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TUMPSON APPEAL (10/17/75)

decided: October 17, 1975.

TUMPSON APPEAL


Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, No. 75-806, in case of In Re: Citation Against Barry P. Tumpson, Esquire.

COUNSEL

Barry P. Tumpson, appellant, in propria persona.

Richard A. Bell, District Attorney, with him William C. Kriner, Assistant District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, and Van der Voort, JJ. (Spaeth, J., absent). Opinion by Price, J. Spaeth, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Price

[ 236 Pa. Super. Page 569]

The appellant, Barry P. Tumpson, was convicted of indirect criminal contempt*fn1 for allegedly advising a client to disobey a court order. On this appeal, appellant contests

[ 236 Pa. Super. Page 570]

    the propriety of his conviction. We agree that appellant was not in contempt, and will reverse the conviction and vacate the sentence.

The relevant facts may be summarized as follows: On August 5, 1975, the Honorable John K. Reilly, Jr., orally advised a juvenile probation officer that a hearing would be held on August 11, 1975, in the case of Brian K. Carns. The probation officer informed the judge that he would notify the juvenile of the time and place. He then visited the juvenile and orally informed him that the court would hold a hearing on August 11, 1975.

When the case was called on August 11, Brian did not appear. A bench warrant for his arrest was executed, and the hearing rescheduled for August 25. Brian appeared at the second hearing and testified that he was not present at the first hearing due to the advice of his counsel, the appellant herein.

As a result of Brian's testimony, the judge issued a contempt citation against appellant for having advised the juvenile "to disregard and disobey the Order of this Court." Mr. Tumpson was ordered to show cause why he should not be held in contempt at a hearing scheduled the following day.

At the hearing on August 26, appellant requested a continuance for the purpose of obtaining counsel. He also asked for a certified copy of the order which he purportedly advised Brian Carns to disobey. The court refused to supply the certified copy, stating that the order was oral, but delayed trial until August 29, 1975, so that appellant could obtain counsel or otherwise prepare himself for trial. The judge refused appellant's motion for recusation, and sat as the ...


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