Appeals, Nos. 1 and 2, May T., 1961, from order of Secretary of Banking for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in case of Ritter Finance Company, Inc. of Levittown et al. v. Robert L. Myers, Jr., Secretary of Banking. Appeals quashed.
Harold E. Kohn, with him Ross J. Reese, Jr., and Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, Kohn & Dilks, for appellant.
Peter Platten, and Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, for appellant.
Frederic G. Antoun, Deputy Attorney General, with him Anne X. Alpern, Attorney General, for Secretary of Banking, appellee.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL
The present appeals in the nature of a board certiorari were taken by neighboring Small Loan Companies from the Order of the Secretary of Banking which granted a Small Loans License to Household Finance Corporation for a branch office in Levittown.
Household Finance Corporation, the applicant for a Small Loans License, seeks to establish a branch office in an area where within a radius of 7.2 miles there are already 13 licensed small loan company offices. Ritter Finance Company, Inc. (appellant) has two offices in the area, one 900 feet and the other 5.4 miles from applicant's proposed location. King Finance Corporation (appellant) has an office which is located 6.2 miles from the proposed location.
The Department of Banking, in accordance with its practice, notified each of the small loan companies which are located within the "community", of Household's application and offered them an opportunity to file objections in writing within 20 days. Testimony was taken, exhibits offered and a "determination" or Order was made by the Secretary of Banking. Both Ritter and King, although they have never been made parties to this proceeding, filed objections and appeared before the Secretary at the hearing and unsuccessfully protested the grant of a license.
Appellants contend in this appeal (1) that the Secretary of Banking committed fundamental error by relying upon material which was not contained in the record and as to which they had no opportunity for examination or cross-examination; (2) that the evidence was insufficient to support the findings of the Secretary or to justify the grant of a license; and (3) the Secretary based his decision and Order on errors of law.
At the threshold of our consideration of this case we are met with the motion of the Secretary of Banking to quash the appeals. The first and basic issue therefore is whether an appeal in the nature of certiorari will lie, and if so ...