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GIRARD TRUST COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY (05/22/50)

May 22, 1950

GIRARD TRUST COMPANY, TRUSTEE, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY



Appeals, Nos. 203 and 204, Jan. T., 1950, from decrees of Court of Common Pleas Nos. 5 and 2 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1949, Nos. 2340 and 2341, respectively, in cases of Girard Trust Company, Trustees, etc., v. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company and The Pennsylvania Company for Banking and Trusts, Trustee, etc., v. The Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad Company. Decrees affirmed.

COUNSEL

Boyd Lee Spahr, with him Knox Henderson and Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, for appellants.

Charles Myers, with him Robert M. Landis and Barnes, Dechert, Price, Myers & Clark, for appellees.

Thomas P. Mikell, with him Edward M. David, Maurice Bower Saul and Saul, Ewing, Remick & Saul, for Corporate Fiduciaries Association of Philadelphia, amicus curiae.

Harry F. Stambaugh, Special Deputy Attorney General, with him T. McKeen Chidsey, Attorney General, for Commonwealth.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Jones and Bell, JJ.

[ 364 Pa. Page 578]

OPINION PER CURIAM

The Act of May 23, 1949, P.L. 1692, is so incomplete, conflicting and inconsistent in its various provisions and so unsusceptible of rational interpretation as a whole as to be incapable of judicial enforcement: cf. Willcox v. Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., 357 Pa. 581, 601, 55 A.2d 521. In addition thereto, the Act offends against both the Federal and State Constitutions by attempting deprivations of private property without due process of law and by impairing the obligations of valid and subsisting contracts. The Act is therefore void as well as inoperative. Nothing more need be said in justification of these conclusions than is contained in the able opinion of President Judge SMITH for the court below.

The several decrees are separately affirmed; each party to pay its own costs.

Disposition

The several decrees are separately affirmed; each party to pay its own costs.

19500522

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