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BUCK AND DOE RUN VALLEY FARMS COMPANY APPEAL. (06/11/57)

June 11, 1957

BUCK AND DOE RUN VALLEY FARMS COMPANY APPEAL.


Appeal, No. 121, Oct. T., 1956, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Chester County, Feb. T., 1955, No. 6, in re vacation of portions of public roads in the Townships of East Fallowfield and Newlin. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Charles J. Biddle, with him John E. Walsh, Franklin L. Gordon, Gordon & Gordon, and Drinker, Biddle & Reath, for appellant.

David Berger, with him C. Raymond Young, Louis A. Apfelbaum, Solicitor, and Mervyn R. Turk, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (hirt, J., absent).

Author: Rhodes

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 427]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

The Buck and Doe Run Valley Farms Company appealed from the order of the Court of Quarter Sessions

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 428]

    of Chester County dismissing, for procedural defects, its petition to vacate portions of two public roads in second class townships. Our review is on certiorari and limited to the record; we may not consider the merits of the case or review questions of fact. Culbertson Appeal, 182 Pa. Superior Ct. 374, 375, 128 A.2d 95.

The petition to vacate*fn1 which was filed by appellant alleged that both roads, which pass through appellant's farm, are useless and inconvenient for public travel, and interfere with the productive use of the farm in the grazing of beef cattle. The portion of one of the roads sought to be vacated, Township Road 378, lies wholly within the Township of East Fallowfield; the portion of the other road involved, Township Road 377, lies partly in East Fallowfield Township and partly in Newlin Township, with one of its termini in each township. A jury of view was appointed; its report concluded that the roads were useless, inconvenient, and burdensome, and were not necessary for the public convenience; it recommended vacation thereof. A number of exceptions were filed to the report by a taxpayer and by the Supervisors of East Fallowfield Township. One of the exceptions set forth that appellant had joined in one petition two separate and distinct roads for vacation, and that this defect was fatal. The court below sustained this exception without discussing any other, and dismissed the petition to vacate. Its action will be affirmed.

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 429]

The law does not favor the delay or extension of a cause by reason of technicalities, although the orderly processes of the law require substantial compliance with established procedures. By initially following proper procedure, the determination of a cause is usually expedited and difficulties are avoided. Whether the proposed vacation of two or more separate and distinct roads may be accomplished by one petition and in one proceeding does not appear to have been previously decided. However, the proper procedure is clear. The Act of June 13, 1836, P.L. 551, § 18, amended by the Act of May 21, 1943, P.L. 458, § 1, 36 PS § 1981,*fn2 which sets forth generally the procedure for vacation of a public road by petition to the court, states: "The said courts shall proceed therein by views and reviews, in the manner provided for the laying out of public roads and highways." In Sadsbury Township Roads - Toland's Appeal, 147 Pa. 471, 473, 23 A. 772, it was held improper to join in one petition the request for appointment of viewers to lay out three separate and distinct roads. Our Supreme Court there said (page 473 of 147 Pa., page 772 of 23 A.): "There appears to be nothing in the provisions of our general road law to indicate that the legislature ever intended that the jurisdiction conferred on the court of quarter sessions, in relation to laying out roads, should be exercised in a kind of ...


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