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PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION v. ROBERT W. BLANCHETTE (10/08/75)

decided: October 8, 1975.

PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, APPELLEE, AND PHILADELPHIA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INTERVENING APPELLEE,
v.
ROBERT W. BLANCHETTE, RICHARD C. BOND, JOHN H. MCARTHUR, TRUSTEES OF THE PROPERTY OF PENN CENTRAL TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, DEBTOR, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Philadelphia Electric Company, Rate Investigation Docket No. 94.

COUNSEL

Robert Szwajkos, for appellants.

Edward Munce, with him Herbert E. Squires, Assistant Counsel, and Peter W. Brown, Counsel, for appellee.

David H. Marion, with him Harold E. Kohn, Allen D. Black, Carole Broderick, and Harold E. Kohn, P.A., for intervening appellee.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 330]

This is an appeal from the order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) which allows Philadelphia Electric Company (PEC) to file, for services rendered on and after June 25, 1974, a rule which may permit it to bill customers in bankruptcy on a biweekly, rather than monthly, basis.

Robert W. Blanchette, Richard C. Bond, and John H. McArthur, trustees of the property of Penn Central

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 331]

Transportation Company (Penn Central), have appealed the Commission's order of June 25, 1974 and assert here that Penn Central has paid PEC on a current basis; that PEC is amply protected from financial loss by the provisions, restrictions, and conditions of the Penn Central reorganization proceedings; that the proposed billing change would adversely affect the cash position of Penn Central; and that the biweekly billings would have a detrimental effect on Penn Central's operational revenue.

This Court's review of an order of the Commission is limited both by statute and prior case law. We have repeatedly described our scope of review of Commission orders in terms of what we set forth in York v. Public Utility Commission, 3 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 270, 281 A.2d 261 (1971). We stated there:

"Section 1107 of the Public Utility Law, Act of May 28, 1937, P.L. 1053, as amended, 66 P.S. § 1437, provides: '. . . The order of the commission shall not be vacated or set aside, either in whole or in part, except for error of law or lack of evidence to support the finding, determination, or order of the commission, or violation, of constitutional rights. . . .' Section 1112 of the same Act, 66 P.S. § 1442, provides: 'Whenever the commission shall make any rule, regulation, finding, determination, or order under the provisions of this act, the same shall be prima facie evidence of the facts found. . . .'

"Our authority to overrule an order of the Commission is limited. We may not disturb such an order except for errors of law, lack of evidence to support a finding, determination or order of the Commission, or violation of constitutional rights. Clemmer v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 207 Pa. Superior Ct. 388, 217 A.2d 800 (1966). Likewise, we may not exercise our independent judgment on the record ...


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