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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. DAVID LELAND ROHDE (07/05/79)

decided: July 5, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
DAVID LELAND ROHDE, APPELLANT



No. 2 May Term, 1979, Appeal from Order of the Superior Court affirming the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal, of Adams County, at No. 42 February Term, 1972

COUNSEL

Neil E. Jokelson, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Gary E. Hartman, Dist. Atty., for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ.

Author: O'brien

[ 485 Pa. Page 406]

OPINION OF THE COURT

In November of 1971, appellant, David Leland Rohde, entered a plea of nolo contendere to a charge of possession of amphetamines. Following a presentence report, appellant was given a ninety-day suspended sentence with a $300 fine. No appeal from the judgment of sentence was taken.

In September of 1974, appellant filed a petition under the Post Conviction Hearing Act,*fn1 alleging he had not been informed of his appeal rights and his plea of nolo contendere was not knowingly and intelligently made. Following an evidentiary hearing, the court denied appellant's petition, finding the conviction did not subject appellant to a continuing disability.

An appeal from the denial was taken to the Superior Court, which remanded the matter to the Court of Common Pleas for reconsideration of the petition in accordance with our decision in Commonwealth v. Doria, 468 Pa. 534, 364 A.2d 322 (1976). There, we held an allegation of severe civil and social consequences resulting from an allegedly wrongful conviction entitled a PCHA petitioner to challenge that conviction.

On remand, the Court of Common Pleas held a second evidentiary hearing. Subsequently, the court again denied appellant's petition. The court found appellant had been denied his direct appeal rights; however, as the court believed appellant had shown only the possibility, and not the actuality, of social and civil disabilities, the court held Doria

[ 485 Pa. Page 407]

    was inapplicable and appellant lacked standing to challenge the allegedly unlawful conviction. The court failed to address the issue concerning appellant's plea of nolo contendere. Superior Court affirmed and we granted appellant's petition for allowance of appeal.

Appellant first alleges that the court erred in holding he lacked standing to challenge his conviction in a PCHA petition. In Com. ex rel Ulmer v. Rundle, 421 Pa. 40, 218 A.2d 233 (1966), we held that a habeas corpus petition*fn2 was not moot, despite the fact the sentence imposed on the alleged invalid conviction had expired. Because the original conviction would affect the duration ...


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