Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Ge-Co Cab, Inc., Complaint Docket Nos. 20369, 20340, 20341, 20342, 20344 and 20345.
Herbert Somerson, for petitioner.
Allison K. Turner, Assistant Counsel, with her Barnett Satinsky, Acting Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 512]
In this case, we are called upon once again to examine the difference between a petition for rehearing and a petition for rescission or amendment of order under the Public Utility Law*fn1 (Act). At first view, it may seem that only a semantical purist would consider the distinction to be of importance, but, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that the difference is critical here, and we are compelled to quash this appeal.
On May 14, 1976, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) entered a final order canceling the certificate of public convenience and imposing other penalties on Ge-Co Cab, Inc. On May 27, Herman P. Abramson, receiver for Ge-Co Cab, Inc. (receiver), filed what was labeled "Petition for Rehearing," which indicated that a receiver had been appointed and alleged errors of law by the PUC. The petition requested a "reconsideration of the [PUC's] Order," "the opportunity to expound on the nature of the evidence, the penalties to be imposed and the disposition of the complaints," and "the opportunity to present his views on behalf of the corporation." On July 16, the PUC entered an order adopted on July 7 denying the "Petition for Rehearing," which it treated as one for reconsideration. On July 15,*fn2 the receiver filed a petition for review of the order entered on May 14. Thereafter,
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 513]
the PUC filed a motion to quash this petition, asserting that it was untimely.
The PUC's argument is based on Section 1101(a) of the Act, 66 P.S. § 1431(a),*fn3 which provides:
Within thirty days after the service of any order by the commission,*fn4 unless an application for a rehearing may be pending, and then within thirty days after the service of the order refusing such application, or the service of an order modifying, amending, rescinding, or affirming the original order, any party to the proceedings affected thereby may appeal therefrom. (Footnote and emphasis added.)
If the receiver's petition of May 27 was in fact one for rehearing under Section 1006 of the Act, 66 P.S. § 1396, his petition for review was timely; however, if the petition was actually one for rescission or reconsideration under Section 1007 of the Act, 66 P.S. § 1397, as the PUC has argued, the appeal period had expired. See Mobilfone, Inc. v. Public Utility Commission, 24 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 243, 355 A.2d 611 (1976). The PUC has argued further that the time limitation was not extended by regulations in the Pennsylvania Code. We agree with the PUC that the petition of May ...