Rule 1551. Scope of Review.
(a) Appellate jurisdiction petitions for review. Review of quasijudicial orders shall be conducted by the court on the record made before the government unit. No question shall be heard or considered by the court which was not raised before the government unit except:
(1) Questions involving the validity of a statute.
(2) Questions involving the jurisdiction of the government unit over the subject matter of the adjudication.
(3) Questions which the court is satisfied that the petitioner could not by the exercise of due diligence have raised before the government unit. If, upon hearing before the court, the court is satisfied that any such additional question within the scope of this paragraph should be so raised it shall remand the record to the government unit for further consideration of the additional question.
The court may in any case remand the record to the government unit for further proceedings if the court deems them necessary.
(b) Original jurisdiction petitions for review. The court shall hear and decide original jurisdiction petitions for review in accordance with law. This chapter is not intended to modify, enlarge or abridge the rights of any party to an original jurisdiction petition for review.
Subdivision (a) is a generalization of former Pa.R.C.P. 8 and makes no change in substance except to provide that procedural issues not raised below are waivedunless excused under Paragraph (a)(3). Compare Rule 302 (requisites for reviewable issue).
Subdivision (b) is based on Section 10(c) of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, which prevents this chapter from enlarging the substantive rights of the petitioner or abridging the substantive rights of the government unit named in the petition. Under the new practice, the appellate judge should inquire: Assuming that this case had been properly brought before me by a complaint in equity (or in mandamus, replevin, quo warranto, etc., or by two or more of such actions properly consolidated for hearing and disposition) containing the factual allegations of the petition for review, to what relief, if any, would the moving party have been entitled under the prior practice? This rule makes clear that the moving party is entitled to the same relief, and no more, under the new practice, since only the procedural requirement for separately labeled papers has been eliminated.
For example, where a party joins both a challenge to the action of a government unit in the nature of an appeal and a challenge to the composition of the government unit in the nature of quo warranto, the latter challenge will come too late under the standards of State Dental Council and Examining Board v. Pollock, 457 Pa. 264, 318 A.2d 910 (1974). Similarly, where a petition for review in the nature of prohibition is filed in the Supreme Court to attack an unappealable order of a lower court, in a case where relief would not have been available on an application for a writ of prohibition under the standards of Carpentertown Coal and Coke Co. v. Laird, 360 Pa. 94, 61 A.2d 426 (1948) and subsequent cases, the change in the label of the papers to a petition for review will not affect the result, and the petition will be dismissed.
See Rule 3331 regarding Review of Special Prosecutions or Investigations.
The provisions of this Rule 1551 amended July 8, 2004, effective 60 days after adoption, 34 Pa.B. 3862. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (231659) to (231660).
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