Rule 1502. Exclusive Procedure.
The appeal and the original jurisdiction actions of equity, replevin, mandamus and quo warranto, the action for a declaratory judgment, and the writs of certiorari and prohibition are abolished insofar as they relate to matters within the scope of a petition for review under this chapter. The petition for review, insofar as applicable under this chapter, shall be the exclusive procedure for judicial review of a determination of a government unit.
This chapter recognizes that the modern label appeal has little significance in connection with judicial review of governmental determinations in light of the long history in this Commonwealth of relatively complete exercise of the judicial review function under the traditional labels of equity, mandamus, certiorari and prohibition. If the simple form of notice of appeal utilized in Chapter 9 (appeals from lower courts) were extended to governmental determinations without any requirement for the filing of motions for post-trial relief, a litigant who incorrectly selected the appeal label, rather than the equity, mandamus, replevin, or prohibition, etc. label, would probably suffer dismissal, because the court would be reluctant to try a proceeding in the nature of equity, mandamus, replevin, or prohibition, etc. in the absence of a proper pleading adequately framing the issues.
The solution introduced by these rules is to substitute a new pleading (the petition for review) for all of the prior types of pleading which seek relief from a governmental determination (including governmental inaction). Where the reviewing court is required or permitted to hear the matter de novo, the judicial review proceeding will go forward in a manner similar to an equity or mandamus action. Where the reviewing court is required to decide the questions presented solely on the record made below, the judicial review proceeding will go forward in a manner similar to appellate review of an order of a lower court. However, experience teaches that governmental determinations are so varied in character, and generate so many novel situations, that on occasion it is only at the conclusion of the judicial review process, when a remedy is being fashioned, that one can determine whether the proceeding was in the nature of equity, mandamus, prohibition, or statutory appeal, etc. The petition for review will eliminate the wasteful and confusing practice of filing multiple shotgun pleadings in equity, mandamus, prohibition, statutory appeal, etc., and related motions for consolidation, and will permit the parties and the court to proceed directly to the merits unencumbered by procedural abstractions.
Rule 1551 (scope of review) makes clear that the change in manner of pleading does not change the scope or standard of review of governmental determinations or otherwise affect the substantive rights of the parties.
It should be noted that a petition for review in the nature of mandamus or prohibition will lie against a lower court (which is a government unit), since such relief is not available under the rules cited in Rule 1501(b).
See 42 Pa.C.S. § 708(e) (single form of action) which provides as follows:
(e) Single form of action.Where pursuant to general rules review of a determination of a government unit may be had by a petition for a review or another single form of action embracing the appeal and actions in the nature of equity, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto or otherwise, the jurisdiction of the appellate court shall not be limited by the provisions of 1 Pa.C.S. § 1504 (relating to statutory remedy preferred over common law), but such provisions to the extent applicable shall limit the relief available.
The provisions of this Rule 1502 amended December 11, 1978, effective December 30, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 3802; amended July 8, 2004, effective 60 days after adoption, 34 Pa.B. 3862. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (231649) to (231650).
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