Pennsylvania: Supreme Court citation practice | Citation rule(s)


Examples from Commonwealth v. Beam, 567 Pa. 492, 788 A.2d 357 (2002)

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Following a hearing, the common pleas court denied the request for preliminary injunction and, on Beam's motion, granted summary judgment in his favor and dismissed the Department's complaint. The Department appealed, and the Commonwealth Court affirmed. See Commonwealth, Dep't of Transp. v. Beam, 756 A.2d 1179 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2000). In their reasoning, the reviewing courts focused on the Department's capacity to seek injunctive relief in a judicial forum. While recognizing that the Department's enumerated powers included the authority to issue airport licenses, see 74 Pa.C.S. § 5301(b)(1), and that its regulations establish procedures for license revocation and suspension, see 67 Pa. Code § 471.3(g), the courts nevertheless found no statute or regulation conferring authority to commence a civil action. Stressing the precept that an agency charged with the administration of a statute can act only within the strict confines of that statute, and therefore can seek to enforce compliance only with specific legislative authorization, the Commonwealth Court and the common pleas court concluded that the Department bore airport licensing enforcement responsibility but presently lacked the means by which to compel compliance. See 756 A.2d at 1181-82. We allowed appeal to consider this conclusion.

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This Court has long adhered to the precept that the power and authority exercised by administrative agencies must be conferred by legislative language that is clear and unmistakable. See United Artists' Theater Circuit, Inc. v. City of Phila., 535 Pa. 370, 389, 635 A.2d 612, 622 (1993) ("A doubtful power does not exist." (citations omitted)); Commonwealth, Dep't of Envtl. Resources v. Butler County Mushroom Farm, 499 Pa. 509, 513, 454 A.2d 1, 3 (1982). At the same time, we recognize that the General Assembly has prescribed that legislative enactments are generally to be construed in such a manner as to effect their objects and promote justice, see 1 Pa.C.S. § 1928(c), and, in assessing a statute, courts are directed to consider the consequences of a particular interpretation, as well as other factors enumerated in the Statutory Construction Act. See Butler County Mushroom Farm, 499 Pa. at 516-17, 454 A.2d at 5-6 (citing 1 Pa.C.S. § 1921(a))(observing that "statutory construction is not an exercise to be undertaken without considerations of practicality, precept and experience[, "as ignoring such considerations may result in a forced and narrow interpretation that does not comport with legislative intent). Based upon such considerations, the rule requiring express legislative delegation is tempered by the recognition that an administrative agency is invested with the implied authority necessary to the effectuation of its express mandates. See Butler County Mushroom Farm, 499 Pa. at 513, 454 A.2d at 4; Pennsylvania Human Relations Com. v. St. Joe Minerals Corp., Zinc Smelting Div., 476 Pa. 302, 310, 382 A.2d 731, 736; Day v. Public Service Comm'n (Yellow Cab Co.), 312 Pa. 381, 384, 167 A. 565, 566 (1933).

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Pa. R. App. P. 2119(b), http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/210/chapter21/s2119.html.

(b) Citations of authorities.

Citations of authorities must set forth the principle for which they are cited. Citations of uncodified statutes shall make reference to the book and page of the Laws of Pennsylvania (Pamphlet Laws) or other official edition, and also to a standard digest, where the statutes may be found. Citations of provisions of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes may be in the form: ‘‘1 Pa.C.S. § 1928 (rule of strict and liberal construction)’’ and the official codifications of other jurisdictions may be cited similarly. Quotations from authorities or statutes shall also set forth the pages from which they are taken. Opinions of an appellate court of this or another jurisdiction shall be cited from the National Reporter System, if published therein.