Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Application of James C. Wetherill, t/d/b/a Hatboro Delivery Service, No. A-78703, F.1, Am-G.
James W. Patterson, with him, of counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, for appellants.
Thomas C. Dick, Assistant Counsel, with him Edward Munce, Acting Counsel, for appellee.
Edward D. Foy, Jr., with him Liederbach, Eimer, Foy & Hahn, for intervening appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by President Judge Bowman. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Kramer.
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The issue raised by a motion to quash the instant appeal, though narrow, is one of first impression and
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affects virtually every appeal to this Court from an adjudication of a state administrative agency pursuant to Section 403 of the Appellate Court Jurisdiction Act of 1970 (ACJA), Act of July 31, 1970, P.L. 673, as amended, 17 P.S. § 211.403, which confers jurisdiction in this Court over such appeals.
Section 502, ACJA, 17 P.S. § 211.502, dealing generally with the time for appeal, provides, with two exceptions not here relevant, that an appeal under the Act from any order shall be filed "within thirty days of its entry."
A host of statutes, including the Public Utility Law, Act of May 28, 1937, P.L. 1053, as amended, 66 P.S. § 1101 et seq., here involved, speaking on the subject of judicial review of state administrative adjudications, contain provisions inconsistent with Section 502, ACJA, as to the event from which the time limitation for appeal is measured. Section 1101 of the Public Utility Law, 66 P.S. § 1431, requires such appeals to be taken within thirty days "after the service of any order by the commission," thus clearly in conflict with Section 502, ACJA. A multitude of other statutes governing particular state administrative agencies variously prescribe the event from which the time limitation for appeal is to be computed as "service of notice" of the order, "mailing of decision" and similar phrases, all equally clear as being inconsistent with Section 502, ACJA.
Given inconsistent provisions as to the event from which the time limitation for an appeal is to be measured, which provision shall prevail -- Section 502, ACJA, enacted subsequent to Section 1101 of the Public Utility Law, or Section 1101?
There is no factual dispute in the instant case that the appeal was timely taken if measured from the date of service of the ...