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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN S. MIHALICK (06/12/81)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: June 12, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLANT
v.
JOHN S. MIHALICK, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County in case of In Re: Suspension of Motor Vehicle Operator's License of John S. Mihalick, No. 1979-2724.

COUNSEL

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Attorney General, with him Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel of Transportation, and Harvey Bartle, III, Acting Attorney General, for appellant.

No appearance for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish.

Author: Crumlish

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 38]

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety, appeals a Berks County Common Pleas Court order which sustained the appeal of John S. Mihalick from the thirty-day suspension of his driving privileges. We reverse.

On February 20, 1979, Mihalick was convicted of passing a stopped school bus in violation of Section 3345 of the Vehicle Code.*fn1 Upon receipt of the certification of conviction, the Department notified Mihalick that his privileges were suspended for thirty days as mandated by Section 1535 of the Vehicle Code.*fn2

The lower court sustained Mihalick's appeal on the strength of his assertion that, due to his advanced age and medical condition, he failed to observe the bus's flashing lights.

In Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety v. Seiscio, 56 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 45, 424 A.2d 566 (1981), we held that an underlying criminal conviction may not be collaterally attacked in a subsequent suspension appeal which is civil in nature.*fn3

Reversed.

Order

The Berks County Common Pleas Court order dated July 30, 1979, at No. 2724, 1979, is reversed; and the suspension of the motor vehicle operating privileges of John S. Mihalick is reinstated.

Date: June 12, 1981

Disposition

Reversed. Suspension reinstated.


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