What Constitutes a Candidate's (For Public Office) Residence ?
In In re Lesker, 377 Pa. 411, 105 A.2d 376 (1954), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court discussed what constitutes a candidate's residence for the purposes of qualifying as a candidate for public office:
It seems impossible to restrict the terms habitation, residence and domicile to airtight, waterproof compartments.
Their meanings seem bound to escape their lexicographical boundaries and mingle with the others since a person's place of residence may be identical with his domicile, and habitation is always a component part of residence and domicile.
However, in strict technical terminology a habitation may be defined as an abode for the moment, residence a tarrying place for some specific purpose of business or pleasure, and domicile the fixed, permanent, final home to which one always intends to return.
A person's civil status is determined by his domicile.
Thus, a business man may have his family home in the suburbs of a city where he lives with his wife and children.
No matter where he travels nor how long he remains away, he always returns to this abode.
This is his domicile.
For business reasons he may have a residence in the city, even living there for many months of the year.
This residence can never become the basis for voting or for candidacy for office.
If traveling, he may stay at a hotel, boarding or rooming house.
This would be his habitation and, regardless of expression of intention, could never become his legal domicile. Id. at 418, 105 A.2d at 380. L
In In re Nomination Petition of Prendergast, 543 Pa. 498, 673 A.2d 324 (1996), the Supreme Court stated:
We have held that the term "inhabitant" or "resident" as stated in Article II, Section 5, "cannot mean one sojourning temporarily, or for some special purpose, but refers to one who has a permanent abode; the domicil of the senator, representative, governor or judge . . . ."
A domicile is the place at which an individual has fixed his family home and principal establishment for an indefinite period of time.
A domicile once acquired is presumed to continue until it is shown to have been changed . . . . a new domicile can be acquired only by physical presence at a new residence plus intent to make that new residence the principal home. Id. at 505-06, 673 A.2d at 327-28.