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W. J. DILLNER TRANSFER COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION. (06/11/58)

June 11, 1958

W. J. DILLNER TRANSFER COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.



Appeal, No. 54, March T., 1958, from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Sept. 3, 1957, Minimum Rate Docket No. 7, in case of W. J. Dillner Transfer Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

G. Thomas Miller, with him Ernie Adamson, J. Paul Rupp, and Bailey & Rupp, for appellant.

Morris Mindlin, Assistant Counsel, with him Jack F. Aschinger, Assistant Counsel, and Thomas M. Kerrigan, Acting Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.

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

Author: Rhodes

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 528]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

This appeal involves the general administrative authority of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and its rule making powers.

On September 3, 1957, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission filed an order dismissing, without hearing, petition of W. J. Dillner Transfer Company and Weston Hauling, Inc., for modification and clarification of an order of July 15, 1941, establishing uniform rules and regulations and prescribing minimum rates for the transportation of heavy articles in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The order was conditionally effective October 1, 1941. W. J. Dillner Transfer Company appeals and complains that the failure to grant a hearing on the petition violated its right of procedural due process and is contrary to the provisions of section 1007 of the Public Utility Law of 1937, 66 PS § 1397.

On July 15, 1941, the commission, after a general investigation and consideration of proposed rules and rates submitted by a committee of heavy haulers, filed an order nisi at Minimum Rate Docket No. 7 containing proposed uniform rules and regulations and minimum rates for the transportation of heavy articles. The order of July 15, 1941, provided that, unless exceptions

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 529]

    were filed thereto by any interested party within fifteen days after service, the order would become final and effective as of October 1, 1941. Many exceptions were filed to the order. Upon receipt of the exceptions the commission postponed the effective date of the order pending its further consideration of the matter, and it so notified certain of the exceptions. There was no proceeding thereafter, and no action was taken other than the order was printed in the reports of the Public Utility Commission, 22 Pa. P.U.C. 540. Although printed, the order was never put into effect; and nothing further occurred in connection therewith until July, 1957, when Dillner and Weston filed the petition alleging that the order in its present state was uncertain and requesting a hearing to determine the extent to which the order should be modified and the extent to which the commission should sustain or reject the exceptions which were filed against the order. On September 3, 1957, the commission, upon consideration of the petition, filed its order denying the petition, rescinding the order of July 15, 1941, and terminating the proceeding at Minimum Rate Docket No. 7. This appeal by Dillner followed.

The contentions of Dillner are that the commission had no authority to dismiss its petition of July 1957, without first affording it a hearing under the provisions of section 1007 of the Public Utility Law of 1937, 66 PS § 1397; that the commission's order of September 3, 1957, rescinding the order of July 15, 1941, is therefore void; and that consequently said order of July 15, 1941, containing the proposed rules, regulations, and minimum rates is still in full force and effect.

Section 1007 of the Law, 66 PS § 1397, provides: "The commission may, at any time, after notice and after opportunity to be heard as provided in the case of ...


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