COMMONWEALTH COURT AFFIRMS ELLIOTT GREENLEAF’S DEFENSE OF LUZERNE COUNTY AGAINST CONSTITUTIONAL ATTACK UPON COUNTY’S HOME RULE CHARTER

Ruling in favor of Elliott Greenleaf’s client, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court affirmed the lower court’s decision to dismiss the Luzerne County Prothonotary’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Luzerne County’s Home Rule Charter. In November 2010, a majority of the voters of Luzerne County voted to adopt a home rule charter form of government. Prothonotary Carolee Medico Olenginski filed an equity complaint and request for injunctive relief asserting the home rule charter violated the doctrine of separation of powers. Elliott Greenleaf successfully argued the absence of any recognized doctrine of separation of powers at the municipal level of government precluded the action. The Commonwealth Court further affirmed Elliott Greenleaf’s arguments that the Prothonotary is not a member or employee of the Judiciary and, therefore, lacked lacks standing to assert the rights of the Judiciary.

John G. Dean, Mark W. Bufalino and Matthew J. Carmody of the firm’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre offices successfully represented Luzerne County in this matter.