Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 52 Pa.B. 8372 (December 31, 2022).

34 Pa. Code § 60.12. Private right of action.

§ 60.12. Private right of action.

 A private right of action may be commenced by filing a complaint with the Department, in accordance with section 3.2 of the act (71 P. S. §  1455.3b).

   (1)  Citizen complaints. An individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation who reasonably believes there is a violation of the act and this chapter by a governmental agency or private owner may file a complaint with the Department. The complaint shall be in writing, shall be verified and set forth the grounds for the complaint. Within 60 days after receipt of the complaint, the Department will respond to the complainant by acknowledging receipt of the complaint in writing. The Department will investigate the complaint and respond to the complainant in writing with its findings, determinations and enforcement measures initiated or contemplated within 120 days after receipt of the complaint. For the purpose of investigating a complaint, an employe of the Department may inspect at reasonable times the building or building site which is the subject of the complaint and may make any additional investigation deemed necessary for the full and effective determination of compliance with the act and this chapter.

   (2)  Judicial review. An individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation aggrieved by a final determination of the Department may file a petition for review within 30 days of the final determination in Commonwealth Court under 42 Pa.C.S. §  763(a) (relating to direct appeals from government agencies). The decision of the Department will not be reversed or modified unless it is found to be arbitrary, capricious, illegal or not supported by substantial evidence.

   (3)  Original action.

     (i)   An individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation who filed a complaint under paragraph (1) and received no written response from the Department acknowledging receipt of its complaint within 60 days, or received a response from the Department indicating that a violation was found but enforcement measures were not contemplated or enforcement measures were contemplated but the measures were not initiated after a period of 60 days from the response may either bring suit in Commonwealth Court against the Department for failure to enforce the act and this chapter or may bring a civil action in the appropriate court of common pleas against the building owner or owner’s agent for a violation of one or more provisions of the act or this chapter.

     (ii)   If the court finds a violation of the act or this chapter, the court may enjoin construction or remodeling of the building, direct the correction of violations within a reasonable and specified time period or order other relief deemed appropriate. The court, in issuing a final order in an action brought under this section, may award costs of litigation—including attorney and expert witness fees—to any party, when the court determines the award is appropriate. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with 231 Pa. Code (relating to Rules of Civil Procedure).

     (iii)   An architect or licensed design professional who has complied with the act and this chapter and prepared construction documents in accordance with accepted professional standards shall have no further liability pursuant to litigation commenced under this section.

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