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MIKE MILANOVICH v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/02/82)

decided: June 2, 1982.

MIKE MILANOVICH, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mike Milanovich, No. SA 1193 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Marion E. Popiel, for appellant.

Benjamin B. Wechsler, II, Assistant Counsel, with him Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, and Jay Waldman, General Counsel, for appellee.

Judges Rogers, Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 25]

The question in this auto inspection case is whether the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, in dismissing the appeal of petitioner Milanovich from a three-month suspension of his official auto inspection station certificate, did so on the basis of substantial evidence to support Administrative Judge Papadakos' findings that, as to a 1970 Chevrolet reinspected by the state police eight days and 396 miles after Milanovich had issued an inspection certificate to it, there were:

-- certain defects (missing chromium strip and battery holddown, one bald tire and defective taillight and backup light) which were not proved by the department to have existed at the time of inspection, but

-- other defects, consisting of six substantial rust holes and a cracked brake hose, which did exist at the time of Milanovich's inspection,

-- as well as a brake lining thickness discrepancy, 4/32nds inch instead of the 7/32nds inch recorded by Milanovich with respect to the same left rear wheel, suggesting failure actually to inspect that wheel.

As a matter of law, there is no dispute that, as to the defects found to have existed at the time of inspection, the cracked brake hose would constitute a violation, as would the rust holes, which would contravene Pennsylvania Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations, 67 Pa. Code ยง 175.133(a), as amended ; and a fictitious recording of a brake lining inspection would, of course, be a violation.

[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 26]

Thus the sole question is whether or not there was substantial evidence presented to support the above findings of the trial judge. Commonwealth v. Walker Pontiac, Inc., 488 Pa. 575, 578, 413 A.2d 375, 376 (1979); Kenworth Trucks v. Department of Transportation, 56 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 352, 355, 425 A.2d 49, 51 (1981).

Even though a key element of the case, evidence to establish that the defects existing at the time of reinspection also were present when the official inspection was made, was embodied entirely in expert opinion testimony, we must conclude that such evidence was substantial, and that the trial judge fairly considered and weighed the ...


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