Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Metropolitan Edison Company, No. 3934 Equity Docket, 1974.
Philip P. Kalodner, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him Gerry J. Elman, Deputy Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellant.
Samuel B. Russell, with him W. Edwin Ogden, and Ryan, Russell & McConaghy, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.
[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 607]
Able counsel for the appellant has accurately and succinctly stated the history of this case as follows:
"This is an appeal from the denial by the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County of Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction sought to prevent collection by an electric utility of rates which plaintiff asserts are being collected illegally. The Court below denied plaintiff's Motion after hearing an undisputed set of facts, on the basis that it lacked 'jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action.'
[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 608]
"Defendant, Metropolitan Edison Company, has its principal place of business in Berks County, Pennsylvania; it supplies and sells electrical energy in Berks County and various other counties of Pennsylvania.
"Defendant filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on July 26, 1974, three proposed schedules of rates (called tariffs), each of the said schedules covering all of the company's customers. The first two of the tariffs, Supplements 22 and 23, representing successive proposed increases, respectively of 8.12% and 23.9%, were sought to be put into effect September 24, 1974. The third tariff, Supplement 24, representing an additional increase of 10% over the rates reflected in Supplement 23, that is, an overall increase of 44.78% over the pre-existing rates, was sought to be put into effect on July 1, 1975.
"A timely Complaint was filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission against all three tariffs by plaintiff, as well as by others, imposing upon the defendant the burden to prove the justness and reasonableness of the proposed rates after hearing.
"The Public Utility Commission, by orders dated September 16, 1974, suspended Supplement 23 for six months from September 24, 1974, and Supplement 24 for six months from July 1, 1975, and ordered its own investigations into both Supplements 23 and 24, but took no action to suspend or investigate the base rate set forth in ...