Appeal, No. 498, Oct. T., 1959, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Feb. T., 1959, No. 21, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Melvin A. Halteman. Order affirmed.
James J. Himsworth, Jr., for appellant.
Elmer T. Bolla, Deputy Attorney General, with him Anne X. Alpern, Attorney General, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, Watkins, and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 381]
This is an appeal by Melvin A. Halteman from a suspension of his license to operate a motor vehicle.
The Secretary of Revenue suspended appellant's license for eleven months for an "improper pass on curve or crest of hill" in violation of § 1008(b) of The Vehicle Code of May 1, 1929, P.L. 905, as amended, 75 P.S. § 543(b). The alleged violation occurred in the State of Indiana.
Halteman appealed the suspension to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County alleging in his petition for appeal as follows: "On May 22, 1958, Petitioner was arrested and charged with an improper pass by an Indiana State Policeman. The alleged violation occurred while Petitioner was operating his truck in the State of Indiana. Petitioner disposed of the charge by paying the fine without a hearing." He charged that the suspension was "illegal, unreasonable, and an abuse of discretion on the part of the Department of Revenue in that: (a) Suspension of petitioner's license
[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 382]
would cause him great hardship, expense, and inconvenience. (b) Petitioner was not guilty of the alleged illegal passing."
After hearing, the court below made findings of fact and dismissed the appeal. Halteman appealed to this Court. The appeal to this Court is authorized by the Act of May 29, 1956, P.L. (1955) 1850, which amended § 616 of The Vehicle Code, supra, 75 P.S. § 193. We have held that the scope of our review is limited to that exercised by the Supreme Court prior to the Act of 1956. Commonwealth v. Fisher, 184 Pa. Superior Ct. 75, 81, 132 A.2d 739 (1957). It is our duty to examine the testimony to determine whether the findings of the court below are supported by competent evidence, and to correct any conclusions of law erroneously made. Commonwealth v. Emerick, 373 Pa. 388, 398, 96 A.2d 370 (1953). The action of the hearing court may not be interfered with upon appeal except for a manifest abuse of discretion or error of law. Bureau of Highway Safety v. Wright, 355 Pa. 307, 309, 49 A.2d 783 (1946).
Although we have a limited review of the action of the court below, that court's hearing of the case is de novo. An appeal to the court of common pleas is not for the purpose of reviewing the evidence taken before the secretary and his action thereon. Commonwealth v. Herzog, 359 Pa. 641, 643, 60 A.2d 37 (1948). Neither the action of the secretary nor the testimony taken before him or his representative, is properly a part of the ...