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YELLOW CAB COMPANY PHILADELPHIA v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (12/06/77)

decided: December 6, 1977.

YELLOW CAB COMPANY OF PHILADELPHIA, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT; CHARLOTTE MAZZATENTA T/A PHILADELPHIA CAB, ET AL., INTERVENORS. YELLOW CAB COMPANY OF PHILADELPHIA, PETITIONER V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT; JOHN FERRARI, ET AL., INTERVENORS. CHARLOTTE MAZZATENTA T/A PHILADELPHIA CAB AND EDWARD I. SOCKEL, ET AL., PETITIONERS V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENT; YELLOW CAB COMPANY OF PHILADELPHIA, INTERVENOR



Appeals from the Orders of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in cases of Yellow Cab Company of Philadelphia v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (two cases) and Charlotte Mazzatenta t/a Philadelphia Cab and Edward I. Sockel, et al. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, dated March 31 and May 16, 1977, No. 50 Pa. P.U.C. 659.

COUNSEL

Robert P. Garbarino, with him Kania and Garbarino, and, of counsel, John J. Cannon, for petitioners.

William T. Hawke, Assistant Counsel, with him Barnett Satinsky, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 574]

Yellow Cab Company of Philadelphia (Yellow Cab) has petitioned this Court to review an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). Concomitantly, Yellow Cab has applied for an order directing the PUC to supplement the record certified to this Court. We are currently concerned with this application.

Over four years ago, the PUC instituted an investigation into taxicab service in Philadelphia. Thereafter, all matters pending before the PUC which touched on the Philadelphia taxicab industry were consolidated, and numerous evidentiary hearings were

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 575]

    held. These hearings, which produced thousands of pages of testimony and exhibits, were finally completed in March of 1977. A Preliminary Opinion and Proposed Order was then recommended to the PUC by the Administrative Law Judge who had presided over the hearings.

On March 24, 1977 and March 31, 1977, the PUC held public meetings pursuant to Section 2 of the Act of July 19, 1974 (Sunshine Law), P.L. 486, as amended, 65 P.S. § 262, for the purpose of taking formal action in the matter. Various occurrences at these meetings form the basis for Yellow Cab's attack on the PUC's order of March 31, 1977. In particular, Yellow Cab has raised the following issues: (1) whether a member of the PUC acted with such a lack of fairness and impartiality as to deny due process of law; (2) whether the PUC's counsel impermissibly commingled prosecutory and advisory functions in violation of Section 6.3 of the Public Utility Law, Act of March 31, 1937, P.L. 160, as amended, 66 P.S. § 457.3; (3) whether members of the PUC engaged in ex parte communications prohibited by Section 7.5 of the Public Utility Law, added by the Act of October 7, 1976, P.L. 1075 § 9, 66 P.S. § 458.5; and (4) whether the PUC violated the Sunshine Law by interrupting a public meeting for the purpose of a prohibited executive session and by adopting formal action at other than a public meeting. To resolve these issues Yellow Cab has requested that tapes which were made of the meetings of March 24 and 31, and documents which were available to some participants of these meetings be certified to this Court.

Pa. R.A.P. 1951 states in pertinent part:

(a) Composition of the record. Where under the applicable law the questions raised by a petition for ...


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