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PENNSYLVANIA COAL COMPANY v. LUZERNE COUNTY (09/30/57)

September 30, 1957

PENNSYLVANIA COAL COMPANY
v.
LUZERNE COUNTY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 223, Jan.T., 1957, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, March T., 1954, No. 8, in case of Pennsylvania Coal Company et al. v. County of Luzerne. Appeal quashed.

COUNSEL

Thomas E. Brislin, Assistant County Solicitor, with him John E. Morris, Jr., County Solicitor, and Philip V. Mattes, Associate Counsel, for appellant.

James P. Harris, Jr., with him James P. Harris, J. Frank Connolly, Morris Gelb and Warren, Hill, Henkelman & McMenamin, for appellees.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 390 Pa. Page 144]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE JONES

This appeal, which was taken under the Act of March 5, 1925, P.L. 23, 12 PS ยง 672, to obtain review of the lower court's assumption of jurisdiction of the subject matter, must be quashed as having been taken out of time.

The Act of 1925, supra, expressly ordains that "The appeal here provided for must be taken and perfected within fifteen days from the date when the decision is

[ 390 Pa. Page 145]

    rendered." This requirement is mandatory and admits of no exceptions: Thomas v. McLean, 365 Pa. 526, 528, 76 A.2d 413; Jones, Admrx. v. Unguriet, 364 Pa. 200, 202, 71 A.2d 240; Schmehl v. Mellinger, 325 Pa. 487, 489, 191 A. 62; fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Co. v. Berkin, 299 Pa. 196, 198, 149 A. 470; Specktor v. Hanover Fire Ins. Co., 295 Pa. 390, 392, 145 A. 430; Polakoff v. Marchand College of Chiropractic et al., 287 Pa. 28, 30, 134 A. 529.

The undisputed facts show that the decision on jurisdiction, whereof the appellant now complains, was rendered well over a year before this appeal was taken. Indeed, the jurisdictional question urged for review on this appeal was not even raised in the court below when the preliminary objections, which subsequently evoked the adjudication from which this appeal purports to have been taken, were heard and disposed of.

On February 9, 1954, the plaintiff coal companies filed their joint complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County against that county and the County of Lackawanna seeking injunctive relief or, in the alternative, damages against the defendant counties on the ground that the defendants, in constructing and maintaining a common airport, collected and discharged surface waters in such a manner as to flood the plaintiffs' coal mines. The airport had been constructed in 1945 and 1946 on land lying athwart a common boundary of the defendant counties which had been acquired by the counties in 1945 in an exercise of their power of eminent domain. Since the construction of the airport, it has been operated by the defendant counties jointly under a contract between them.

Both defendants filed preliminary objections to the plaintiffs' complaint. However, before a decision thereon was had, the plaintiffs, with permission of the court, ...


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