Appeals from order of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Jan. T., 1971, Nos. 187 to 190, inclusive, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Jose Antonio Yambo v. William Jennings; Commonwealth ex rel. Rafael Rivera v. William Jennings; Commonwealth ex rel. Eligio M. Echevarria v. William Jennings; Commonwealth ex rel. Evalisto R. Santiago v. William Jennings.
William J. Gallagher, Public Defender, for appellants.
Robert S. Gawthrop, III, and James R. Freeman, Assistant District Attorneys, and Norman J. Pine, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Cercone, J.
[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 187]
On December 26, 1970 appellants, upon petition of the District Attorney pursuant to Rule of Criminal procedure 4014,*fn1 were committed to Chester Farms Prison, in default of $2,000 bonds, as material witnesses to the murder of one Raymond Dutton, whose shooting had taken place in their presence.
While so imprisoned, appellants petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, and after a hearing, the court below dismissed the petitions and set bail at $1,000 for each of appellants Yambo, Rivera and Echevarria and $500 for appellant Santiago. They posted the said bail and were released from custody. They nevertheless have appealed to this court from the lower court's dismissal of their Petitions for Writ of Habeas Corpus, raising issues as to the sufficiency of the evidence upon which they were detained and as to the constitutionality
[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 188]
of Rule 4014 because of its failure expressly to provide for a hearing on the District Attorney's petition.
Our study of the case would lead us to conclude that the evidence presented by the District Attorney was more than sufficient to warrant the holding of the appellants as material witnesses and that no constitutional rights had been violated in that they had been afforded full and complete hearing on their contest of the District Attorney's right to detain them by reason of the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by them. However, the issues as raised by appellants are now moot since appellants posted bail and were, as they themselves state in their brief, "released from custody".
This court stated in Com. ex rel. Maisels v. Baldi, 172 Pa. Superior Ct. 19, 20-21 (1952): "On April 4, 1952, relator appealed to this Court from the dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Relator at that time was not in the custody of the respondent, the superintendent of county prison, on the original commitment.
"It is well settled that a person out on bail is not so restrained of his liberty as to be entitled to a writ of habeas corpus. 25 Am. Jur., Habeas Corpus, § 24, p. 158. See, also, Com. v. Green, 185 Pa. 641, 40 A. 96; Com. ex rel. Glenn v. Gill, 10 Pa. C.C. 71. Relator not being in the custody of the respondent against whom the petition in ...