Commonwealth v. Clearview Coal Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtWALLING, J.
Citation100 A. 820,256 Pa. 328
Decision Date22 January 1917
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH ex rel. KEATOR et al. v. CLEARVIEW COAL CO.
100 A. 820
256 Pa. 328

COMMONWEALTH ex rel. KEATOR et al.
v.
CLEARVIEW COAL CO.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Jan. 22, 1917.


100 A. 820

Appeal from Court of Common Pleas, Lackawanna County.

Bill in equity by the Commonwealth, on the relation of John D. Keator and another, against the Clearview Coal Company, to enjoin defendant from mining coal under a public school building. Bill dismissed on final hearing, and plaintiffs appeal. Affirmed.

Argued before MESTREZAT, POTTER, MOSCHZISKER, FRAZER, and WALLING, JJ.

George Wharton Pepper, of Philadelphia, and James E. Davis, of Scranton, for appellants. Ralph W. Rymer and M. J. Martin, both of Scranton, for appellee.

WALLING, J. By permission of the Attorney General, this bill was filed in the name of the commonwealth, at the relation of two citizens and taxpayers of the school district of the city of Scranton, to restrain the Clearview Coal Company, defendant, from mining coal under and adjacent to a public school building, to the injury thereof and alleged prejudice of the public school system of the district. The building in question, known as school No. 40, contains 16 rooms, accommodating 637 students, and is situate in the second ward of the city; it was erected in 1902 on lots purchased by the district from the Robinson heirs by contract in 1896 and consummated by deeds in 1900. Both the contract and deeds contain reservations of coal and minerals in the following terms:

"All coal and minerals under said lots, however, are reserved to the grantors with the right to mine and remove the same without incurring in any way liability for any damage to the surface of said lots, or to any buildings or improvements which may be or have been placed thereon."

And in one deed the following clause was added:

"And the grantee covenants and agrees to accept the conveyance of this land, subject to the above exceptions, reservations and conditions, waiving support of the surface."

This land was underlaid with 11 separate veins of coal located at varying depths from the surface. The entire Robinson tract contains 26 acres, and adjoining the same is a piece of land known as the Earl & Griffith tract. Prior to the purchase of the lots by the school district, certain portions of the coal in said tracts had been leased to third parties and some mining thereof had been done. Subsequently in 1909 defendant obtained general leases of the coal under said tracts, authorizing and requiring it in substance to...

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20 practice notes
  • Pennsylvania Coal Co v. Mahon, No. 549
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 11, 1922
    ...in a Pennsylvania case, 'For practical purposes, the right to coal consists in the right to mine it.' Commonwealth v. Clearview Coal Co., 256 Pa. 328, 331, 100 Atl. 820, L. R. A. 1917E, 672. What makes the right to mine coal valuable is that it can be exercised with profit. To make it comme......
  • State v. Sears, 27886.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • June 5, 1940
    ...ex rel. Seattle Trust Co. v. Roberge, 278 U.S. 116, 49 S.Ct. 50, 73 L.Ed. 210, 86 A.L.R. 654; Commonwealth v. Clearview Coal Co., 256 Pa. 328, 100 A. 820, L.R.A.1917E, 672. The right to sell and dispose of property is a property right. Buchanan v. Warley, 245 U.S. 60, 38 S.Ct. 16, 62 L.Ed. ......
  • Keystone Bituminous Coal Association v. Benedictis, No. 85-1092
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 9, 1987
    ...the right to mine it.' " Pennsylvania Coal, 260 U.S., at 414, 43 S.Ct., at 159, quoting Commonwealth ex rel. Keator v. Clearview Coal Co., 256 Pa. 328, 331, 100 A. 820 (1917). Application of the nuisance exception in these circumstances would allow the State not merely to forbid one "partic......
  • Com. v. Fisher
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • April 18, 1950
    ...250 Pa. 147, 95 A. 397; Gordon v. Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R. Co., 253 Pa. 110, 97 A. 1032; Commonwealth v. Clearview Coal Co., 256 Pa. 328, 100 A. 820, L.R.A.1917E, 672; Weakland v. Cymbria Coal Co., 262 Pa. 403, 105 A. 558; Atherton v. Clearview Coal Co., 267 Pa. 425, 110 A. 298;......
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19 cases
  • Pennsylvania Coal Co v. Mahon, No. 549
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 11, 1922
    ...in a Pennsylvania case, 'For practical purposes, the right to coal consists in the right to mine it.' Commonwealth v. Clearview Coal Co., 256 Pa. 328, 331, 100 Atl. 820, L. R. A. 1917E, 672. What makes the right to mine coal valuable is that it can be exercised with profit. To make it comme......
  • State v. Sears, 27886.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • June 5, 1940
    ...ex rel. Seattle Trust Co. v. Roberge, 278 U.S. 116, 49 S.Ct. 50, 73 L.Ed. 210, 86 A.L.R. 654; Commonwealth v. Clearview Coal Co., 256 Pa. 328, 100 A. 820, L.R.A.1917E, 672. The right to sell and dispose of property is a property right. Buchanan v. Warley, 245 U.S. 60, 38 S.Ct. 16, 62 L.Ed. ......
  • Keystone Bituminous Coal Association v. Benedictis, No. 85-1092
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 9, 1987
    ...the right to mine it.' " Pennsylvania Coal, 260 U.S., at 414, 43 S.Ct., at 159, quoting Commonwealth ex rel. Keator v. Clearview Coal Co., 256 Pa. 328, 331, 100 A. 820 (1917). Application of the nuisance exception in these circumstances would allow the State not merely to forbid one "partic......
  • Com. v. Fisher
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • April 18, 1950
    ...250 Pa. 147, 95 A. 397; Gordon v. Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R. Co., 253 Pa. 110, 97 A. 1032; Commonwealth v. Clearview Coal Co., 256 Pa. 328, 100 A. 820, L.R.A.1917E, 672; Weakland v. Cymbria Coal Co., 262 Pa. 403, 105 A. 558; Atherton v. Clearview Coal Co., 267 Pa. 425, 110 A. 298;......
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