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Nomination Petition Challenge in Bethlehem Township

Nomination Petition Challenge in Bethlehem Township

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Published by BernieOHare
Nomination Petition Challenged for failure to file statement of financial interests with Bethlehem Township
Nomination Petition Challenged for failure to file statement of financial interests with Bethlehem Township

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Published by: BernieOHare on Mar 16, 2013
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03/16/2013

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IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA CIVIL ACTION – LAW ) No. _____ M.D.

2013 IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF ) RAYMOND RUSSIN FOR THE ) OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER – ) WARD 4, BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP, ) NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PA IN ) ) THE MAY 21, 2013 MUNICIPAL ) PRIMARY ) ) IMPORTANT NOTICE YOU HAVE BEEN SUED IN COURT. If you wish to defend against the claims set forth in the following pages, you must take action prior to hearing and after this Complaint and Notice are served by entering a written appearance personally or by attorney and filing in writing with the Court your defenses and objections to the claims set forth against you. You are warned that if you fail to do so, the case may proceed without you and a judgment may be entered against you by the Court without further notice for any money claimed in the Complaint and for any other claim or relief requested by the Petitioner. You may lose money or property or other rights important to you. YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS PAPER TO YOUR LAWYER AT ONCE. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A LAWYER OR CANNOT AFFORD ONE, GO TO OR TELEPHONE THE OFFICE SET FORTH BELOW TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU CAN GET LEGAL HELP. THIS OFFICE CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH INFORMATION ABOUT HIRING A LAWYER. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE A LAWYER, THIS OFFICE MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH INFORMATION ABOUT AGENCIES THAT MAY OFFER LEGAL SERVICES TO ELIGIBLE PERSONS AT A REDUCED FEE OR NO FEE. NORTHAMPTON COUNTY LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE

155 South 9th Street Easton, PA 18042 The Court of Common Pleas is required by law to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. For information about accessible facilities and reasonable accommodations available to disabled individuals having business before the Court, please call (610) 559-3000. All arrangements must be made at least 72 hours prior to any hearing or business before the Court. You must attend the scheduled conference or hearing.

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IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA CIVIL ACTION – LAW ) No. _____ M.D. 2013 IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF ) RAYMOND RUSSIN FOR THE ) OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER – ) WARD 4, BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP, ) NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PA IN ) ) THE MAY 21, 2013 MUNICIPAL ) PRIMARY ) ) RULE AND NOW, this ____ day of March, 2013, upon consideration of the within Petition, it is hereby ordered and decreed that a Rule issue, directed to Raymond Russin and the Northampton County Board of Elections to show cause, if any they have, why the relief prayed for herein should not be granted. Candidate/Respondent Raymond Russin, is hereby directed to file an Answer to Objector’s Petition forthwith and prior to Hearing. Said

Answer shall be served forthwith upon Brian M. Monahan, Esquire, Counsel for Petitioners, Suzanne H. Robertson. RULE RETURNABLE for a Hearing in Northampton County Government Center, 669 Washington Street, Easton, PA 18042, Courtroom No. ____, at 9:00 a.m. on the _____ day of March, 2013.
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A copy of the within Petition shall be served by Brian M. Monahan, Esquire and/or his designee personally upon Candidate/Respondent Raymond Russin, or an adult member of his household, and the Northampton County Board of Elections forthwith. The Northampton County Board of Elections is hereby directed to review the Petition and the specific allegations of Petitioners. The Board of Elections shall further be directed to have a representative at the Hearing designated above for purposes of testifying on behalf of Petitioners.

BY THE COURT:

______________________________ J.

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IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA CIVIL ACTION – LAW ) No. _____ M.D. 2013 IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF ) RAYMOND RUSSIN FOR THE ) OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER – ) WARD 4, BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP, ) NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PA IN ) ) THE MAY 21, 2013 MUNICIPAL ) PRIMARY ) ) PETITION TO SET ASIDE NOMINATION PETITION AND OBJECTIONS TO NOMINATION PETITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA ELECTION CODE, 25 P.S. §2937 The Petitioner, Suzanne H. Robertson, by and through her counsel, Brian M. Monahan, Esquire, respectfully avers that:
1.

Petitioner, Suzanne H. Robertson, is a duly qualified elector and

registered Democrat voter residing at 3600 Chipman Road, Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, PA, which residence is within the Bethlehem Township Ward 4.
2.

Respondent, Raymond Russin, is an adult individual and

registered Democrat voter residing at 2425 Chelsea Court, Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, PA.

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3.

Your Petitioner is a duly qualified Democrat elector and

Democrat registered voter within the Township of Bethlehem Ward 4, County of Northampton and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and has standing to assure compliance of all candidates seeking public office with the Pennsylvania Election Code. In Re: Samms, 543 Pa. 681, 674 A.2d 240 (1996); In Re: Pasquay, 525 A.2d 13 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1987).
4.

Respondent, Raymond Russin, is an apparent candidate for

Commissioner, Ward 4, Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, in the May 2013 Municipal Primary Election.
5.

Respondent, Raymond Russin, filed a Nomination Petition with

the Northampton County Board of Elections on March 12, 2013 seeking the office of Commission, Ward 4, Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. A true and correct copy of the Nomination Petition is

attached hereto, incorporated herein by reference and marked Exhibit “A”.
6.

Your Petitioners aver that the Democrat Nomination Petition

filed by Respondent, Raymond Russin, for the Office of Commissioner, Ward 4, Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, PA is invalid, unlawful, and must be set aside pursuant to the mandates of the Pennsylvania Constitution, the Pennsylvania Election Code, and the Public

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Official & Employees Ethics Act and in support thereof states the following objections: a. Respondent, Raymond Russin, failed to properly file a Statement of Financial Interests with the local governing authority of the political subdivision in which he is a candidate [Bethlehem Township] in accordance with the Public Official & Employees Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §1104(B)(2). b. The candidate’s affidavit accompanying or appended to the Nomination Petition fails to set forth the office for which Petitioner contends to be a candidate in violation of the Pennsylvania Election Code, Title 25 P.S. §2870, and therefore, contains a material defect or error requiring the Nomination Petition to be set aside pursuant to Title 25 P.S. §2937. c. The Nomination Petition filed by Respondent, Raymond Russin, fails to set forth the date of the Primary Election for which he seeks office, and therefore, contains a material defect or error requiring the Nomination Petition to be set aside pursuant to Title 25 P.S. §2937.

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d. The failure of your Respondent to file a Statement of

Financial Interest with the Township of Bethlehem is a fatal defect requiring the Nomination Petition to be stricken and set aside pursuant to Title 65 Pa.C.S. §1104(B)(3). In Re: Nomination Petition of George L. Ginople, No. 1993-CM6593 (Northampton County Common Pleas August 19, 1993 President Judge Alfred T. Williams); In Re: Nomination Petition of L. Jack Pradt, No. 1997-CM-1783 (Northampton County Common Pleas). 7. This Honorable Court has jurisdiction to hear this matter

pursuant to Title 25 P.S. §2937 WHEREFORE, for the reasons stated aforesaid, your Petitioners respectfully pray that this Honorable Court sustain the objections and set aside the Nomination Petition of Raymond Russin as Democrat Candidate for the Office of Commissioner, Ward 4, Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, PA.

Respectfully submitted: ______________________________ BRIAN M. MONAHAN, ESQUIRE Attorney I.D. #37628
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701 Washington Street Easton, PA 18042 Telephone: (610) 258-5329

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VERIFICATION I, Suzanne H. Robertson, verify that the statements contained in the foregoing Petition to Set Aside Nomination Petition are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief. I understand that the statements made herein are made subject to the penalties of Pa. C.S.A. §4909 relating to unsworn falsifications to authorities.

______________________________ Suzanne H. Robertson Date: ____________

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