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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. LEONARD MILANO (05/28/82)

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


filed: May 28, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
LEONARD MILANO, APPELLANT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA V. ANTHONY TERRA, APPELLANT

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Criminal Division, at No. 652 A, B, C of 1980. Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Criminal Division, at No. 651, A, B of 1980.

COUNSEL

John J. Gallagher, Philadelphia, for Milano, appellant.

Thomas A. Bergstrom, Philadelphia, for Terra, appellant.

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

Beck, Watkins and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Hoffman

[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 252]

Appellants contend that their prosecutions were not timely commenced. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of sentence.

[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 253]

Following a lengthy joint state-federal investigation, the Commonwealth obtained, on March 18, 1980, arrest warrants charging appellants with certain drug offenses*fn1 and criminal conspiracy*fn2 arising from their activities between March 28, 1978 and April 13, 1978. Appellants were arrested on March 19, 1980, and informations were filed on April 16, 1980. Following the denial of their motions to dismiss the charges on the ground that the statute of limitations had expired, appellants were found guilty of all charges in a non-jury trial. The lower court subsequently denied their post-verdict motions and imposed sentence. This appeal followed.

There is no dispute that these prosecutions would be barred by the statute of limitations if not commenced by April 13, 1980. Relying upon section 77 of the Act of March 31, 1860, P.L. 427, § 77, as amended by the Act of April 6, 1939, P.L. 17, § 1; 19 P.S. § 211 (repealed) (hereinafter section 77 of the Act of 1860),*fn3 appellants contend that the

[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 254]

    filing of informations commenced their prosecution on April 16, 1980, three days too late. Relying upon subsection 108(e) of the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 108(e) (repealed), however, the Commonwealth argues that the obtaining and execution of arrest warrants by March 19, 1980 timely commenced these prosecutions. The lower court applied subsection 108(e) of the Crimes Code and, therefore, held the prosecutions to be timely.

Appellants argue that section 77 of the Act of 1860 is controlling because it was not expressly repealed by section 108 of the Crimes Code. We disagree. A statute may be repealed by express legislative act or by implication. Commonwealth, Department of Education v. First School, 471 Pa. 471, 482, 370 A.2d 702, 707 (1977); Newton Estate, 354 Pa. 146, 148, 47 A.2d 229, 230 (1946); Girard Trust Co. v. Philadelphia, 336 Pa. 433, 436, 9 A.2d 883, 884 (1939). "Express repeal is not necessary where a substitute statute is manifestly intended for a former act." Id., 336 Pa. at 436-37, 9 A.2d at 884-85, citing Bosack v. Schuylkill County, 311 Pa. 157, 162, 165 A. 393, 396 (1933). Because section 77 of the Act of 1860 was not expressly repealed until the enactment of the Judicial Code, see Commonwealth v. Hawkins,

[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 255295]

Pa. Superior Ct. 429, 436 n.3, 441 A.2d 1308, 1311 n.3 (1982); Commonwealth v. Bidner, 282 Pa. Superior Ct. 100, 853, 422 A.2d 847, 853 (1980), we must therefore determine whether it had already been impliedly repealed by section 108 of the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 108 (repealed).*fn4

It will be presumed that the legislature, in enacting a statute, acted with full knowledge of existing statutes relating to the same subject; and where express terms of repeal are not used, the presumption is always against an intention to repeal an earlier statute, unless there is such inconsistency or repugnancy between the statutes as to preclude the presumption, or the latter statute revises the whole subject matter of the former.

Kingston Borough v. Kalanosky, 155 Pa. Superior Ct. 424, 429, 38 A.2d 393, 394 (1944). Because implied repeals are not favored in the law, the legislative intent to impliedly repeal a statute by enacting another must be clearly shown. Newton Estate, supra 354 Pa. at 149, 47 A.2d at 231; Girard Trust Co. v. Philadelphia, supra 336 Pa. at 436, 9 A.2d at 884; First National Bank of Millville v. Horwatt, 192 Pa. Superior Ct. 581, 586, 162 A.2d 60, 62 (1960). The Statutory Construction Act of 1972, Act of December 6, 1972, P.L. 1339, No. 290, § 3, provides in pertinent part:

Whenever a statute purports to be a revision of all statutes upon a particular subject, or sets up a general or exclusive system covering the entire subject matter of a former statute and is intended as a substitute for such former statute, such statute shall be construed to repeal all former statutes upon the same subject.

[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 2561]

Pa.C.S.A. § 1971(a).*fn5 See also Fedor v. Borough of Dormont, 487 Pa. 249, 409 A.2d 334 (1979); Commonwealth, Department of Education v. First School, supra; Girard Trust Co. v. Philadelphia, supra; Bosack v. Schuylkill County, supra; Werner v. King, 310 Pa. 120, 164 A. 918 (1933).

The Crimes Code was passed in December, 1972 as a comprehensive effort to collate, modernize, and codify the criminal law of the Commonwealth. See Toll, Pennsylvania's First New Crimes Code in More than a Century, 44 Pa.B.A.Q. 294 (1973); Symposium, Crimes Code, 78 Dick.L.Rev. 1 (1973). See also Statutory Construction Act of 1972, supra, 1 Pa.C.S.A. § 1921(c)(2), (4) (in ascertaining legislative intent, court may consider circumstances under which act was passed and object to be obtained). Section 107(a) of the Crimes Code provides: "The provisions of Part I of this title [18 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 101-1106] (relating to preliminary provisions) are applicable to offenses defined by this title or by any other statute." In Commonwealth v. Bidner, we emphasized that "the clear intent of the legislature by virtue of § 107(a)," 282 Pa. Superior Ct. at 114, 422 A.2d at 854, required the application of the Crimes Code statute of limitations, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 108, to an election code violation that had been committed after the effective date of the Crimes Code, 282 Pa. Superior Ct. at 112-14, 422 A.2d at 853-54. Both section 108 of the Crimes Code*fn6 and section

[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 25777]

of the Act of 1860 purport to be all-encompassing statutes of limitations for crimes and offenses. Although section 108 of the Crimes Code retained the basic scheme of section 77 of the Act of 1860, the format of the statute was significantly changed; two provisions were modified (see 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 108(c)(2), (e)); and three new provisions were added (see id. § 108(c)(1), (d), (f)(2)). See generally S. Toll, Pennsylvania Crimes Code Annotated, § 108, pp. 30-31, 36 (1974) (Report of the Joint State Government Commission and Reporter's Comment). In particular, the legislature repudiated the position that a prosecution could only be commenced

[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 258]

    by filing an indictment or information. Id. Moreover, our consideration is influenced but not controlled by the general repealer in the Crimes Code, Act of December 6, 1972, P.L. 1482, No. 334, § 5(b) ("all acts and parts of acts inconsistent with [the Crimes Code] are hereby repealed"). Kelly v. Philadelphia, 382 Pa. 459, 471, 115 A.2d 238, 244 (1955); First National Bank of Millville v. Horwatt, supra, 192 Pa. Super. at 586-87, 162 A.2d at 63. We are thus satisfied that, in enacting section 108 of the Crimes Code, the legislature manifested its intent to supplant section 77 of the Act of 1860.*fn7 Accordingly, we now hold that section 77 of the Act of 1860 had been impliedly repealed before it was expressly repealed by the Judicial Code.*fn8 Because these crimes occurred after the effective date of the Crimes Code*fn9

[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 259]

    and the arrest warrants were obtained within the two-year period allowed by subsection 108(b)(2) of the Code, and were promptly served, these prosecutions were timely commenced.*fn10 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 108(e) (repealed).*fn11

Judgments of sentence affirmed.


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