CHAPTER 11
 

PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING
NON-PROFIT CORPORATIONS

 

 
 
 
 

A.

Jurisdiction and Venue
     
The Orphans’ Court has mandatory jurisdiction over many matters involving non-profit corporations, based on PEF Code §711(21), Pennsylvania Rule of Judicial Administration 2156, and, in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Joint General Court Regulation No. 2000-03.1

The comment to the Philadelphia County Court Regulation distills the matters over which the Orphans’ Court will exercise its jurisdiction:
     
     
   

“Comment: The assignment of matters under this rule will depend on the nature of the underlying action. For example, an action involving one or more nonprofit corporations concerning an ordinary tort or contract claim will be assigned to the Trial Division. An action involving one or more nonprofit corporations concerning the proper application of property committed to charitable purposes, or the rights and obligations of members, directors or officers of such nonprofit corporations, will be assigned to the Orphans’ Court. The mere possibility that an ordinary tort or contract claim could result in a judgment for or against a nonprofit corporation will not cause a matter to be assigned to the Orphans’ Court.”

     
In practice, matters related to the administration of charitable assets owned by a non-profit corporation (either directly or as trustee for itself) and matters relating to the rights and obligations of the members, directors and officers of the corporations can be brought to the Orphans’ Court.

Venue is generally proper in the county in which the corporation has its registered office, or, if there is no such office, where its property is located. See PEF Code §726.
 
 
1 A history of the development of this jurisdiction can be found in Judge Klein’s Adjudication in Pennsylvania Home Teaching Society and Free Circulating Library for the Blind, 25 Fid. Rep. 556 (O.C. Div. Phila. 1975).
 

 


 
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