Not Filing the Notice of Appeal Required In Pennsylvania

In Hines v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 147 Pa. Commw. 189, 607 A.2d 301 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1992), an arbitration decision was docketed on July 5, 1988. The appellant filed a Demand for a Jury Trial and a Praecipe to Proceed in Forma Pauperis on July 27, 1988, but she did not file the Notice of Appeal required by Pa. R.C.P. No. 1308. The trial court granted a motion to quash the appeal. Thereafter, the appellant argued that the documents she filed constituted substantial compliance with Rule 1308 and that the appeal should be considered timely under Rule 126. The court in Hines rejected that argument, explaining that: In interpreting the rules of procedure in light of Rule 126, we also remain mindful of Pa. R.C.P. 127(b), which states 'when the words of a rule are clear and free from all ambiguity, the letter of it is not to be disregarded under the pretext of pursuing its spirit.' Thus, although the rules are to be liberally construed, a party seeking redress cannot substantially deviate from the clear mandates of the rules for filing an appeal from an arbitration award. Hines, 607 A.2d at 303 (quoting Lough v. Spring, 383 Pa. Super. 85, 556 A.2d 441, 443 n.2 (Pa. Super. 1989)). The court observed that statutory requirements for perfecting an appeal are mandatory and jurisdictional and held that, having failed to file a notice of appeal, the appellant never perfected an appeal.