Phila. Civ. R. No. 320 APPEALS FROM STATE & LOCAL AGENCIES
(A) Applicability. The Prothonotary shall maintain a special docket for appeals from the determinations of state and local agencies ("statutory appeals"). Statutory appeals (and matters ancillary thereto) shall be presented to and determined by the supervising Judge of Appeals ("Supervising Judge").
(B) Manner of Taking Appeal. An appeal may be commenced by filing a Notice of Appeal with the Prothonotary.(1) The Notice of Appeal shall be in substantially the following form:
Appeal of [name] from a decision
of [name of agency]No. 96 ______ SD ______
[Name] hereby appeals from the decision of [name of agency], dated _____________ 19 ____, a copy of which is attached hereto. The following persons entered an appearance in the proceedings below:
[if "none", say so. Otherwise, list the name and address of each person using an extra page, if necessary].
Dated: ___________________________ ___________________________
[Appellant or Attorney]
(C) Procedure on Appeal. The Supervising Judge shall publish a standing case management order for each agency whose determinations are appealed on a regular basis ("agency-specific orders"). For agencies whose determinations are seldom appealed, the Supervising Judge shall publish a standing order of a generic nature. The Prothonotary shall provide appellant(s) with an agency-specific (or generic) standing order whenever a notice of appeal is filed.
Every appeal (and matter ancillary thereto) shall be governed by the aforesaid standing order and any supplemental order, which may be issued by the Supervising Judge.
(D) Manner of Service. The persons to be served, and the manner of making service, shall be specified in the standing order.
(a) The following persons shall be deemed parties opposed to the appeal unless they opt out by filing a praecipe with the Prothonotary within 60 days of service of the Notice of Appeal:
(1) the person(s) who initiated the proceedings before the agency below;
(2) the City of Philadelphia, but only in appeals involving local agencies;
(3) the School District of Philadelphia, but only in appeals involving school taxes; and
(4) the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but only in appeals involving state agencies.
(b) Others may obtain party status by intervening in accordance with the procedures set forth in the standing order.
1. Statutes authorizing appeals from state agencies (and some local agencies) often require the appeal to be commenced by "petition." See, e.g., 47 P.S. §4-464 (appeals involving the Liquor Control Board). Statutory requirements of this sort usually predate the constitutional remodeling of 1968 but, in any event, may be ignored. See, e.g., Appeal of Borough of Churchill, 575 A.2d 550, 554 (Pa. 1990) (legislative bodies may not dictate civil procedure to Pennsylvania Courts). See also Albrechta v. Borough of Shickshinny, 565 A.2d 198, 201 (Pa. Commw. 1989) (improper appeal process may be transformed into valid process), appeal denied, 577 A.2d 891 (Pa. 1990).