Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, in case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Deb-Rob Taxi Company, Nos. A-00094206C823, A-00094206C831, A-00094206C832, and S00094206.
Herbert Somerson, for petitioner.
Michael C. Schnierle, Assistant Counsel, with him, Kenneth E. Nicely, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 398]
The question presented in this appeal from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) is whether notice of cancellation of a certificate of public convenience served upon Petitioner Deb-Rob's accountant was sufficient to comply with the requirements of due process. We conclude that it was sufficient, and affirm.
Deb-Rob is a corporation which held a certificate of public convenience (certificate) to provide taxi service in Philadelphia. Deb-Rob was purchased by Richard Koway from Elizabeth Mariani in 1976, under an installment payment contract. Koway retained an accountant, Herbert Davidson, to handle the various financial matters of Deb-Rob, which included the preparation and filing of annual reports and assessment reports for the Commission. The address for Deb-Rob provided on the documents filed by Davidson with the Commission was that of Davidson's office. The Commission, therefore, sent all correspondence to that address. The Commission, in its opinion, found as fact that any items which were not fiscal in nature were forwarded to Koway by Davidson.
The series of events which gave rise to the present case occurred in 1982. In the first few months of 1982, Davidson applied for and received two extensions of time in which to file the 1981 Annual Report for Deb-Rob, the final due date being May 31, 1982. No report was filed within this time nor in the several months following.
On July 16, 1982, the Commission ordered the issuance of a complaint against Deb-Rob for failure to file its 1981 annual report, in violation of the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa. C.S. §§ 504 and 2508.
Meanwhile, Koway and Mariani were negotiating to sell Deb-Rob back to Mariani. On or about July 25,
[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 3991982]
, they signed an agreement to transfer Deb-Rob, including its certificate of public convenience, to Mariani. No application for Commission approval of this transfer was ever made.
On August 2, 1982, the Commission's complaint for Deb-Rob's failure to file the 1981 annual report was filed. This document was sent by certified mail to Davidson, whose secretary signed the receipt on August 4, ...