admin. appeals - multiple cases - single, consolidated appeal v. individual appeals - nunc pro tunc appeal - procedural defect not jurisdictional
Alma v. Board of Assessment Appeals – Cmwlth Court – January 8, 2014
Appellants from 157+ assessment appeal cases were allowed to appeal nunc pro tunc where they improperly had filed a single consolidated appeal.
Property owners were permitted to file amended appeals beyond the statutory appeal period where they had jointly filed a single Notice of Appeal from the Board’s 157 separate decisions. They were allowed to file individual amended appeals beyond the mandated statutory period for filing such appeals. The issues raised and the facts involved in the 158 appeals were alleged to be similar, and the Board allowed the appeals to be consolidated for hearing purposes only. The Board ultimately denied the assessment appeals, and sent individual notices of denial, along with individual notices of the right to appeal to each of the Property Owners.
The defect in this case is procedural, and therefore curable, not jurisdictional. As a general rule, ‘[t]aking one appeal from separate judgments is not acceptable practice and is discouraged.’ In TCPF, L.P. v. Skatell, 976 A.2d 571 (Pa. Super. 2009), [our Superior] Court was presented with the same procedural defect involved in the instant appeal, i.e., the appellant’s filing of a single notice of appeal from two separate trial court orders and the subsequent filing of an untimely amended notice of appeal. The Skatell Court denied the appellee’s motion to quash the appeal, holding that ‘where . . . Appellant filed a timely, albeit discouraged, appeal of multiple orders and filed a subsequent amended appeal, no fatal defect exists and the mandates of judicial economy require that the appeal be heard.’ Sulkava v. Glaston Finland Oy, 54 A.3d 884, 888 (Pa. Super. 2012) (citations omitted and emphasis added).