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NESHAMINY WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY v. DEL-AWARE UNLIMITED (08/17/84)

filed: August 17, 1984.

NESHAMINY WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY
v.
DEL-AWARE UNLIMITED, INC., ALBERT GIORDANO, COLLEEN WELLS, ABBIE HOFFMAN, MARLENE SCOLIE, JOHN M. KRAUSS, VAL SIGSTEDT, RAYMOND H. VANNOY, WILLIAM J. COLLINS, PERNA ARGUE, HANS OTTO REIMANN, JR., ANITA J. GRIFFITH, LYLE RICKARDS, JR., FULTON A. GROSSE, SHARON M. CANNON, RICHARD H. MCNUTT, MARC FEINSTEIN, JOHN D. IRWIN, JR., EUGENE R. CHILD, EDWARD NASATKA, RICHARD H. TORKELSON, AND ALL UNNAMED PERSONS, FIRMS AND CORPORATIONS ACTING IN CONCERT WITH; APPEALS OF JOSEPH GRINROD, WILLIAM HINES, III, BRUCE CROOKS, BONNIE MCCORMICK, MARY JANE OLCZAK AND RAPHAELLE DELVECCHIO



No. 2119 Philadelphia, 1983, No. 2120 Philadelphia, 1983, Appeal from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Civil No. 83-00105-05-5.

COUNSEL

J. Michael Ruttle, Newton, for appellants.

David L. Creskoff, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Rowley, Hester and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Rowley

[ 332 Pa. Super. Page 464]

This is a direct appeal from the orders of July 15, 1983 and July 19, 1983, adjudging appellants in civil contempt of court for wilfully disregarding a preliminary injunction previously issued by the trial court on January 10, 1983. Upon a thorough review of the record in this case, we affirm the trial court's adjudications of contempt.

Appellee, the Neshaminy Water Resources Authority (NWRA), is an independent Municipal Authority formed by the Commissioners of Bucks County. This dispute arose in response to the NWRA's attempts to build a water pumping

[ 332 Pa. Super. Page 465]

    station on an isolated portion of property owned by NWRA, and located along the banks of the Delaware on Route 32 in the Village of Point Pleasant, Bucks County. The proposed purpose of the station was to draw water from the Delaware River in order to supply supplemental water for the use of residents in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and to supply water to facilities of the Philadelphia Electric Company that would eventually be used at the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. General construction work on the site was scheduled to begin on January 10, 1983. During the first week in January of 1983, demonstrations occurred at the site of the pumping station involving approximately 50 to 100 residents and other individuals who were opposed to the water diversion project. The demonstrations drew a great deal of public attention and resulted in blocking ingress to and egress from the construction site. Consequently, on January 6, 1983, the NWRA filed a complaint in equity requesting a preliminary injunction to enjoin the demonstrations. After a hearing, the trial court determined that NWRA would sustain immediate, irreparable injury if the demonstrations continued and work was delayed thereby, and consequently, the following preliminary injunction was entered:

[T]he Court, effective immediately upon entry hereof, hereby preliminarily enjoins and restrains Defendants and each of them including unnamed persons, firms and corporations acting in concert therewith from all of the following until further Order of this Court:

(A) Trespassing upon all of the premises of Plaintiff including those described in Exhibits "A" and "G" attached to their Complaint in Equity a copy of which is attached hereto which descriptions are herein incorported by reference and upon all of the easements of Plaintiff and the parking lot of the Mountainside Inn as described in hearing Exhibits "NWRA 6, 7 A and B" which are likewise so incorporated herein.

(B) Blocking ingress to and egress from the aforesaid premises of Plaintiff by Plaintiff, its contractors or any

[ 332 Pa. Super. Page 466]

    other persons, firms or corporations specifically authorized or licensed by Plaintiff to enter thereupon, by any means whatsoever including, but not limited to Defendants parking vehicles, placing objects or persons in a manner preventing ingress and egress either directly upon said premises or upon River Road in the vicinity of said premises or upon the right of way thereof or upon the premises of others in the immediate vicinity of Plaintiff's said premises by reason whereof Plaintiff's access to its premises would be blocked.

(C) Interfering with, blocking or disrupting in any manner whatsoever with the scheduled orderly commencement and completion of the work to be performed upon all of the above premises and in the Delaware River and upon the towpath of the canal by all contractors employed by Plaintiff and other upon or near said premises with the express consent of Plaintiff for the purpose thereof.

(D) Granting Plaintiff such other and further relief as the Court may determine to be justly proper, including but not limited to compensatory and punitive damages.

The Defendants enjoined in this order included, among others, Del-Aware Unlimited, Inc., a non-profit corporation whose members were opposed to the water ...


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