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Burd v. Commonwealth

Citation: 12 ELR 20925
No. No. 1506 C.D. 1981, 443 A.2d 1197/18 ERC 1281/66 Pa. Commw. 129, (Pa. Commw. Ct., 04/14/1982)

The court rules that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) has authority under the state vehicle code to implement an automobile inspection and maintenance (I/M) program, and refuses to enjoin expenditures of commonwealth funds for the program. The court notes that the DOT is under a contempt order from a federal district court, 12 ELR 20191, for failing to implement the I/M program. Therefore, it rules that it would be unreasonable for the state court to enjoin the DOT from implementing the program. It is also unnecessary to enjoin expenditures of the funds since the legislature has prohibited funds to be so expended. Finally, the court finds that although one section of the vehicle code which provided for an I/M program was amended to exclude such a program, another section of the code clearly provides for an I/M program. Therefore, the DOT has authority to implement the program.

A dissent would rule that since the court has ruled that expenditure of public funds for the I/M program is unlawful and there is no statutory authority for the program, it should enjoin the DOT from expending any general funds.

[Related federal decisions are reported at 11 ELR 20952, 20954, and 20956 and 12 ELR 20191, 20289, 20295, 20533, and 20631. The issues raised in these cases are analyzed at 12 ELR 10027 — Ed.]

Counsel for Petitioners
Joseph W. Marshall III
Mid-Atlantic Legal Foundation
1521 Locust St., Philadelphia PA 19102
(215) 545-1913

Michael T. McCarthy, Chief Counsel
Senate Democratic Floor Leader
535 Main Capitol Bldg., Harrisburg PA 17120
(717) 787-3736

Counsel for Respondent
Alan Warshaw
Office of the Attorney General
Strawberry Sq., 16th Floor, Harrisburg PA 17120
(717) 787-3391

MacPhail, J., Joined by Crumlish and Blatt, JJ.| tion entered 2 April 1982. D