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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-1863


Title 231--RULES OF


[231 PA. CODE CH. 100]

Municipal or Other Local Authority as a Party; Proposed Recommendation No. 156

[29 Pa.B. 5710]

   The Civil Procedural Rules Committee proposes that the definition of ''political subdivision'' as set forth in Rule of Civil Procedure 76 be amended to include a municipal or other local authority. The proposed recommendation is being submitted to the bench and bar for comments and suggestions prior to its submission to the Supreme Court.

   All communications in reference to the proposed recommendation should be sent not later than December 31, 1999 to Harold K. Don, Jr., Esquire, Counsel, Civil Pro- cedural Rules Committee, 5035 Ritter Road, Suite 700, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 or E-Mail to

   The Explanatory Comment which appears in connection with the proposed recommendation has been inserted by the Committee for the convenience of the bench and bar. It will not constitute part of the rules of civil procedure nor will it be officially adopted or promulgated by the Court.

Annex A




Rule 76.  Definitions.

   The following words and phrases when used in any rule promulgated by the Supreme Court under the authority of Article V, Section 10(c) of the Constitution of 1968, or of any Act of Assembly, shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise or the particular word or phrase is expressly defined in the chapter in which the particular rule is included:

*      *      *      *      *

   Political subdivision--Any county, city, borough, incorporated town, township, school district, vocational school district, [or] county institution district or municipal or other local authority.

   Official Note:  The definition of the term ''political subdivision'' in this rule has no bearing upon whether a particular entity is or is not a political subdivision for substantive matters.

*      *      *      *      *

Explanatory Comment

   The rules of civil procedure presently make no provision for a municipal authority as a party. It is proposed that the definition of the term ''political subdivision'' as set forth in Definition Rule 76 be amended to include the term ''municipal or other local authority.''

   The term ''municipal or other local authority'' is derived from Section 102 of the Judicial Code. The Code, in defining ''Commonwealth government,'' states it ''does not include any political subdivision, municipal or other local authority, or any officer or agency of any such political subdivision or local authority.'' The term ''municipal or other local agency'' is also found as part of the definition of ''Government agency'' in Section 101 of Title 2 of the Consolidated Statutes relating to Administrative Law and Procedure.

   The primary effect of the amendment will be to bring a municipal or other local authority within the chapter of rules governing the Commonwealth and Political Subdivisions as Parties and subject an authority to three rules. Under Rule 2102(b) governing the style of action, an action will be brought by or against an authority ''in its name.'' Rule 2103(b) will limit venue to the county in which the political subdivision is located unless the Commonwealth is the plaintiff or an Act of Assembly provides otherwise. Service upon an authority will be made pursuant to subdivision (b) of Rule 422 governing service upon a political subdivision.

   It is recognized that a municipal or other local authority may perform a ''sovereign or governmental'' function, a ''business or proprietary'' function or a combination of both. It is useful, however, to have a unified practice which applies to all such entities. It is therefore appropriate that municipal or other local authorities be made subject to the rules governing political subdivisions in view of their performance of sovereign or governmental functions.

   It is most important to note that the characterization of a municipal or other local authority as a political subdivision is a procedural device only. As the note to the definition states, ''[t]he definition of the term 'political subdivision' in this rule has no bearing upon whether a particular entity is or is not a political subdivision for substantive matters.''

By the Civil Procedural
Rules Committee


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-1863. Filed for public inspection November 5, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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