preliminary objections, this court sustained the objections to the first count, finding that E-Z Parks failed to state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted. The court also sustained objections as to counts two and three, finding that these counts were exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Board of Claims. As to the fourth count, the court dismissed E-Z Parks' claim for monetary damages against the Authority, but ruled that E-Z Parks' claim for injunctive relief could proceed. Since count four was directed solely against the Authority, a local agency, this court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter, and ...