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WILLIAM E. WALLACE v. INSURANCE DEPARTMENT COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/31/73)

decided: July 31, 1973.

WILLIAM E. WALLACE, APPELLANT,
v.
INSURANCE DEPARTMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Insurance Commissioner in case of In Re: William E. Wallace, 469 MacDade Boulevard, Collingdale, Pennsylvania, August 22, 1972.

COUNSEL

John Churchman Smith, with him Gibbons, Buckley and Smith, for appellant.

Charles D. Cowley, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert J. Demer, Assistant Attorney General, and Barton Isenberg, Deputy Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Rogers. Judge Kramer joins in this dissent.

Author: Mencer

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 568]

William E. Wallace (Wallace) has been a licensed life insurance agent in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1956 and has been licensed as an insurance agent to sell casualty insurance since 1966. Commencing on May 27, 1970, Wallace sold casualty insurance policies for Safeguard Mutual Insurance Company (Safeguard). Although he offered a plausible explanation for his believing that he was properly licensed to sell for Safeguard,*fn1 the evidence established that Wallace

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 569]

    was not in fact licensed to sell for Safeguard until April 7, 1972. This license was issued in response to an application for license submitted by Safeguard subsequent to March 9, 1972.*fn2 The record is clear that representatives of the Insurance Department first became aware, and informed Wallace, on January 18, 1972 that he was not licensed to sell casualty insurance for Safeguard.

On February 8, 1972, Wallace was charged with selling casualty insurance for Safeguard as an agent and broker without a license and in violation of Sections 604 and 623 of The Insurance Department Act of 1921, Act of May 17, 1921, P.L. 789, as amended, 40 P.S. §§ 234, 253. Following two hearings, Wallace was adjudicated guilty of selling insurance for Safeguard without being licensed as an agent, in violation of Section 604 of The Insurance Department Act of 1921, 40 P.S. § 234.

All licenses of Wallace to act as an insurance agent were suspended for a period of sixty days, beginning September 1, 1972 and ending on October 30, 1972. Since Wallace did not obtain a supersedeas from this suspension and the period of time involved has elapsed, this portion of the Insurance Department's adjudication is moot and will not be considered here. See Scranton School District v. Scranton Federation of Teachers, 445 Pa. 155, 282 A.2d 235 (1971).

The adjudication further imposed a penalty of $14,705 against Wallace, payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This penalty was apparently determined by multiplying 2941, the number of Safeguard policies sold by Wallace during the years 1970 and 1971, when Wallace was not licensed to sell for Safeguard, by $5.00. Wallace has appealed this adjudication under

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 570]

    the provisions of the Administrative Agency Law, Act of June 4, 1945, P.L. 1388, as amended, 71 P.S. § 1710.1 et seq. Section 44 of the Administrative Agency Law, 71 P.S. § 1710.44, directs us to hear appeals on the record made before the agency and further provides: "After hearing, the court shall affirm the adjudication unless it shall find the same . . . is not in accordance with law, . . . or that any finding of fact made by the agency and necessary to support its adjudication is not supported by substantial evidence. If the adjudication is not affirmed, the court may set ...


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