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Civil Service Commission

Civil service appeal guide

This guide is intended to provide basic information concerning appeals to the Civil Service Commission. Excerpts from the Home Rule Charter and civil service regulations are included.

Interested persons should consult the entire text of the applicable civil service regulations and Home Rule Charter Sections for complete information as to the jurisdiction, powers, and duties of the commission.


Various types of appeals, jurisdictional requirements, and procedures for filing

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Procedure for filing an appeal

Appeals may be filed within the required time by receipt at the commission’s office of a written request manifesting an intention to appeal and briefly setting forth the nature of the decision or matter being appealed. You may file or deliver appeals via U.S. mail, email, fax, or hand-deliver to the commission’s office.

The commission has forms for the most common appeals on which information may be provided to establish the commission’s jurisdiction, the timeliness of the appeal, and whether all preliminary requirements have been properly met. Only one appeal form needs to be filed for each appeal; the commission does not require additional copies. There is no charge for filing an appeal. Complete an appeal form.

Failure to file in a timely manner or to comply with appeal requirements may result in rejection of the appeal.


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Representation and counsel

Appellants may be represented at any and all stages of proceedings before the commission by legal counsel admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any county thereof or a union representative of any authorized bargaining unit. Appellants desiring to represent themselves will be allowed to do so provided the commission is satisfied that the appellant does not desire a further opportunity to obtain representation.

Service of notices will be provided to counsel only when a written appearance is filed. The filing of an appeal signed by counsel shall be considered an entry of appearance.

Hearings evidence and procedure

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In accordance with Section 7-201 of the Home Rule Charter, the commission issues written opinions in every appeal within its jurisdiction. However, an appeal may be rejected for lack of jurisdiction without formal opinion. Opinions will be mailed to appellants and their legal counsel by ordinary U.S. mail, postage prepaid, or emailed.

The scope of the commission’s authority in deciding disciplinary appeals is set forth in the Home Rule Charter, Section 7-201.

The commission’s authority in deciding appeals from oral examinations, leaves of absence, and performance reports is carefully limited by civil service regulations 9.1122.02, and 23.06.

Rehearings and further appeals

The commission, upon application duly made, may grant a rehearing in any matter. The procedure and grounds, which must be strictly adhered to, are set forth in civil service regulations 17.063 et seq.

Regarding appeals from commission decisions, Section 7-201 of the Home Rule Charter provides:

. . . Findings and decisions of the commission and any action taken in conformance therewith as a result thereof shall be final and there shall be no further appeal on the merits, but there may be appeal to the Courts on jurisdictional or procedural grounds.

Attorneys and other interested persons are directed to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure with Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Rules for the filing of appeals from Administrative Agencies.

Miscellaneous powers

Civil service regulations 5.07 and 6.04 provide that the director of Human Resources shall review all appeals to amend the Classification and Pay Plans and shall schedule such appeals for hearing before the commission. Pursuant thereto, the director shall make recommendations for or against any proposed changes in the Classification and Pay Plans and, if the commission approves an amendment thereto, the director of Human Resources must then submit said amendment to the managing director and the director of Finance.

Pursuant to Section 7-200 of the Home Rule Charter, the commission is authorized to advise the mayor and the director of Human Resources of problems concerning Human Resources administration in the City service and is authorized to make investigations which it considers desirable and submit recommendations to the mayor and director of Human Resources.