Appeals, Nos. 161 and 162, March T., 1961, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1960, No. 387, and April T., 1959, No. 1913, in case of John F. Gloeckner v. The School District of Township of Baldwin, and in re petition of Board of School Directors of School District of Township of Baldwin. Judgments affirmed.
Guy L. Warman, with him John A. Metz, Jr., and Metz, Cook, Hanna & Kelly, for appellant.
Edward R. Lawrence, with him Paul, Lawrence and Rock, for appellee.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and Alpern, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO.
On December 30, 1943, Paul Ciaffoni, a tenant in common with Pete Ciaffoni of a certain 170-acre tract of land in Baldwin Township, leased in writing the "President or River Vein of coal" in the property to Salvatore Falingallo, the lease providing that the lessee was to initially pay $500 and then 15 cents per ton for each ton of coal taken out, by strip or shaft mining, the royalties to apply to the $500. The lessee was to start operations within 60 days from the date of the agreement and complete the project within five years.
On March 4, 1947, Falingallo sold his rights under the lease to John F. Gloeckner, the appellant in this case, for $500. Gloeckner applied to the Baldwin Township authorities for a permit to extract the coal by strip mining process, but the permit was refused because
a township ordinance prohibited strip mining. Gloeckner then attempted in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County to enjoin the township from interfering with his contemplated strip mining. The injunction was denied.
Gloeckner now turned to Ciaffoni to obtain a refund of the $500 consideration he had paid. Ciaffoni refused to return the money but informed Gloeckner that he would not hold him to the 60-day starting time or the five-year-term. Gloeckner did nothing further in the matter. On October 19, 1954, the Ciaffonis leased the same vein of coal to the Lapaglia Contractors, Inc.
On August 13, 1958, the School District of Baldwin Township condemned 8.35 acres of the 170-acre tract. This condemnation which, of course would entail the awarding of damages, spurred Gloeckner into asserting assumed rights under his assignment. He presented a claim to the board of viewers convened to assess damages, but the board awarded him nothing. He filed exceptions to the ...