In response to an injunction granted against the Luzerne County Commissioners and the Luzerne County Salary Board, Commissioner Petrilla and her colleagues fired back with an emergency petition to the State Supreme Court. Their attorney used an extraordinary but rarely used action called "Kings Bench Jurisidiction." The term eminates from England where the king actually sat on the court.
In this case the Supreme Court is viewed as "a supervisory tribunal to keep other jurisdictions within their proper bounds". Its civil jurisdiction is against the officers or ministers of the court entitled to its privilege.
What is ironic is the fact that Ciavarella is telling the court irreparable harm will come to the courts if their funding is cut. However, he has no study or factual information to back up his assertion. I guess he feels that no irreparable harm will come to Luzerne County or the taxpayers if he is given a blank check.
In a twist to this story the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania plans to submit a brief in support of Luzerne County's efforts.
"Association Executive Director Doug Hill said Friday the timing of Luzerne County’s legal battle is "ironic" because the association earlier this month filed a motion asking the state Supreme Court to force the state to honor a 1996 Supreme Court order to fund county courts."
If Ciavarella was truly concerned about his funding why didn't he petition the State Supreme Court to enforce its order? He likes to pick the low hanging fruit. If it involves work he tries to sidestep it.
Anybody remember the lawsuit filed by the Juvenile Law Center against Judge Ciavarella to intervene on the juvenile court cases where the children had no legal representation. That is what I call irreparable harm.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court does not accept all cases that are brought before it. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett each filed briefs to convince the Court to take jurisdiction in this matter.
A bigger question is why isn't the mainstream media taking Ciavarella to task on these issues? Peter seems to have a grasp on the magnitude of Luzerne County Court problems.