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Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
April 14, 2021, Argued; July 20, 2021, Decided; July 20, 2021, Filed
No. 272 M.D. 2019
MEMORANDUM OPINION BY JUDGE COHN JUBELIRER
Presently before the Court in our original jurisdiction are PPL Corporation's (PPL) Revised Preliminary Objections in the nature of a demurrer to the Complaint filed by Joseph M. Torsella, in his official capacity as the Treasurer of the Commonwealth (Treasurer).1 Through the Complaint, Treasurer asks this Court to order PPL to produce the information and documents that Treasurer requested from PPL in a March 13, 2019 administrative subpoena (Subpoena). Treasurer issued the Subpoena attempting to compel PPL to more fully cooperate with Treasurer's unclaimed property audit of PPL's shareholder records, including producing previously withheld information in electronic format. Treasurer also asks the Court to declare that PPL's refusal to produce the information and documents as requested by the Subpoena is contrary to Pennsylvania [*2] law. PPL argues the Complaint is legally insufficient and should be dismissed with prejudice because PPL has already complied with the Subpoena and The Fiscal Code,2 including Article XIII.1 thereof, also known as the Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act (DAUPA),3 by producing certain records containing shareholder data potentially subject to DAUPA and by offering Treasurer's designated auditor, Kelmar Associates LLC (Kelmar), access to PPL's facility to conduct a further review of its records. PPL contends that Treasurer lacks the statutory authority to compel the electronic production of PPL's records, particularly records revealing its shareholders' personally identifiable information (PII). Because it does not appear with certainty that Treasurer (1) is precluded from compelling the production of PPL's shareholder records; (2) is not authorized to verify the accuracy of PPL's records; and (3) may not compel PPL to produce its shareholders' PII, we overrule PPL's Revised Preliminary Objections.
Initially, we observe that when ruling on preliminary objections, the Court must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true, along with any inferences reasonably [*3] deduced therefrom. Neely v. Dep't of Corr., 838 A.2d 16, 19 n.4 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003). Preliminary objections should not be sustained unless it "appear[s] with certainty that the law will not permit recovery and any doubt should be resolved by a refusal to sustain them." Id.
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2021 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 391 *; 260 A.3d 1102; 2021 WL 3046660
Joseph M. Torsella, in his official capacity as the Treasurer of the Commonwealth, Plaintiff v. PPL Corporation, Defendant
Notice: An unreported opinion of the Commonwealth Court may be cited and relied upon when it is relevant under the doctrine of law of the case, res judicata or collateral estoppel. Parties may also cite an unreported panel decision of the Commonwealth Court issued after January 15, 2008 for its persuasive value, but not as binding precedent. A single-judge opinion of the Commonwealth Court, even if reported, shall be cited only for its persuasive value, not as a binding precedent.
PUBLISHED IN TABLE FORMAT IN THE ATLANTIC REPORTER.
Prior History: Torsella v. PPL Corp., 228 A.3d 325, 2020 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 243, 2020 WL 2187761 (Pa. Commw. Ct., May 6, 2020)
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