As part of the courts’ ongoing Covid 19 response, arguments before the Supreme Court this month will be publicly accessible via video conference. For more information, visit: http://www.pacourts.us/courts/supreme-court/april-2021-supreme-court-session
Apr. 13, 2021
Allocatur granted Sept. 1, 2020. Due Process; Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act; Non-Healthcare Provider’s Right to Intervene in Utilization Review of Treatment
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review to consider Commonwealth Court’s creation of a new rule that, as of December 12, 2019, non-healthcare providers of medical supplies are entities with standing and the right to intervene in the Workers’ Compensation Act’s Utilization Review process.
Allocatur granted Nov. 3, 2020. The Uniformity Clause and the Burden of Proof in Tax Assessment Appeals
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether the Uniformity Clause prohibits school districts from (i) appealing tax assessments only for properties that have an actual market value of over $1 million; and (ii) implementing an assessment appeal selection system which subjected only commercial properties to disparate treatment in operation and effect. Additionally, the Court will consider whether the burden of proof in matters of alleged discrimination by school districts in tax assessment appeals lies with the districts or the taxpayers.
Direct Appeal. Taxes; Gaming Act; Deduction of Event Tickets from Revenues
Greenwood, which operates Parx Casino, distributes complimentary event tickets to patrons as a result of their table game and slot machine play, and sought a refund of taxes paid to reflect deduction of the costs of event tickets from its gross table and slot revenues. The Board of Finance and Revenue denied the refund request. On appeal the Commonwealth Court reversed, directing a refund. The Supreme Court will hear the Commonwealth’s direct appeal.
Allocatur granted Oct. 13, 2020. Zoning; Zoning Board Member Conflict of Interest; Failure to Issue Written Opinion within 45 Days of a Public Hearing
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review to consider whether Commonwealth Court erred in affirming the trial court’s order upholding a grant of zoning relief despite an alleged conflict of interest of a zoning board member and where the City of Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment failed to issue a written decision within 45 days of a public hearing.
Allocatur granted Nov. 17, 2020. Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act; Manifestation Rule
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review to consider whether a claimant seeking benefits for an occupational disease under Section 108 of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act has to satisfy the manifestation rule found at Section 301(c)(2).
Allocatur granted Nov. 4, 2020. Statutory Authority to Enact Ordinance Prohibiting Housing Discrimination based on Source of Income; Home Rule Law; Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review to consider whether, under the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s analysis in Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association v. City of Pittsburgh, 211 A.3d 810 (Pa. 2019), the City of Pittsburgh had express statutory authority to enact an ordinance prohibiting housing discrimination against City residents based on their sources of income.
Apr. 14, 2021
Allocatur granted Oct. 13, 2020. Waiver of Statute of Limitations Defense; Law of the Case/Coordinate Jurisdiction Rule
The issue presented in this case involves application of the coordinate jurisdiction rule where one trial court judge found the statute of limitations defense waived, but a second trial judge in the same case allowed the defendants to amend their pleadings to include a statute of limitations defense, resulting in dismissal of the case on statute of limitations grounds.
Allocatur granted Dec. 2, 2020. Beneficiary’s Automatic Standing to Challenge Trustee’s Alleged Breaches of Fiduciary Duties
The Supreme Court will consider whether a beneficiary has automatic standing to challenge all of a trustee’s breaches of fiduciary duties toward the trust or must demonstrate substantial, direct, and immediate harm to challenge a trustee’s particular breaches.
Allocatur granted Dec. 9, 2020. Showing of Need for Testifying Witness Special Accommodation
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur to consider two issues of first impression: (1) whether defendant was prejudiced during his murder trial when a minor witness was allowed to use a comfort dog when the witness testified, and (2) whether a finding of “necessity” or “need” is required in order for a trial court to allow the presence of service or support animals or items for a witness testifying at trial.
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.
Allocatur granted Dec. 14, 2020. PSP’s Standing under 42 Pa.C.S. §9799.74 in PCRA Petition for Removal from Sex Offender Registry
In this case, the Supreme Court will consider whether the Pennsylvania State Police have standing pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. §9799.74 to intervene in a PCRA petition that seeks removal of a convicted sex offender from the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act registry.