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Riverside School District v. Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

November 5, 2014

Riverside School District
v.
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County, Carbondale Area School District, Dunmore School District, Forest City Regional School District, Lakeland School District, Mid Valley School District, North Pocono School District, Scranton School District, Valley View School District; Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County, Carbondale Area School District, Dunmore School District, Forest City Regional School District, Lakeland School District, Mid Valley School District, North Pocono School District, Scranton School District, Valley View School District
v.
Riverside School District; Appeal of: Riverside School District

Argued September 11, 2014

Appealed from No. 12-CV-5116. Common Pleas Court of the County of Lackawanna. Judge Mazzoni, J.

Carl J.B. Poveromo, Scranton, for appellant.

Judith G. Price, Moosic, for appellee Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County.

BEFORE: HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge, HONORABLE ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 74

FRIEDMAN, SENIOR JUDGE

Riverside School District (Riverside) appeals from a judgment entered in favor of the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County (CTC) and against Riverside based upon the June 21, 2013, order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County (trial court).[1] Riverside appeals that portion of the trial court's June 21, 2013, order that: denied Riverside's request for declaratory judgment, finding that the terms of the Articles of Agreement for establishment of the Lackawanna County Area Vocational-Technical Schools (Agreement) remained in effect and that Riverside is bound by those terms; and rendered a verdict in favor of CTC for breach of contract.[2] We affirm in part and reverse in part.

CTC, an area vo-tech school, was established on December 6, 1968, through adoption of the Agreement. At the time of its inception, CTC had 17 school districts; however, prior to this litigation, due to district

Page 75

consolidation, nine school districts remained, including Riverside.

CTC's Joint Operating Committee (JOC), which is comprised of one member from each of the participating school districts, is the operating and governing body of CTC. CTC also has advisory committees, including an Administrative Advisory Committee, comprised of the superintendents from each of the participating school districts. In addition, CTC has an Administrative Director, Vincent Nallo, who has executive oversight of the vo-tech school.

On August 21, 2012, Riverside filed a civil complaint for declaratory judgment against CTC and all other participating school districts of CTC. The complaint alleged that Riverside is no longer obligated to participate in CTC because there are no outstanding capital expenditures and, pursuant to Article 11 of the Agreement, the Agreement is no longer in effect.

On October 12, 2012, CTC and its participating school districts filed a multi-count complaint against Riverside, claiming that the Agreement remains in effect and that Riverside violated the Agreement by failing to pay its share of the operating expenses and by unilaterally withdrawing from CTC. CTC sought a declaration that the Agreement remains in effect, that Riverside violated the terms of the ...


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