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KELLY BUICK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/12/87)

decided: February 12, 1987.

KELLY BUICK, INC., APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation v. Kelly Buick, Inc., No. 84-C-1820.

COUNSEL

Michael J. Piosa, Weaver, Mosebach, Piosa, Hixson, Wallitsch, & Marles, for appellant.

Christopher J. Clements, Assistant Counsel, with him, Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Henry G. Barr, General Counsel, for appellee.

Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 2]

Kelly Buick, Inc. (Appellant) appeals an order of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas which reinstated a three-month suspension of its certificate of appointment as an official inspection station by the Department of Transportation (Department). We affirm the trial court order, as modified.

On July 27, 1984, Appellant was notified by the Department that it was being charged with furnishing a certificate of inspection without an inspection or faulty inspection and fraudulent or improper record keeping by one of Appellant's inspection mechanics, Peter J. Grande. The charges were based on a report submitted by a Pennsylvania State Police inspector regarding alleged defects in a used vehicle sold by Appellant bearing a new inspection sticker signed by Mr. Grande.

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 3]

Following a hearing, Appellant's certificate of appointment as an official inspection station was suspended, pursuant to Section 4724(a) of the Vehicle Code, as amended, 75 Pa. C.S. ยง 4724(a), for three months for faulty inspection and three months for improper record keeping, to run concurrently.

Appellant appealed the suspension to the court of common pleas which issued a supersedeas of the suspension order and granted a hearing on the suspension. After a de novo hearing, the court entered an order stating that it was making the same findings as the Department, namely that Appellant "performed a faulty inspection and had kept fraudulent or improper records," and reinstating the three-month suspension.

On April 30, 1985, Appellant filed a notice of appeal with this Court and the court of common pleas granted a stay of its order.

Appellant argues before our Court that the trial court (1) erred in concluding that it maintained fraudulent or improper records; (2) erred in finding a faulty inspection without substantial evidence; and (3) erred in reinstating the suspension instead of issuing a warning.

Our scope of review in an inspection certificate suspension case is limited to a determination of whether or not the findings of the trial court are supported by substantial evidence or an error of law was committed. Commonwealth ...


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