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JOSEPH RUSSO v. PHILADELPHIA COUNTY BOARD ELECTIONS (04/04/88)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: April 4, 1988.

JOSEPH RUSSO, APPELLANT
v.
PHILADELPHIA COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in the case of Joseph Russo v. Philadelphia County Board of Elections, No. 6481, February Term, 1988.

COUNSEL

Joseph Russo, appellant, for himself.

Pamela P. Cohen, for appellee, Democratic City Committee.

Ralph J. Teti, Chief Deputy City Solicitor, for appellee, Board of Elections.

Judge Colins, and Senior Judges Barbieri and Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Kalish. Concurring Opinion by Judge Barbieri. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Colins. Judge Colins dissents.

Author: Kalish

On March 30, 1988, this Court remanded this election matter for a further hearing concerning appellant's petition to withdraw a withdrawal of a nomination petition by reason of duress. The trial court conducted a hearing on April 6, 1988 and issued findings of fact and conclusions of law on April 8, 1988.

The trial court concluded on April 8, 1988 that appellant's withdrawal of his nomination petition was "the product of coercion and duress and, therefore, involuntary," and that appellant should be reinstated as a candidate for the office of Member of the Ward Executive Committee of the Democratic Party for the 39th Ward, 40th Division of the City and County of Philadelphia of the 1988 Primary Election to be held April 26, 1988. In light of the trial court's specific findings on this matter upon remand,*fn1 we must reverse the trial court's original order of March 1, 1988 and order that appellant be reinstated as a candidate for the office of Member of the Ward Executive Committee of the Democratic Party for the 39th Ward, 40th Division of the City and County of Philadelphia at the 1988 Primary Election to be held April 26, 1988.

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 198]

Order

Now, April 12, 1988, the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, No. 6481 February Term, 1988, dated March 1, 1988, is reversed, and the Philadelphia County Board of Elections is directed to certify Joseph Russo as a candidate for the office of Member of the Ward Executive Committee of the Democratic Party for the 39th Ward, 40th Division of the City and County of Philadelphia at the 1988 Primary Election to be held April 26, 1988.

Disposition

Reversed and remanded. Hearing held. Findings issued. Reinstatement of candidate ordered.


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