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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROGER BEAN (12/15/76)

decided: December 15, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROGER BEAN, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Criminal Division, at No. 927 of 1975. NO. 251 OCTOBER TERM, 1976.

COUNSEL

Henry S. Perkin, Allentown, for appellant.

Richard J. Orloski, Allentown, for appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Hoffman, J., files a dissenting opinion in which Spaeth, J., joins. Price, J., dissents.

Author: Van Der Voort

[ 244 Pa. Super. Page 370]

On December 4, 1974, after trial by jury, appellant Roger Bean was found guilty of indecent assault. Timely post trial motions were argued and denied, and appellant was sentenced to pay the costs of prosecution and to underge imprisonment in the Lehigh County Prison for a term of six months to two years. Appeal was taken from the judgment of sentence imposed September 30, 1975.

The appellant first argues that the Commonwealth failed to file an answer to appellant's application to quash indictment within seven days of being served with that application, and that the Commonwealth, by reason of Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 308(a),*fn1 must be deemed to have admitted the "well pleaded facts" of appellant's application. Appellant's reliance on Rule 308 is misplaced. Although Rule 308 is applicable generally to answers to pretrial applications for relief, it does not apply to answers to applications for dismissal for violation of Rule 1100. This becomes apparent when it is understood that Rule 305 provides that pretrial applications for relief must be filed at least ten days before trial, while Rule 1100 provides that applications for relief under Rule 1100 may be filed at any time before trial. Since Rule 305, which deals with pretrial applications for relief, is inapplicable to Rule 1100 situations,

[ 244 Pa. Super. Page 371]

    it logically follows that Rule 308, which deals with answers to pretrial applications for relief, is also inapplicable. Section (f) of Rule 1100 provides that a copy of an application for relief under Rule 1100 shall be served on the attorney for the Commonwealth, who shall have the right to be heard thereon. In the case before us, the District Attorney was served on the day set for trial with a copy of the application. The lower court judge that day issued a rule to show cause why the indictment should not be quashed, to which the District Attorney filed an answer. A hearing was held on October 31, 1974, and the lower court the same day filed an Order denying appellant's application. We find that the Commonwealth was not tardy in answering appellant's application and should not be deemed to have admitted the facts of appellant's application. It would be quite inconsistent to provide the attorney for the Commonwealth with the right to be heard on an application to dismiss and then foreclose that right because an answer had not been filed within seven days.

Appellant's second argument is that the Commonwealth failed to comply with Rule 1100 by not bringing appellant to trial within 270 days of the filing of the complaint. We find that, properly excluding from the delay period two continuances granted at the request of appellant and his attorney, trial was commenced within the required period. Since the complaint charging appellant with indecent assault was filed on November 2, 1973, and the case was not listed for trial until September 27, 1974, a total of 329 days passed, or 59 days more than were permitted by the rules in effect at the time. The lower court, however, determined at the hearing of October 31, 1974, that two continuances (totaling, by our calculations, 94 days) had been granted at the request of appellant and his attorney. The lower court accordingly denied appellant's application for dismissal. We find that under Section (d)(2) of Rule 1100, all but 30 of

[ 244 Pa. Super. Page 372]

    these 94 days must be excluded from the period of delay. Subtracting 64 from 329 days leaves 265 days of delay. Appellant was properly tried within the period of time mandated by Rule 1100.

Appellant's final argument is that the trial court erred in refusing to read to the jury the ...


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