Zemprelli v. Scranton

CourtCommonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtBefore CRUMLISH, Jr., President Judge, COLINS, J., and KALISH; CRUMLISH, Jr.
Citation519 A.2d 518,102 Pa.Cmwlth. 637
PartiesEdward P. ZEMPRELLI, Petitioner, v. William W. SCRANTON, III, Respondent. Edward P. ZEMPRELLI, Petitioner, v. Robert C. JUBELIRER, Respondent.
Decision Date24 November 1986

Page 518

519 A.2d 518
102 Pa.Cmwlth. 637
Edward P. ZEMPRELLI, Petitioner,
William W. SCRANTON, III, Respondent.
Edward P. ZEMPRELLI, Petitioner,
Robert C. JUBELIRER, Respondent.
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
Argued Nov. 21, 1986.
Decided Nov. 24, 1986.

Page 519

Michael T. McCarthy, Sally A. Ulrich, Harrisburg, for petitioner.

Barry M. Hartman, Raymond P. Pepe, Andrew H. Cline, Harrisburg, for respondents.

Before CRUMLISH, Jr., President Judge, COLINS, J., and KALISH, Senior Judge.


CRUMLISH, Jr., President Judge.

Edward P. Zemprelli has filed a petition for review in the nature of mandamus and a motion for summary [102 Pa.Cmwlth. 639] relief 1 in this Court's original jurisdiction seeking to have (1) William W. Scranton, III, 2 in his capacity as the duly elected Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and/or Robert C. Jubelirer, 3 in his capacity as the duly elected President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate, place on the Senate calendar a resolution pursuant to Section 7(b) of the Sunset Act 4 calling for the continuance of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) and (2) judgment entered declaring and adjudicating the respective rights and duties of the parties under the Sunset Act. Scranton has filed an answer and new matter to motion for summary relief and Jubelirer has filed preliminary objections to the petition for review.

At argument, the parties stipulated to the facts as stated in the respondents' briefs and entered as an exhibit the 1986 Rules of the Senate of Pennsylvania, as amended, January 27, 1986.

Section 6(b) of the Sunset Act 5 declares that the LCB, along with its statutory duties and functions, shall terminate and go out of existence on December 31, 1985, unless upon extensive legislative review it was reestablished or continued pursuant to Section 7 of the Sunset Act. This procedure could be postponed for a period not exceeding one year upon the authorization of the Sunset Leadership Committee. Section 4(4) of the [102 Pa.Cmwlth. 640] Sunset Act. 6 On December 12, 1985, the Leadership Committee adopted a resolution postponing the termination of the LCB until December 31, 1986.

Page 520

The respondents' briefs indicate several bills have been introduced, amended and acted upon by the respective Houses of the Pennsylvania legislature, but as of November 1, 1986, no single bill continuing, modifying or abolishing the existence of the LCB had been passed by the legislature. Whereupon, on November 12, 1986, Zemprelli requested by letter that the respondents, as presiding officers of the Senate, list a LCB "Sunset resolution" for November 17, 1986, the first legislative day of this month pursuant to Section 7(b) of the Sunset Act. As of the date of this opinion, no such resolution has been listed on the Senate calendar.

For the extraordinary legal remedy of mandamus to lie, a petitioner must establish (1) that he/she has a clear legal right, (2) the respondent has a corresponding duty that is mandatory, and (3) no other adequate and appropriate remedy exists. Francis v. Corleto, 418 Pa. 417, 211 A.2d 503 (1965). Summary relief should be granted where there exists a clear right to judgment and the [102 Pa.Cmwlth. 641] facts are not subject to dispute. See Bodgan v. Coal Township School District, 369 Pa. 147, 85 A.2d 139 (1952).

Initially, we review the respondents' preliminary objections and answer and new matter. Collectively, they argue that the petition for review and motion for summary relief be dismissed because (1) a nonjusticiable political question is involved, (2) the Speech and Debate Clause, Article II, Section 15 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania grants immunity to respondents, and (3) the petition fails to state a cause of action.

In Zemprelli v. Daniels, 496 Pa. 247, 436 A.2d 1165 (1981), a thorough recitation of the political question doctrine is found. Respondents contend that this Court's review of the legislative procedural requirements found within the Sunset Act would impermissibly conflict with Article II, Section 11 of the Constitution, which grants to each House of the legislature the power to determine the rules of its proceedings.

Our review of the Sunset Act and the petition for review leads us to the conclusion that we are not reviewing the internal operations of the Senate, but instead are being asked to interpret and enforce a statutory duty imposed by both Houses and signed by the Governor of the Commonwealth. The express requirement...

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4 cases
  • Tuck v. Blackmon, 2000-CA-00759-SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 8 Marzo 2001
    ...to determine where the Legislature has complied with constitutional prescriptions as to legislative procedures); Zemprelli v. Scranton, 102 Pa.Cmwlth. 637, 519 A.2d 518, 520 (1986) (stating that the respective internal rules of the Legislature give way when the critical question of administ......
  • Ritter v. Com.
    • United States
    • Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
    • 13 Octubre 1988
    ...v. Daniels, 496 Pa. at 257, 436 A.2d at 1170, which we will not review. Zemprelli v. Scranton, 102 Pa.Commonwealth Page 1321 Ct. 637, 519 A.2d 518 (1986). We decline to review them precisely because we lack "judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving the questions presen......
  • National Apartment Leasing Co. v. Com. by Zimmerman
    • United States
    • Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
    • 30 Diciembre 1986
    ...opinion in support of that order, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that "an order issued by a court with jurisdiction over the [102 Pa.Cmwlth. 637] subject matter and person must be obeyed by the parties until it is reversed by orderly and proper proceedings." United States v. United Mine Wo......
  • Cloonan v. Thornburgh
    • United States
    • Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
    • 22 Diciembre 1986
    ...OF PLCB The stipulated exhibits in this proceeding and the record and holding in Zemprelli v. Jubelirer, --- Pa.Commonwealth Ct. ---, 519 A.2d 518 (1986), 7 declare that the PLCB is terminated on December 31, 1986. 8 In that case, the evaluation and review process was complied with. However......

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