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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. HOFFMAN v. MARONEY. (06/11/64)

June 11, 1964

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. HOFFMAN, APPELLANT,
v.
MARONEY.



Appeal, No. 25, April T., 1964, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1963, No. 3151, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Harry Hoffman v. James F. Maroney, Superintendent. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Harry Hoffman, appellant, in propria persona.

William Claney Smith, Assistant District Attorney, and Robert W. Duggan, District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.

Author: Ervin

[ 203 Pa. Super. Page 304]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

This is an appeal by Harry Hoffman from the denial of a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the court below.

On October 1, 1963 the court below dismissed the writ of habeas corpus and recommitted the relator to the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh for the reason that "Petitioner's contentions are substantially repetitious of allegations in the previous Habeas Corpus proceedings. ..." We might affirm the action of the court below for the same reason but we prefer to base our affirmance on the reasoning set forth in our opinion in Com, ex rel. Gerchman v. Maroney, 203 Pa. Superior Ct. 293, 201 A.2d 319. The constitutional questions raised by the appellant are substantially the same as those raised in the Gerchman opinion and need not be repeated in this opinion.

We have carefully read the 38 pages of the appellant's original brief and the 15 pages of his supplemental brief and can find nothing in addition to the constitutional questions except (1) his complaint as to the representation afforded to him in the habeas corpus proceeding by his court appointed counsel and (2) his complaint about the treatment afforded to him by the Department of Welfare.

As to the first contention, the court below said to the appellant: "Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Zamos [Daniel T. Zamos, Esq.] is a very good lawyer, in my opinion one

[ 203 Pa. Super. Page 305]

    of the best, and he is a very kind hearted man and if he would believe that you have a legal case I am sure that he would represent you with ability, but there is nothing in the law side of your case. You have to work this out with the Parole Board and all of the motions that you have come in with have not helped you with the Parole Board." The court later stated in reference to Mr. Zamos: "I know that he does have the interest of very prisoner that he represents because I have seen him act, I have observed him for many years, and have the utmost confidence in his good faith and in his ability."

A prisoner's dissatisfaction with his representation by counsel does not constitute grounds for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus unless counsel's conduct was so prejudicial as to constitute a deprivation of due process: Com. ex rel. ...


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