Appeal from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, in case of Pitt-Ohio Express, Inc., et al. v. Newcomer Trucking, Inc., No. A-00102265C851.
John A. Pillar, Pillar and Mulroy, P.C., for petitioner.
Debra Paist, Assistant Counsel, with her, Michael C. Schnierle, Deputy Chief Counsel, Daniel P. Delaney, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
William A. Gray, Vuono, Lavelle & Gray, for Pitt-Ohio Express, Inc., intervenor.
Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 342]
Newcomer Trucking, Inc. (Newcomer) petitions for review of an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) adopting the decision of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) suspending Newcomer's Class C certificate for 90 days and imposing a fine of $18,400 for repeated violations of a PUC regulation.*fn1 We affirm.
The facts in this matter are not in dispute. Newcomer holds a Class C carrier certificate from the PUC authorizing it to transport goods. See 52 Pa. Code § 31.24. The holder of a Class C certificate is prohibited from transporting the goods of more than one consignor on one truck at any one time. 52 Pa. Code § 31.24(d). Pitt-Ohio Express, Inc., a competitor of Newcomer and the intervenor here, charged Newcomer with combining shipments of more than one consignor in violation of its certificate.
Following a hearing, the ALJ found that Newcomer violated the certificate restriction 184 times on 128 separate days, and that it did so intentionally. The ALJ ordered
[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 343]
that Newcomer's Class C certificate be suspended for 90 days and that Newcomer pay a fine of $100 per violation, for a total of $18,400. The PUC adopted the decision of the ALJ, and Newcomer petitions this Court for review.
Newcomer raises a number of issues, which we shall address in order. First, Newcomer contends that Section 3301 of the Public Utility Code (Code), 66 Pa. C.S. § 3301, limits to $1,000 the amount of the penalty the PUC can impose upon a violator of any single Code provision regardless of the number of violations committed. Thus, Newcomer asserts that, even though it had violated 52 Pa. Code § 31.24 a total of 184 times on 128 separate days, the total fine ...