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KLING APPEAL (01/15/69)

decided: January 15, 1969.

KLING APPEAL


Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Union County, Oct. T., 1965, No. 143, in re condemnation of property of J. Ward Kling et ux. for Legislative Route 176, section 8, Kelly Township.

COUNSEL

John R. Miller, with him W. Roger Fetter, and Miller, Kistler, Lee & Campbell, for appellants.

Robert H. Raymond, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, with him William C. Sennett, Attorney General, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien.

Author: O'brien

[ 433 Pa. Page 119]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Union County, denying appellants' petition for the allowance of additional costs.

On January 9, 1963, certain real estate situate in Kelly Township, Union County, owned by J. Ward Kling and Gladys M. Kling, appellants here, was condemned by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways

[ 433 Pa. Page 120]

    for the purpose of imporving and widening U.S. Highway Route 15. The parties could not agree on just compensation, and consequently a Board of Viewers was appointed. The Board awarded the Klings $32,000.00, including detention damages.

The Klings appealed the award of the viewers, and after a five day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Klings, the condemnees, in the amount of $75,000.00, including detention damages. Judgment was entered on the verdict.

The condemnees then petitioned the court for the allowance of various costs and expenses under § 519 of the Eminent Domain Code of 1964, Act of June 22, 1964, P. L. 84, 26 P.S. § 1-519. That section provides: "All taxable costs, including filing fees, jury fees, statutory witness fees and mileage, expense of preparing plans under section 509, the expense of transporting the judge and jury to view the condemned property, and such other costs as the court in the interests of justice may allow, shall be paid by the condemnor unless the court in a proper case shall otherwise direct." (Emphasis added). The condemnees urged that the interests of justice required that they be permitted to recover, as additional costs, expert witness fees, engineering fees, and counsel fees. The court below denied relief, on two alternative grounds. First, the expenses claimed by the Klings were not "such other costs" within the meaning of § 519. Second, even if they were, the interests of justice did not require the Commonwealth to pay such expenses in this particular case.

We agree with the court below that the expenses claimed by appellants were not "such other costs" within the meaning of § 519, and we thus need not consider the second ground of the holding below. ...


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