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STEVEN J. SLANINA v. WILLIAM J. SHEPPARD (12/06/76)

decided: December 6, 1976.

STEVEN J. SLANINA
v.
WILLIAM J. SHEPPARD, COMMISSIONER, INSURANCE DEPARTMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. STEVEN J. SLANINA, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Insurance Commissioner in case of In the Matter of Steven J. Slanina -- Denial of Application for Licensing as an Agent of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Docket No. P75-8-5.

COUNSEL

Arthur A. Kusic, for appellant.

John H. Isom, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 377]

Steven J. Slanina (applicant) has appealed from an adjudication of the Insurance Commissioner which affirmed a denial by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (Department) of his application for an insurance agent's license.

Slanina had previously been licensed by the Commissioner to sell insurance*fn1 and as such a licensee,

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 378]

    had been charged with four violations of the Pennsylvania insurance laws.*fn2 On August 25, 1975, in disposition of the alleged violations, he entered into a consent order with the Commissioner which provided for a penalty of two hundred dollars. He paid the penalty and then, on September 4, 1975, applied again for an agent's license to sell insurance for the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (Mass. Mutual). This application was denied.

Section 603 of the Act, 40 P.S. ยง 233 provides:

The Insurance Commissioner may issue . . . an agent's license to any person. . . . Before any such license is granted, the applicant shall first make answer, in writing and under oath, to interrogatories . . . and to the effect that the applicant is of good business reputation, and of experience in underwriting . . . and is worthy of a license. . . . When the Insurance Commissioner is satisfied that the applicant is worthy of license, and that he is reasonably familiar with provisions of the insurance law of this Commonwealth, he shall issue a license. . . . [Emphasis added.]

The Insurance Commissioner, therefore, has clearly been empowered to exercise his discretion in the grant or refusal of license applications. Our scope of review here is limited, therefore, to a determination of whether or not constitutional rights were violated, errors of law were committed, or findings of fact were not supported by ...


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