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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. EMANUEL GARDNER (04/13/78)

decided: April 13, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
EMANUEL GARDNER, JR., APPELLANT



COUNSEL

George B. Ditter and Calvin S. Drayer, Jr., Assistant Public Defenders, Norristown, for appellant.

Ross Weiss, First Assistant District Attorney, Elkins Park and William T. Nicholas, District Attorney, Norristown, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Van der Voort, J., concurs in the result. Watkins, former President Judge, did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Hoffman

[ 253 Pa. Super. Page 234]

Appellant contends that the lower court erroneously denied his application to dismiss the charges against him pursuant to Rule 1100(f), Pa.R.Crim.P., 19 P.S. Appendix.*fn1 Because the incompleteness of the record precludes our review of this contention,*fn2 we remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

[ 253 Pa. Super. Page 235]

The complaint in this case, charging appellant with possession of instruments of crime,*fn3 possession of implements of escape,*fn4 and criminal attempt,*fn5 was filed on July 21, 1976. According to Rule 1100(a)(2),*fn6 the Commonwealth had 180 days, or until January 17, 1977, in which to bring appellant to trial. On January 3, 1977, appellant requested a continuance of the time for trial. The Assistant District Attorney informed appellant that he would oppose the application unless appellant signed a waiver of his rights under Rule 1100. Appellant signed a waiver and the court ordered the case relisted for February 7, 1977. On March 8, 1977, the lower court denied appellant's Rule 1100(f) application. Trial commenced that day, 40 days after the expiration of the prescribed period. On March 9, 1977, the court found appellant guilty of the possessory offenses. The court sustained appellant's demurrer to the criminal attempt charge. On March 28, 1977, the court sentenced appellant to concurrent terms of imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than two years. The sentence was to be consecutive to the sentence that appellant was serving at the time. This appeal followed.

Appellant contends that in signing the waiver form, he waived only that period of time specified on the form. Because the form represented that the case would be listed on February 7, 1977, appellant admits that the period between January 3, 1977, and February 7, 1977, a total of 35 days, should be excluded from the calculation of the 180 day period. However, trial did not commence until 40 days after

[ 253 Pa. Super. Page 236]

    the expiration of the mandatory period. Consequently, appellant argues that the Commonwealth contravened Rule 1100(a)(2).

The Commonwealth responds that when appellant signed the waiver form, he waived not only the 35 day period, but also all future delays. Therefore, appellant cannot challenge the timeliness of his trial.

In its opinion in support of its denial of appellant's post-verdict motions, the lower court relied upon the signed waiver form to dispose of appellant's Rule 1100 contention. The court stated: "[D]efendant, with the assistance of counsel, signed a waiver of his rights to a prompt trial under [Rule 1100] on January 3, 1977 when defendant asked for and was granted postponement of his trial. . . . Defendant, having unequivocally waived his rights to a prompt trial in writing under Rule 1100, has failed to demonstrate that the delay was unreasonable or that he was prejudiced thereby."

It is apparent that the resolution of appellant's Rule 1100 claim hinges on an interpretation of the scope of the January 3, 1977 waiver. We must determine whether, in signing the waiver form, appellant knowingly consented to a complete waiver of his Rule 1100 rights, Commonwealth v. Myrick, 468 Pa. 155, 360 A.2d 598 (1976), or whether appellant consented only to a waiver of the period of time specified on the form when he signed it. Commonwealth v. Coleman, 241 Pa. Super. 450, 361 A.2d 870, ...


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