The Validity of a Court-Appointed Commission In Pennsylvania

In Springfield Township v. Kahn, 13 Pa. Commw. 393, 320 A.2d 372 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1974), the Court considered the validity of a court-appointed commission created under the First Class Township Code to do a reapportionment because three years after the 1970 census there had been no action by the seven township's commissioners. The commission was appointed by the court as a result of a citizen petition; thereafter, the township commissioners passed a resolution to study reapportionment. As a result, the township sought to have the petition dismissed. The trial court denied the request and ordered the commission to proceed with hearings and the filing of its report. The Court reversed. Observing that the court-appointed commissioners and the township commissioners could each design a different plan of reapportionment, the Court concluded that "we would be bound to recognize the reapportionment of the Township Commissioners." Springfield Township, 320 A.2d at 377. Thus, the Court dissolved the court-appointed commission and dismissed the petition.