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JOSEPH SOBOCINSKI v. CITY WILLIAMSPORT (05/14/74)

decided: May 14, 1974.

JOSEPH SOBOCINSKI, APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF WILLIAMSPORT, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County in case of City of Williamsport v. Joseph Sobocinski, Criminal No. 72-10, 807.

COUNSEL

Ambrose R. Campana, with him Campana & Campana, for appellant.

Scott A. Williams, City Solicitor, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 426]

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County dated March 12,

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 4271973]

, which found Joseph Sobocinski (Appellant) guilty on six counts of violating the City of Williamsport (City) "weed ordinance."*fn1 Appellant was fined $475.00 and directed to pay the costs of prosecution.

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 428]

The facts are not here disputed. On June 13, 1972, Appellant was served with written notice that due to the condition of his property at 297-313 Rose Street of that City, he was in violation of Section 721.01 of the City's weed ordinance. The grass or weeds on Appellant's property were at the time between 12 and 16 inches high. About a week thereafter a health officer, who was charged with enforcement of the ordinance, visited the property and was told by Appellant that the growth of weeds or grass would be cut as soon as weather permitted. By July 6, 1972, the weeds had reached a height of two feet and six criminal complaints were thereafter filed against Appellant. By authority of Section 721.04, the City cut Appellant's weeds on August 20, 1972 and charged the cost to him. Appellant was subsequently convicted on all counts by a district justice, and these convictions were affirmed, after a hearing de novo, by the court below.

On appeal to this Court, Appellant contends that the City's weed ordinance is facially unconstitutional because it is

1) An invalid exercise of the police power;

2) A denial of due process of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution because it is vague and does not provide a ...


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