Tuesday, December 24, 2019

employment - professional license - past criminal convictions - no relation to profession

Haveman and Spillane v. State Board of Cosmetology – Cmwlth. Court – 12-9-19 – unreported memorandum opinion**

Held: Petitioners have standing to challenge of the good-moral-character requirement of sec. 5 of the Beauty Culture Law.  Their claims are adequately developed and are ripe for consideration. Because Petitioners seek declaratory and injunctive relief on a facial constitutional challenge and are not appealing the Board’s denial of their license applications, the claims are not barred by a failure to exhaust administrative remedies, collateral estoppel, or res judicata and the Petition is not untimely. Finally, Petitioners seek declaratory relief and not damages; thus, their claims are not barred by the two-year statute of limitations. 

Petitioners had prior criminal convictions which, they say, involve conduct unrelated to the cosmetology profession. Petitioners allege a violation of their state substantive due process rights under article I, section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution,which protects Petitioners’ rights to pursue their chosen occupations free from “arbitrary and irrational legislation.” 

Petitioners assert that the good moral character requirement is facially unconstitutional under article I, section 1 because it lacks a substantial relationship to a legitimate government interest and is unduly oppressive. Petitioners also allege that the good moral character requirement is facially unconstitutional under Pennsylvania’s equal protection guarantee. 

Because Petitioners were treated differently from similarly situated individuals, such as prospective barber licensees, due to the good moral character requirement, Petitioners aver that the requirement is unduly oppressive. Petitioners assert that the good moral character requirement has no substantial or rational relationship to a legitimate government interest to justify this different treatment between similar individuals. 
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**An unreported Commonwealth Court case may not be cited binding precedent but can be cited for its persuasive value.  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414(b) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716




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