In this appeal out of Fayette County, the Commonwealth Court was asked to determine which of two conflicting statutes of limitations (“SOL”) applied to petitions for the appointment of a board of viewers following a municipal authority’s declaration of taking and payment of just compensation. In finding that the 1 year SOL within the Urban Redevelopment Law (“URL”) was applicable, the court found that this statute had not been expressly or impliedly repealed by Act 34 which had repealed and replaced the Eminent Domain Code.
The Authority filed declarations of taking against certain properties owned by Condemnees on June 3, 2009 and made payments of just compensation in accordance with the Eminent Domain Code. The final payment was made by the Authority on February 6, 2012. On April 21, 2014 Condemnees filed petitions for the appointment of viewers. The Authority filed preliminary objections asserting the petitions were untimely filed, as the 1 year SOL for such claims contained in the URL had lapsed. Condemnees asserted the applicable SOL was in fact the 6 year SOL imposed by Section 5527(a) of the Judicial Code, which, they argued, superseded the URL. The Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County sustained the Authority’s preliminary objections, finding the Condemnees’ petitions were untimely filed. Condemnees appealed.
On appeal, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the trial court’s holding. It found that the 1 year SOL established in the URL had not been expressly or impliedly repealed by Act 34, which had repealed and replaced the Eminent Domain Code and Section 5527(a) of the Judicial Code, as Condemnees asserted. Thus the 1 year SOL remained in effect and the petitions, which had been filed more than 2 years after the final payment, were untimely.