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NOMINATION PETITION GRADY A. FREEMAN AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR 51 WARD (04/08/88)

decided: April 8, 1988.

IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF GRADY A. FREEMAN AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 5 DIVISION. VIVIAN T. MILLER/51 WARD, APPELLANT. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF HAROLD BARKSDALE AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 10 DIVISION. RENEE SAVIOR/51 WARD, APPELLANT. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF BERNARD NORWOOD AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 12 DIVISION. VIVIAN T. MILLER AND 51 WARD, APPELLANTS. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF RONALD JACKSON AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 6 DIVISION. VIVIAN T. MILLER AND 51 WARD, APPELLANTS. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF RODNEY GOLDSTON AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 25 DIVISION. ALFREDA HARRIS/51 WARD, APPELLANT. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF MICHAEL GIBBS AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 15 DIVISION. RONALD J. SHARPER/51 WARD, APPELLANT. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF WILLIAM M. TYSON AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 15 DIVISION. RONALD J. SHARPER/51 WARD, APPELLANT. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF STEVEN KENNEDY AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 18 DIVISION. LOTTIE BAZEMORE/51 WARD, APPELLANT. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF ALBERT R. LACY, JR. AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 16 DIVISION. VIVIAN T. MILLER AND 51 WARD, APPELLANTS. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF JAMES H. PEDDY AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 25 DIVISION. ALFREDA HARRIS/51 WARD, APPELLANT. IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF ALJIA DUMAS AS DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE 51 WARD, 14 DIVISION. DEMETRIUS MONK AND VIVIAN MILLER AND 51 WARD, APPELLANTS


Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in the cases of In Re: Nomination Petitions of: Grady A. Freeman as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for the 51 Ward, 5 Division, No. 4698 February Term, 1988; Harold Barksdale as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for the 51 Ward, 10 Division, No. 4545 February Term, 1988; Bernard Norwood as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for 51 Ward, 12 Division, No. 5009 February Term, 1988; Ronald Jackson as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for 51 Ward, 6 Division, No. 4693 February Term, 1988; Rodney Goldston as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for the 51 Ward, 25 Division, No. 4542 February Term, 1988; Michael Gibbs as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for the 51 Ward, 15 Division, No. 4546 February Term, 1988; William M. Tyson as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for 51 Ward, 15 Division, No. 4543 February Term, 1988; Steven Kennedy as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for the 51 Ward, 18 Division, No. 4547 February Term, 1988; Albert R. Lacy, Jr. as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for 51 Ward, 16 Division, No. 4540 February Term, 1988; James H. Peddy as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for the 51 Ward, 25 Division, No. 4550 February Term, 1988, and Aljia Dumas as Democratic Candidate for Office of Member of Ward Executive Committee for 51 Ward, 14 Division, No. 4548 February Term, 1988, dated March 2, 1988.

COUNSEL

Ronald J. Sharper, for appellants.

Robert J. Mulligan, Robert J. Mulligan, Inc., P.C., for respondents Freeman, Norwood, Gibbs, Tyson, Kennedy, Lacy, Peddy and Dumas.

No appearance for respondents Barksdale, Jackson and Goldston.

Judges Doyle, Palladino and Smith, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle. Concurring Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Doyle

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 303]

Before us for disposition are the appeals in eleven election cases where the Court of Common Pleas of

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 304]

Philadelphia County dismissed, by eleven successive orders on March 2, 1988, the Petitions to Set Aside the Nomination Petitions of eleven candidates for Democratic committee posts in the Fifty-first Ward of Philadelphia.*fn1 Each such nomination petition for Ward Executive Committee was required to have the valid signatures of at least ten registered and enrolled members of the Democratic Party. Section 912.1 of the Pennsylvania Election Code (Code), Act of June 3, 1937, P.L. 1333, as amended, 25 P.S. ยง 2872.1.*fn2 All of the Petitions to Set Aside were filed on February 23, 1988, were heard by the common pleas court on March 1, 1988, and were dismissed by one sentence orders signed the following day, March 2, 1988, entered of record on March 4, 1988. An opinion of the court, dated March 21, 1988, followed in each instance and was entered on March 22, 1988. Between the date the orders were entered and the date the accompanying opinions were filed, however, timely Notices of Appeal were filed on March 14, 1988. This opinion is written in support of our orders affirming the trial court. Our orders were entered on April 4, 1988.

We critically note at this juncture, that the notes of testimony from the hearings on March 1 apparently were never transcribed and no transcriptions were ever received as part of the certified record to this Court. We particularly note that the record, as certified, is further devoid of any order for transcription as required by Pa. R.A.P. 905(b)(1). The absence of the transcribed

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 305]

    notes of testimony from the hearings obviously makes appellate review extremely difficult, and as to some issues where the appeal ordinarily would be predicated upon a review of the record evidence, appellate review would be palpably impossible. The responsibility for the state of the record, of course, barring further explanation, rests with Appellants. Fortunately, as will be explained, we are able to address the issues presented to us on appeal here because of the cooperation of counsel.

Before reaching the merits, however, a threshold procedural issue has been presented, an understanding of which cannot be comprehended without some explanation regarding the individual candidate-nominees, and the appellant-petitioners who challenged their nominating petitions. They are as follows:

Candidate Division Petitioner

Grady A. Freeman 5th Vivian T. Miller,

(No. 659 C.D. 1988) "Representative

     of the Democratic

Political Party"

Harold Barksdale 10th Renee Savior

(No. 660 C.D. 1988)

Bernard Norwood 12th Vivian T. Miller,

(No. 661 C.D. 1988) "Representative

     of the Democratic

Political Party"

Ronald Jackson 6th Vivian T. Miller,

(No. 662 C.D. 1988) "Representative

     of the Democratic

Political Party"

Rodney Goldston 25th Alfreda Harris

(No. 663 C.D. 1988)

Michael Gibbs 15th Ronald J. Sharper, Esq.

(No. 664 C.D. 1988)

William M. Tyson 15th Ronald ...


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