Appeal, No. 25, March T., 1959, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace of York County, Jan. T., 1958, No. 11, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. City of York v. Margaret Baynes. Order affirmed.
Judson E. Ruch, with him Luria, Still & Ruch, for appellant.
John W. Heller, III, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.
[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 582]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of York County quashing an appeal taken to it from a judgment of an alderman of the City of York. The alderman found the defendant guilty of violating a city ordinance and "imposed a penalty of $300 fine and in default of the payment thereof to be committed to jail for 90 days."
The defendant took her appeal to the Court of Quarter Sessions. Upon motion of the city, that court
[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 583]
quashed the appeal on the ground that it should have been taken to the Court of Common Pleas. The defendant appealed.
"The sole question presented," as accurately stated by the court below, "is whether the suit instituted in the name of the city for the violation of one of its ordinances is a suit for a penalty and thus civil in nature, or is a summary conviction, a criminal proceeding, from which an appeal would lie to the Quarter Sessions Court."
The appellant contends that The Third Class City Code, particularly section 1017 of the Act of June 28, 1951, P.L. 662, 699, 53 PS § 36017 provides for a dual procedure to be used by third class cities in enforcing ordinances, and that the city used the criminal procedure as a result of which her appeal is to the Court of Quarter Sessions and not to the Court of Common Pleas.
This has been a troublesome problem to the legal profession for many years. In Pleasant Hills Borough v. Carroll, 182 Pa. Superior Ct. 102, 108, 125 A.2d 466 (1956) we had occasion to quote an observation by the late President Judge HARGEST of the Dauphin County Courts that, "There are few subjects of procedural law upon which so much learning has been expended (and perhaps wasted, considering the amounts involved and the results obtained) as that distinguishing a summary ...