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FRANCIS BACIK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/11/81)

decided: September 11, 1981.

FRANCIS BACIK, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Francis Bacik, No. SA 555 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Francis Bacik, petitioner, for himself.

Kemal Alexander Mericli, Assistant District Attorney, with him Robert E. Colville, District Attorney, and Robert L. Eberhardt, Deputy District Attorney, for appellee.

Judges Blatt, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 553]

Francis Bacik (appellant) appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which adjudged him guilty of two violations of Harrison Township Ordinance Number 1187 (Ordinance 1187) and imposed a fine and costs.

On April 2, 1980 the appellant was warned by a Harrison Township police officer that parking his partially dismantled vehicle on a public street or alley was a violation of a township ordinance. The appellant's car, from which the engine had been removed, was at that time parked on the street in front of his residence. He informed the police officer that he would have the car back together and operative within 72 hours, at which time he would remove it. Five days later, however, when the vehicle with its motor still partially dismantled and still undergoing repairs continued to be parked at the same location, a citation was issued to the appellant for violation of Section II(b) of Ordinance 1187. Four days after that, April 11, 1980, a second citation was issued for violation of Section II(c) of the same ordinance. At his May 1, 1980 appearance before the district magistrate, the appellant indicated that he desired the assistance of counsel, but was unable to afford it, and he was informed by the magistrate that he was not entitled to counsel in an ordinance violation case. After a hearing, he was then found guilty of violating Ordinance 1187 on two occasions and was fined $100.00 plus $26.00 in costs for each violation. He appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County and had a trial de novo at which he once more represented himself. He was again

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 554]

    found guilty of both violations with identical fines and costs imposed. This appeal followed.

Section II of the Township Ordinance 1187 provides in pertinent part that:

(b) No owner of any broken down or partially dismantled automobile shall allow such vehicle to be parked on any public street or alley within the Township.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to dump or discard any refuse, rubbish or junk upon any public highway, street or alley . . . in said Township.

Section I(c) of the ordinance defines "junk" as including, inter alia, "all broken down or dismantled automobiles or parts of dismantled automobiles or automobile equipment. . . ." The ordinance provides for imposition of a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 plus costs of prosecution upon conviction of each offense and, upon default of payment, that the offender shall "be sentenced and committed to the ...


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