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D'ANJOLELL v. STATE BOARD FUNERAL DIRECTORS (07/13/71)

decided: July 13, 1971.

D'ANJOLELL
v.
STATE BOARD OF FUNERAL DIRECTORS



Appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in case of Robert L. D'Anjolell v. State Board of Funeral Directors. Appeal transferred September 1, 1970, to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. Appeal from the adjudication and order of the State Board of Funeral Directors suspending appellant's funeral director's license for thirty days.

COUNSEL

John M. McAllister, with him McAllister, Rief & Shapiro, for appellants.

Walter W. Wilt, Assistant Attorney General, with him J. Shane Creamer, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Manderino and Mencer. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 3 Pa. Commw. Page 65]

Robert L. D'Anjolell is appealing an order of the State Board of Funeral Directors which suspended his funeral director's license for thirty days We are asked to reverse this order and reinstate the license on the bases that the conclusions of the Board were not supported by substantial evidence and that certain regulations of the Board which appellant violated are unconstitutional. Although our reasons for doing so differ in some instances from those directed to us by appellant, we agree that his license should be reinstated.

Appellant performed professional services as a funeral director for Mrs. Walter Westbrook whose husband,

[ 3 Pa. Commw. Page 66]

    a veteran of the Armed Forces, died on October 8, 1968. Subsequently, Mrs. Westbrook consulted with an Army Counselor whose responsibility it was to advise veterans' widows of burial rights. A complaint ensued and after its investigation the State Board of Funeral Directors (Board) promulgated a citation and notice of hearing to appellant alleging certain improprieties under the Funeral Director Law, Act of January 14, 1952, P.L. 1898, Section 11, 63 P.S. ยง 479.11, and the Board's regulations.

At the Board's hearing, the Commonwealth offered three witnesses to support the citation and appellant produced seven witnesses in rebuttal resulting in many evidentiary conflicts. Despite the complexity of the factual situation and the conflicting testimony proffered, the adjudication of the Board unearthed what we consider minimal findings of fact*fn1 and a brief recital of legal conclusions. They follow:

"Findings of Fact

"From the testimony and exhibits before the State Board of Funeral Directors at the hearing held on April 7, 1969, the Board finds that Robert L. D'Anjolell, the Respondent:

"1. Is the holder of funeral director's license, No. 10152, issued August 17, 1960, to practice funeral directing in ...


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