Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of Condemnation of Bucks County Tax Parcel Nos. 29-19-1-5, 29-10-1-1 and 29-19-1-4, being the property of Lawrence N. Powell and Katherine B. Powell, his wife, Newtown, Pennsylvania by the Newtown, Bucks County, Joint Municipal Authority for Sewage Facilities, No. 79-466, and Condemnation of Bucks County Tax Parcel No. 29-3-59-2, being the property of James M. and Doris B. Mershon, Newtown, Pennsylvania by the Newtown, Bucks County, Joint Municipal Authority for Sewage Facilities, No. 79-468.
John J. Collins, Collins and Brill, for appellants, James and Doris B. Mershon.
Stanton C. Kelton, III, Wood and Floge, for appellants, Lawrence N. Powell et al.
William F. Schroeder, Stuckert, Yates & Krewson, for appellee.
Judges Williams, Jr., Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 425]
The Newtown, Bucks County, Joint Municipal Authority (Authority) commenced eminent domain proceedings against certain landowners, appellants herein, by filing a declaration of taking. Appellants filed preliminary objections averring that the Authority's procedure was fatally defective and that the condemnation was for a private purpose in violation of existing case law.
Counsel for the litigants requested the trial court to dispose of the procedural issues preliminarily to avoid the necessity of a factual hearing in the event the condemnees prevailed. In an order dated March 5, 1980 supported by an opinion reported at 34 Bucks L.R. 305 (1980), the trial court overruled the procedural objections.
The parties then proceeded by deposition to prepare an evidentiary record upon which the trial court could determine the substantive issue of whether the condemnation proceedings should be dismissed because
[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 426]
they were for a private purpose.*fn1 By order dated February 4, 1982 supported by an opinion reported at 38 Bucks L.R. 44 (1982), the trial court overruled that preliminary objection as well.
Although the instant appeal is from the order entered February 4, Appellants contend, and we agree, that the trial court's disposition of both the procedural and substantive, i.e. factual, matters are properly before us.
Because we believe that the trial court by President Judge Paul R. Beckert, has ably and correctly disposed of the preliminary objections for the reasons set forth in the ...