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POCONO PINES CORPORATION v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/01/73)

decided: November 1, 1973.

POCONO PINES CORPORATION, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, BOARD OF PROPERTY, AND PENNSYLVANIA GAME COMMISSION, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Board of Property in case of Pocono Pines Corporation v. Pennsylvania Game Commission, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, December 27, 1972.

COUNSEL

Charles B. Zwally, with him John Havas and Shearer, Mette, Hoerner & Woodside, for appellant.

Benjamin B. Solomon, Assistant Attorney General, and Raymond C. Miller, Deputy Attorney General, with them Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellees.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 10 Pa. Commw. Page 467]

On July 1, 1902, Frank C. Miller (Miller) became the sole owner of a tract of land, containing approximately 250 acres, located in Tobyhanna Township, Monroe

[ 10 Pa. Commw. Page 468]

County, Pennsylvania, succinctly designated to be that part of the "Tench Francis Warranty which is situate on the left hand side of the Tobyhanna Creek in going down the same." Miller's ownership in this property was derived from a deed dated and recorded in the public records of Monroe County on July 1, 1902.

Miller retained ownership of this tract of land during the remainder of his life, and after his death in 1932 ownership vested in his heirs who sold their interest in the property in 1963. A subsequent transfer of the tract occurred in 1969 when Pocono Pines Corporation (Pocono) acquired title to the land.

During the entire period from July 1, 1902 to the present time the tract has been assessed in the name of Frank C. Miller and his successors in title who have timely paid the applicable taxes.

On or about June 29, 1918, the United States commenced a proceeding in the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to condemn a number of tracts of land in Coolbaugh and Tobyhanna Townships, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Included in the condemnation were two certain lots, pieces or parcels of land described in the proceeding as containing 821 acres and 80 perches and allowances in the warrantee names of Nalbro Frazier and Tench Francis and in the ownership of Consumers Coal and Ice Company of Bayonne, New Jersey.

The only published notice of the proceeding condemning these two lots was a notice of the meeting of the Board of Viewers. No notice of any kind was given to Frank C. Miller, the owner of record of the 250-acre tract here in dispute, nor was he ever made a party to the United States condemnation proceeding.

On May 5, 1949, the United States conveyed 14,019 acres of land in Monroe County to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania claims that ...


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