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COUNTY BEAVER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/09/77)

decided: February 9, 1977.

COUNTY OF BEAVER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION. PENN CENTRAL TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INTERVENING APPELLEE. COUNTY OF BEAVER, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Public Utility Commission in case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Department of Highways of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Beaver County, Borough of Rochester, Borough of East Rochester, The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania and Duquesne Light Company, Complaint Docket 18103, D.C. 5.

COUNSEL

Robert J. Masters, for appellant.

Edward J. Morris, Counsel, with him Candace N. Kreiger, Assistant Counsel, John B. Wilson, Assistant Counsel, for appellee.

John K. Clements, for intervening appellee.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 512]

On January 27, 1969 the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) ordered Beaver County (County) to compensate landowners for property taken to construct a highway overpass designed to eliminate a railroad crossing in the County's Borough of Rochester. The County did not appeal this order. Following completion of the overpass, the Penn Central Transportation Company (Penn Central) requested compensation from the County for certain property taken for the project, but the County refused payment on the basis that the 1969 PUC order did not require it to compensate the railroad company. Penn Central then applied to the PUC for a determination of the fair market value of the property, and on September 10, 1973 the PUC ordered the matter to be

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 513]

    submitted to the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County for the ascertainment of damages as authorized by Section 411 of the Public Utility Law*fn1 (Act).

On March 24, 1976, the lower court ordered the PUC to clarify its September 10, 1973 order by specifying the property to be appraised and by designating the parties to be liable for payment of damages.*fn2 The PUC complied with this request by issuing an order dated May 5, 1976 which listed the tracts of land for which Penn Central was to be reimbursed, which specified that its order of January 27, 1969 provided that the County reimburse Penn Central for the appropriation of non-operating, right-of-way property, and which referred the matter back to the court for a determination of property damages. The County has appealed to us from this May 5, 1976 order.

The PUC, joined by the intervenor, Penn Central, has moved to quash the appeal for untimeliness and for failure to specifically and concisely state the errors assigned to the May 5, 1976 order as required by the Act. We find it unnecessary to address these issues because the order in question is interlocutory and, for that reason, this appeal must be quashed.

A PUC order issued pursuant to Section 411 of the Act, 66 P.S. ยง 1181, which directed the court of common pleas to determine the amount of damages due to property ...


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