Monday, November 19, 2007

midwifery - licensing - Amish - standard for stay of admin. decision

Goslin v. State Board of Medicine - Cmwlth. Court - publication ordered November 16, 2007

Unlicensed midwife with 26 years experience in Amish community denied application for stay of decision of state Board of Medicine directing her to discontinue her practice and imposing fines and penalties.

Aside from the substantive law, the decision is also noteworthy concerning the standards for a stay, especially the likelihood of success on the merits. The court said that the Supreme Court

in Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Process Gas Consumers Group, 502 Pa. 553, 467 A.2d 805 (1983) has set forth the standard a litigant must satisfy in seeking a stay of an adjudicatory body’s decision. Applicants for a stay or supersedeas must:
(1) make a strong showing of likelihood of success on the merits;
(2) demonstrate that, without the grant of a stay, the applicant will suffer irreparable injury;
(3) establish that the Court’s issuance of a stay will not result in substantial harm to other parties interested in the proceedings; and
(4) show that the issuance of a stay will not adversely affect the public interest.
[J]urists considering applications should not regard the first prong inflexibly. Rather, in exercising its discretion to grant or deny a stay pending appeal, this Court may properly grant a stay, even when a litigant has presented a substantial case on the merits, if the litigant’s showing with regard to the remaining three factors strongly supports the applicant’s request. Witmer v. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, 889 A.2d 638, 640 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2005).