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GERARD SENSI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/12/83)

decided: April 12, 1983.

GERARD SENSI, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Gerard Sensi, No. 357 of 1979.

COUNSEL

W. Boyd Hughes, Hughes, Nicholls & Moran, for appellant.

Ernest D. Preate, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.

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

Author: Williams

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 363]

Gerard Sensi has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County adjudging

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 364]

    him guilty of certain summary offenses and fining him $200. The trial court heard the matter de novo, after Sensi had appealed from guilty verdicts by a district justice.

At all times material to this case, Gerard Sensi was the owner and operator of a business establishment called the Ash Street Express, Limited (Express), which was located in the City of Scranton, Lackawanna County. The Express was described as being an after-hours discotheque and "juice bar." As a public place of entertainment, the Express had a capacity for about four hundred people.

On January 5, 1979, Officer George Murphy of the City of Scranton police filed two criminal complaints against Sensi, charging him with several violations of Scranton ordinances in the operation and maintenance of the Express. The violations allegely occurred on December 30, 1978.

The first criminal complaint charged that Sensi operated the Express as a dance hall without a city dance hall license, and that such constituted a violation under Article 319 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Scranton. The second complaint charged Sensi with violating four provisions of Scranton's Building Code concerning the exitways of public buildings. That complaint alleged that Express did not have adequate means of egress for its patrons. Additionally, and more specifically, it was alleged that exitways at the Express were locked, blocked or otherwise obstructed, and that they were of deficient width. Scranton's Building Code represented an adoption by ordinance of "The BOCA Basic Building Code, Fifth Edition, 1970."

Each of the criminal complaints was issued in the name of the Commonwealth; and, each complaint bore a warrant for Sensi's arrest. According to the complaining ...


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