Review of a final order of the Superior Court or the Commonwealth Court is not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion, and an appeal is allowed only when there are special and important reasons.  The Supreme Court grants allocatur as to particular issues, not cases.

Pennsylvania Appellate Advocate will note allocatur grants and will provide background on the issues as to which discretionary review has been granted. This page is updated on a continuing basis. Allocatur grants issued Aug. 2017 – Dec. 2020 can be found in our Archives.

January 2022

In the Int. of: K.N.L, 2021 WL 4440535 (Pa. Super.) (unreported), appeal docket 1 EAP 2022

Allocatur granted Jan. 4, 2022. Third-Party Standing to Intervene in Adoption

The Supreme Court will consider whether the lower court erred in deciding that a third-party did not stand in loco parentis and therefore lacked standing to intervene in the child’s adoption.

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November 2021

Commonwealth v. Humphrey, 2021 WL 1616879 (Pa. Super.) (unreported), appeal dockets 81 & 82 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Nov. 10, 2021. Dismissal of Charges pursuant to Section 7403(e) of the Mental Health Procedures Act

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will examine the dismissal of criminal charges pursuant to 50 P.S. § 7403(e) of the Mental Health Procedures Act (“MHPA”), 50 P.S. § 71701, et. seq.

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Bell v. Wilkinsburg School Dist., 252 A.3d 708 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2021) (en banc), appeal docket 25 WAP 2021

Allocatur granted Nov. 3, 2021. Pre-Approval of School District Transportation Plans by PDE

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether 22 Pa. Code § 23.2 requires school districts to obtain advance approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education of pupil transportation plans and transportation services contracts.

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In Re: Apr. 24 Decision of Charlestown Township Zoning Hearing Bd., 2021 WL 208215 (Pa. Cmwlth.) (unreported), appeal docket 80 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Nov. 3, 2021. Zoning; De Facto Exclusion Following Enactment of Ordinance  

The Supreme Court granted allocatur in this case involving a validity challenge to the Charlestown Township Zoning Ordinance on the basis it effectuated a de facto exclusion of outdoor advertising billboards from within the limits of the Township.

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Gibraltar Rock, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Dep’t of Env’t Prot., 258 A.3d 572 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2021), appeal dockets 78 & 79 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Nov. 2, 2021. Environmental Law; Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act; De Facto Taking; Pa Const. Art. I, Sec. 27

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur to consider the Commonwealth Court’s conclusion that the Board exceeded its authority in rescinding Gibraltar’s permits based on DEP’s inaction and that such rescission effected a taking of Gibraltar’s lawful use of its land without due process of law.

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October 2021

Commonwealth v. Jones, 2021 WL 1345560 (Pa. Super.) (unreported), appeal docket 31 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Oct. 26, 2021. Admission of Non-Testifying Co-Defendant’s Redacted Statement

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether a non-testifying co-defendant’s redacted statement violates an accused’s right to confront witnesses. 

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Clear Air Council v. Pennsylvania Dep’t of Environmental Protection, 245 A.3d 1207 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2021), appeal dockets 73 & 74 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Oct. 5, 2021. Clean Streams Law; Permittee Attorney Fee Liability

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider the proper standard for the assessment of fees against private DEP permittees under Section 307(b) of the Clean Streams Law.

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September 2021

Goodwin v. Goodwin, 244 A.3d 453 (Pa. Super. 2020), appeal docket 70 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Sept. 16, 2021. Life Insurance and Marital Property

The Supreme Court will consider whether life insurance and IRA proceeds paid to only one spous is property “acquired by gift…bequest, devise or descent” and, therefore, not subject to equitable distribution. 

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Commonwealth v. Brown,  2021 WL 1235213 (Pa. Super.) (unreported), appeal docket 29 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Sept. 13, 2021. Admissibility of Expert Testimony regarding Memory and Perception

The Supreme Court will consider whether expert testimony regarding blood alcohol content and its effect upon memory and perception is inadmissible as an impermissible assessment of witness credibility.

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August 2021

Commonwealth v. Wilson, No. 49 MDM 2020 (order entered Dec. 2, 2020), appeal dockets 65 & 66 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Aug. 26, 2021. Application for Certification pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 702(b); Timeliness

The Supreme Court will consider Superior Court’s denial, based on Mente Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Inc. v. Swoyer, 710 A.2d 632, 633 (Pa. Super. 1998) (An application for certification pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 702(b) must be filed within 30 days after the entry of an interlocutory order, not from the denial of reconsideration), of Wilson’s Petition for Interlocutory Appeal By Permission of an interlocutory order entered by the trial court 

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Commonwealth v. Lopez, 248 A.3d 589 (Pa. Super. 2021) (en banc), appeal docket 27 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Aug. 24, 2021. Pa.R.Crim.P. 706(C); Consideration of a Defendant’s Ability to Pay prior to Imposing Mandatory Court Costs

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 706(C) requires a trial court to consider a defendant’s ability to pay prior to imposing mandatory court costs at sentencing.

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Commonwealth v. Gamby, 2021 WL 99749 (Pa. Super. 2021) (unreported), appeal docket 62 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Aug. 17, 2021. Is a Person’s Neck an “Intimate” Body Part Under PA’s Indecent Assault Criminal Statute?

The Supreme Court will consider whether the kissing and touching of the victim’s neck, without the victim’s consent, constituted indecent contact with an “intimate” part of the victim’s body sufficient to sustain a conviction for indecent assault under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126.

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A.L. v. Pennsylvania State Police, 247 A.3d 120 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2021), appeal docket 57 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Aug. 10, 2021. SORNA Classification based on Court-Martial Conviction

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider if, when comparing a military criminal offense to a  Crimes Code offense for purposes of Pennsylvania’s sex offender registration statute, the Pennsylvania State Police is required to ensure that all of the elements of the crimes, including the mens rea, are equivalent.

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Khalil v. Williams, 244 A.3d 830 (Pa. Super. 2021), appeal docket 24 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Aug. 3, 2021. Legal Malpractice; Muhammad Rule

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in this legal malpractice action to consider the rule established in Muhammad v. Strassburger, McKenna, Messer, Shilobod & Gutnik, 587 A.2d 1346 (Pa. 1991) under which a dissatisfied client is generally barred from bringing non-fraud claims against her attorney following a settlement to which the client agreed.

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July 2021

In Re: Private Comp. Filed by L. Ajaj, 253 A.3d 722 (Pa. Super. 2020), appeal docket 55 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted July 26, 2021. Disapproval of Private Criminal Complaint

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in this case involving the disapproval of a private criminal complaint. 

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June 2021

In Re: Estate of Jabbour, 244 A.3d 1254 (Pa. Super. 2020), appeal docket 13 WAP 2021

Allocatur granted June 25, 2021. Revocation of Spousal Election; Timeliness

The Supreme Court granted allocatur in this case to consider whether the statutory deadline for revocation of a spousal election tolls until the petitioning spouse knows all the essential facts as to decedent’s non-probate financial assets.

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Kneebone v. Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Plainfield, 238 A.3d 534 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2020) (unreported),  appeal docket 52 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted June 14, 2021. Dimensional variance; Standard of appellate review

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider the standard of appellate review of a grant of a dimensional variance.

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Naginey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, 201 A.3d 290 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2019), appeal docket 51 MAP 2021.

Allocatur granted June 11, 2021. Delay in imposing driver’s license suspension as basis for nullifying suspension

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur to consider whether a delay in imposing a driver’s license suspension is a valid basis for nullifying the suspension. 

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May 2021

Povacz v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 241 A.3d 481 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2020), appeal dockets 34-45 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted May 12, 2021. Public Utility Smart Meters; Statutory Construction; Alleged Safety Concerns; Burden of Proof

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in this case to consider the use of public utility smart meters in Pennsylvania. 

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April 2021

Com. v. Pownall, 240 A. 3d 905 (Pa. Super. 2020) (unreported), appeal docket 17 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Apr. 20, 2021. Commonwealth’s right to appeal interlocutory order denying motion in limine challenging constitutionality of statute

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur to consider the Commonwealth’s right to appeal interlocutory order denying motion in limine challenging constitutionality of statute.

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Eastern Univ. Acad. Charter Sch. v. School Dist. of Philadelphia, 2020 WL 3886021 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2020) (unreported), appeal docket 16 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Apr. 7, 2021. Charter School Law; Timeliness of Decision Not to Renew Charter

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear argument on whether a school district’s decision to nonrenew a school’s charter agreement was untimely where the decision had been rendered after the expiration of the charter term for which renewal was sought.

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March 2021
February 2021

In the Interest of: S.K.L.R., 2020 WL 6696060 (Pa. Super.) (unreported), appeal dockets 5 & 6 WAP 2021

Allocatur granted Feb. 16, 2021. Termination of Parental Rights pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511(b)(8)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether Superior Court improperly substituted its discretion for that of the trial court in this case involving the termination of parental rights. 

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January 2021

Com. v. Edwards,  239 A.3d 112 (Pa. Super. 2020) (unreported), appeal docket 6 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Jan. 26, 2021. Double Jeopardy; Baston violation

The Supreme Court granted allocatur to consider whether a prosecutor’s Batson violation precludes retrial on double jeopardy grounds.

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Albert v. Sheeley’s Drug Store, Inc., 234 A.3d 820 (Pa. Super. 2020), appeal docket 5 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Jan. 25, 2021. Application of the Doctrine of In Pari Delicto

The Supreme Court will consider whether the doctrine of in pari delicto precludes a plaintiff’s recovery where the plaintiff was in possession of a controlled substance that was not theirs.

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United Blower, Inc. v. Lycoming Cty. Water & Sewer Auth., 2020 WL 3957316 (Pa. Cmwlth.) (unreported), appeal docket 3 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Jan. 20, 2021. Steel Products Procurement Act; Cost of Steel

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in this case to consider application of § 1886 of the Steel Products Procurement Act,

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J.S. v. Manheim Township School District, 231 A.3d 1044 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2020), appeal docket 2 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Jan. 20, 2021. First Amendment: Threatening Speech; Due Process in Public School Student Disciplinary Proceeding

In this case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider a student’s due process right to cross examine witnesses at a public school student disciplinary hearing and the standard applicable to determining whether speech constitutes a “true threat.”

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Brooks v. Cole, 238 A.3d 535 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2020) (unreported),  appeal docket 4 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Jan. 11, 2021. Sovereign Immunity; Collateral Order Doctrine

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur to consider whether an order denying a summary judgment motion based on sovereign immunity does not satisfy the collateral order doctrine of Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure 313. 

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In re: Adoption of C.M., 2020 WL 5269235 (Pa. Super.) (unreported), appeal docket 1 MAP 2021

Allocatur granted Jan. 7, 2021. Termination of Parental Rights; Adoption Act; “Good Cause” pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 2901

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear argument on whether Maternal Grandparents were required to demonstrate “good cause” pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 2901 in order to complete the adoption of their granddaughter where the proposed adoption would not promote a new parent-child relationship or create a new family unit.

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Interest of Y.W.-B., 241 A.3d 375 (Pa. Super. 2020), appeal dockets 1 & 2 EAP 2021

Allocatur granted Jan. 5, 2021. Fourth Amendment; Probable Cause for Child Protective Services Home Inspection

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider the scope of Child Protective Services’ authority to conduct a home inspection. 

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Protect PT v. Penn Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd., 2020 WL 3639998 (Pa. Cmwlth.) (unreported), appeal dockets 2 & 3 WAP 2021

Allocatur granted Jan. 5, 2021. Unconventional Natural Gas Wells; Evaluation of Cumulative Impacts

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in these consolidated cases to determine the court’s role in evaluating zoning approval for unconventional well projects.

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Archives

2020 Allocatur Grant Archive
2019 Allocatur Grant Archive
2018 Allocatur Grant Archive
2017 Allocatur Grant Archive

Allocatur grants present an excellent opportunity for your group or association to advance your legal and policy goals by filing an amicus brief. Participating as an amicus has proven to be an effective method of advising and influencing courts and often can involve far fewer resources than traditional lobbying. If you are interested or would like more information, contact Kevin McKeon or Dennis Whitaker.