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SONAFELT ET AL. v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (LATROBE BUS SERVICE (03/16/54)

March 16, 1954

SONAFELT ET AL.
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (LATROBE BUS SERVICE, APPELLANT, V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.)



COUNSEL

John S. Lightcap, Jr., Gene E. McDonald, Lightcap & McDonald, Latrobe, for appellant.

Clarence M. Freedman, Asst. Counsel, Lloyd S. Benjamin, Counsel, Harrisburg, for appellee Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

James W. Hagar, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, Harrisburg, for intervening appellee Chestnut Ridge Transp. Co.

Before Rhodes, P.j., and Hirt, Ross, Gunther, and Wright, JJ.

Author: Wright

[ 175 Pa. Super. Page 165]

WRIGHT, Judge.

Andrew Sonafelt, Earl H. Sonafelt and Jack L. Sonafelt, co-partners, trading and doing business as Latrobe Bus Service, and hereinafter referred to as Latrobe, hold a certificate of public convenience authorizing

[ 175 Pa. Super. Page 166]

    them to transport persons by bus over scheduled routes in and between the Boroughs of Latrobe and Ligonier, and points in the Townships of Derry, Unity and Ligonier, Westmoreland County. On or about September 8, 1950, Latrobe filed an application with the Public Utility Commission to render additional service, namely, to transport groups and parties of persons from the above-recited points to any point in Pennsylvania. Protests were filed by Chestnut Ridge Transportation Company, Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines, Inc., Hutchison Bus Lines, New Alexandria Bus Company, Inc., The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and Ligonier Valley Railroad Company. Hearings on said application were held on November 21, 1950, and January 11, 1951. On May 7, 1951, the Commission approved the application in a 'short form' order, subject to the condition that no service should be rendered from the Village of Crabtree or within a three mile radius thereof. Chestnut Ridge Transportation Company and Hutchison Bus Lines filed a petition for rehearing, which was denied by the Commission on July 30, 1951. Chestnut Ridge Transportation Company then took an appeal to this court at No. 26 March Term 1952. Latrobe was subsequently granted permission to intervene.

On September 22, 1951, upon the Commission's petition for remission of the record, we made an order remanding the record and proceedings to the Commission 'for further study and consideration, and to make specific findings of fact in sufficient detail to enable this court upon appeal to determine the controverted question presented by the proceeding * * * and the entry of such an order in lieu of the prior order of May 7, 1951, as may be deemed just and proper in the premises. * * *' On December 22, 1951, upon the Commission's petition for permission to reopen the record, we made an order

[ 175 Pa. Super. Page 167]

    reopening the record and authorizing the Commission 'to conduct such hearing or hearings as it believes is necessary for the taking of additional testimony or evidence to complete the record and upon completion of the record to make specific findings of fact in sufficient detail to enable this court upon appeal to determine the controverted questions presented by the proceedings * * * and the entry of such an order in lieu of the prior order of May 7, 1951, as may be just and proper in the premises. * * *'

On September 30, 1952, a further hearing was held before the Commission, at which time Latrobe and Chestnut Ridge Transportation Company both appeared. At the commencement of the hearing, counsel for Latrobe made the following statement: 'If the Examiner please, this is a hearing called for the purpose of taking additional testimony in the matter of the application of Latrobe Bus Company'. On July 13, 1953, the Commission entered an order canceling the certificate of public convenience previously granted to appellants and refusing the application for lack of necessity. On July 31, 1953, the appeal at No. 26 March Term 1952, was discontinued. On August 12, 1953, Latrobe filed the present appeal from the ...


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