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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT STAHL (03/12/82)

filed: March 12, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT STAHL, APPELLANT



No. 1003 October Term, 1979, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Entered May 2, 1979, in No. SA 29 Session, 1979

COUNSEL

L. Dale Pretz, Pottstown, for appellant.

David E. Fritchey, Assistant District Attorney, Media, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Spaeth, Cavanaugh and O'Kicki, JJ.*fn* Spaeth and Cavanaugh, JJ., concur in the result.

Author: O'kicki

[ 296 Pa. Super. Page 509]

This is an appeal from a Verdict and Order of Sentence of Judgment for the summary offense of disorderly conduct out of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Two citations were issued against Robert Stahl on December 9, 1978 by Sergeant John W. Francis of the Springfield Township Police Department. These charged him with the violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 5503 (disorderly conduct)

[ 296 Pa. Super. Page 510]

    and 18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 5507 (obstructing public passage) at or about 2:30 a.m. at the Sportman's Club of Delaware County. At the hearing on January 4, 1979 before District Justice Carl J. Malone, the charge of obstructing public passage was dismissed, appellant was found guilty of disorderly conduct and was fined $300.00.

Mr. Stahl appealed the conviction from the District Justice to the Court of Common Pleas on January 18, 1979. At the beginning of the trial, appellant's counsel objected to the form and the content of the citation. He maintained that appellant was not put on notice of the offense since the citation failed to include any factual allegations of his conduct. The motion was denied and, after trial, appellant was found guilty of disorderly conduct on May 2, 1979 and was sentenced to a $100.00 fine. This appeal was subsequently taken to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

This issue evolves from the appeal: Does the weight of the evidence, in fact and in law, support the Trial Court's verdict? Did the citation, as issued to appellant, sufficiently advise him of the offense charged pursuant to Pa.R.Cr.P. 52(1)(e)? Is the citation valid pursuant to Pa.R.Cr.P. 51?

Appellant contends that the evidence presented by the Commonwealth was not enough to convict him of the crime of disorderly conduct. He submits that there was no evidence presented of any act or conduct which constituted the crime and therefore his conviction was improper. He bases this on the notes of testimony wherein the District Attorney responded to the Trial Court's question: "What is the specific act of disorderly conduct?" by saying:

"Your Honor, I think this is a situation where it is taken as an entirety, the continual persistence of Mr. Stahl egging on Mr. Byrne along with his voice patterns, it's sort of a homogenization of a ...


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