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BOARD SUPERVISORS NEW BRITAIN TOWNSHIP v. BUCKS COUNTY CABLEVISION. NEW BRITAIN TOWNSHIP (05/14/85)

decided: May 14, 1985.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF NEW BRITAIN TOWNSHIP
v.
BUCKS COUNTY CABLEVISION. NEW BRITAIN TOWNSHIP, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of Board of Supervisors of New Britain Township v. Bucks County Cablevision, No. 83-6356-05-5.

COUNSEL

George M. Bush, for appellant.

Brad M. Jackman, Jackman and Dixon, for appellee.

Thomas L. Wenger, with him, Karen Parenti Gunnison, for Amicus Curiae, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.

Robert H. Griswold, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for Amicus Curiae, Pennsylvania Cable Television Association.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr., Craig, MacPhail, Doyle and Barry. Opinion by Judge Barry. Judge Williams, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case. Judges Rogers and MacPhail dissent.

Author: Barry

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 277]

This appeal results from an order of the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas which sustained preliminary objections filed by Bucks County Cablevision (Cablevision), appellee, and dismissed the complaint filed by the Board of Supervisors of New Britain Township (Board of Supervisors).

The Board of Supervisors, on behalf of New Britain Township, a township of the second class, entered into an exclusive contract with Home-Vue Cable for the delivery of cable television to its residents. Cablevision subsequently sought to install its equipment in various sections of New Britain and to sell its services to some of the residents. The Board of Supervisors instituted an action to enjoin Cablevision from

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 278]

    doing so to which Cablevision filed preliminary objections before the trial court.

The issue before the trial court was whether a second class township may enter into an exclusive contract for the installation and delivery of cable television service to its residents. The trial court determined that second class townships have neither the express or implied authority to regulate the franchising of cable television. It, therefore, sustained Cablevision's preliminary objections and dismissed the Board of Supervisors' complaint. The Board of Supervisors initiated this appeal.

We are mindful that our review is limited to whether the trial court committed an error of law or a manifest abuse of discretion. Rush v. Airport Commercial Properties, Inc., 28 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 51, 367 A.2d 370 (1976). In exercising our review function two sections of the Second Class Township Code, Act of May 1, 1983, P.L. 103, as amended, added by the Act of August 27, 1963, P.L. 1280, 53 P.S. ยงยง 65101-67201, are relevant. Under the general ...


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