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SMITH ET AL. v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL. (12/29/53)

December 29, 1953

SMITH ET AL.
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL.



COUNSEL

Harris J. Latta, Jr., Asst. Counsel, Lloyd S. Benjamin, Harrisburg, for appellee Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Peter Platten, Hamilton C. Connor, Jr., Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, Philadelphia, for intervening appellee Philadelphia Transp. Co.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Ross, Gunther, Wright and Woodside, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 253]

RHODES, President Judge.

This is an appeal by certain individuals from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission of June 30, 1953, granting the Philadelphia Transportation Company a certificate of public convenience evidencing commission approval of abandonment of street

[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 254]

    railway service on its Rail Route 18*fn1 in the City of Philadelphia.

The principal question presented to us is whether the appeal should be quashed for want of a qualified appellant. On this question the following facts are important: The company's application for discontinuance and abandonment of street railway service on its Rail Route 18 was filed with the Commission on November 5, 1952. Notice of the application and of the time and place of hearing was posted by the company in cars on Rail Route 18. Notice was also given by publication. No protests were filed prior to hearing which was held on January 19, 1953. At the hearing Thomas I. Guerin, Esq., appeared 'for residents of First Councilmanic District.' There also appeared at the hearing Bernard Watman who testified in opposition to the proposed abandonment on behalf of the Point Breeze Avenue Business Men's Association. Mr. Watman had offered in evidence petitions containing several thousand signatures in which the proposed abandonment was opposed. On objection by counsel for the company the Commission refused to make these petitions a part of the record, and they were received only as a part of the Commission's correspondence folder. The company presented evidence at length at the hearing in support of its application. On June 30, 1953, the Commission entered its order approving the application, and directing the issuance of a certificate of public convenience evidencing such approval.

On July 11, 1953, the individual appellants filed with the Commission what in substance amounted to a petition for rehearing The company filed an answer

[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 255]

    to the petition. On July 24, 1953, appellants filed a supplemental petition for rehearing with the Commission alleging, inter alia, irreparable harm to users of the service, and seeking an order restraining the company from further action pending disposition by the Commission of the petition for rehearing.

The Commission denied appellants' petition for rehearing under date of July 27, 1953. The individual appellants filed the present appeal, together with a petition for supersedeas, in this Court on July 29, 1953. On September 1, 1953, the company, having sought and obtained permission to intervene as a party appellee in this Court, filed a motion to quash the appeal. The Commission likewise filed a motion to quash on the ground that none of the ...


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