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JAMES W. KEELEY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/04/85)

decided: December 4, 1985.

JAMES W. KEELEY, JR., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE REAL ESTATE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Real Estate Commission in the case of State Real Estate Commission v. James W. Keeley, Jr. and Town & Country Realty, Inc., Complaint No. 80-RE-1019 and 80-RE-1009.

COUNSEL

William J. C. O'Donnell, O'Donnell Law Offices, for petitioner.

Jerome Grossi, Counsel for State Real Estate Commission, with him, Joyce McKeever, Chief Counsel, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, and David F. Phifer, Chief Counsel, Department of State.

Judges Rogers and MacPhail, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri. Judge MacPhail concurs in the result only.

Author: Barbieri

[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 292]

James W. Keeley, Jr., petitions for review of an order of the State Real Estate Commission (Commission) which denied his petition for reinstatement of his real estate broker's license. That broker's license was previously revoked by the Commission for violations of the Real Estate Licensing and Registration

[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 293]

Act (Act), Act of February 19, 1980, P.L. 15, as amended, 63 P.S. §§ 455.101-455.902. We affirm.

The following facts are pertinent. Keeley had formerly been issued a real estate broker's license by the Commission. Following a hearing, the Commission issued an adjudication on September 20, 1982 in which it found that he had violated Sections 604(1), (2), (15) & (20) of the Act, 63 P.S. §§ 455.604(1), (2), (15) & (20), by having violated escrow obligations; engaged in conduct which demonstrated bad faith, dishonesty and untrustworthiness; and made substantial misrepresentations and false promises in order to induce a person to enter into a contract. As part of that adjudication, the Commission revoked Keeley's broker's license as well as the license held by a corporation for which he was the broker of record. No appeal was ever taken from the Commission's September 20, 1982 adjudication. On April 9, 1984, Keeley filed a petition with the Commission seeking the reinstatement of his broker's license. In that petition, he averred that he had rehabilitated himself, had repaid the losses occasioned by his violation of his escrow obligation, and was now suitable for licensure as a real estate broker. The Commission did not hold any hearings on Keeley's petition, nor did it take any evidence but proceeded to issue an order on June 20, 1984 which denied his petition. A timely appeal to this Court followed.

In this appeal, Keeley contends that (1) the Commission violated his procedural due process rights as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment when it denied his reinstatement petition without affording him prior notice and an opportunity to be heard; and (2) that the Commission's order denying his reinstatement petition is inadequate as a matter of law in that it does not contain any findings of fact nor conclusions

[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 294]

    of law and is, therefore, invalid. We shall address these issues seriatim.

Keeley first argues that he is entitled to both advance notice and an opportunity to be heard and present evidence before the Commission can take final action on his petition for reinstatement of his real estate broker's license. By failing to afford him notice and an opportunity to be heard, he contends that the Commission violated his right to ...


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