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PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION v. ALLEGHENY COUNTY. (09/29/64)

September 29, 1964

PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, APPELLANT,
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY.



Appeals, Nos. 23, 24 and 25, May T., 1964, from order of Superior Court, March T., 1963, Nos. 41, 42 and 43, reversing order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Application Docket No. 89034, in cases of County of Allegheny v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; City of Pittsburgh v. Same; Harry A. Estep, in his own right and on behalf of users of Castle Shannon Incline Plane, v. Same. Appeal quashed.

COUNSEL

Daniel F. Joella, Assistant Counsel, with him Joseph C. Bruno, Chief Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellant.

James H. Booser, Harry H. Frank, and McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for railroad, intervening appellant.

Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, with him Thomas M. Rutter, Jr. and Livingstone M. Johnson, Assistant County Solicitors, for County of Allegheny, appellee.

Marion K. Finkelhor, Second Assistant City Solicitor, with him David W. Craig, City Solicitor, for City of Pittsburgh, appellee.

Harry A. Estep, in propria persona, for protestants, appellees.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: O'brien

[ 415 Pa. Page 315]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE O'BRIEN

The Pittsburgh Railways Company, on April 19, 1962, filed a petition with the Public Utility Commission, for leave to abandon service on the Castle Shannon Incline, in Pittsburgh. In addition to that petition, the railways filed, at the same time, 32 other petitions seeking leave to abandon and modify transportation routes. All of the petitions, including the one involving the incline, were consolidated for hearings. Testimony was taken by the commission, beginning in late June of 1962 and was taken at various times in July, October and December of 1962, the last hearing having occurred on December 7, 1962, with other hearings scheduled to follow.

On December 8, 1962, the railways company petitioned the commission for an immediate temporary certificate to abandon service on the incline. The commission made an order, dated December 17, 1962, and filed January 3, 1963, approving "The temporary discontinuance of service on the Castle Shannon Incline Plane in the City of Pittsburgh. ...".

The City of Pittsburgh and the County of Allegheny and Harry A. Estep, Esquire, a lawyer and a user of the incline Plane, all of whom had filed objections to the railways' original petition for abandonment, appealed from this order to the Superior Court. They contended that the commission had no authority to make a temporary order, that the order which it did make was tantamount to a final abandonment order and, therefore, appealable and that the order was issued without due process and, therefore, unconstitutional and of no legal effect. The commission and the railways company, as intervening ...


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