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MILDRED A. LAUER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/15/83)

decided: August 15, 1983.

MILDRED A. LAUER, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA CRIME VICTIM'S COMPENSATION BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Crime Victim's Compensation Board in case of James Martin Lauer, Victim; Mildred A. Lauer, Claimant, Claim No. 80-0943-D.

COUNSEL

John R. Kelsey, III, for petitioner.

Sally A. Lied, Deputy Attorney General, with her Francis R. Filipi, Deputy Attorney General, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr. and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 369]

Before this Court is an appeal by Mildred A. Lauer (Petitioner) from a denial by the Pennsylvania Crime Victim's Compensation Board (Board) of her claim for compensation. We remand.

Petitioner is the mother of James M. Lauer who was killed by an individual later convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Petitioner incurred out of pocket expenses of $6,725.60 related to her son's death. As the beneficiary of her son's life insurance policy and social security, however, she recovered $10,255.00. The claim for crime compensation benefits filed by Petitioner was subsequently denied by the Board on the grounds that her insurance and social security recoveries relating to her son's death exceeded her out of pocket losses. Before this Court, Petitioner appeals the denial of her claim asserting that her son was partially responsible for her support and that she is therefore entitled to a recovery, as a matter of law,

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 370]

    under Section 477.9 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (Code), 71 P.S. § 180-7.9.*fn1

After a careful review of the record in this matter, we are constrained to order a remand. Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. § 704, in setting forth this Court's scope of review in appeals from "Commonwealth agencies" such as in the case at bar, states that we must affirm the agency decision unless, inter alia, "any finding of fact made by the agency and necessary to support its adjudication is not supported by substantial evidence." In the case sub judice, the decision of the Board consists, in toto,

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 371]

    of a letter from its chairman to Petitioner's counsel, the text of which reads:

I write to inform you that the Crime Victim's Compensation Board at its meeting on August 19, 1981, denied compensation regarding ...


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