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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HOWARD J. GERARD (04/29/83)

filed: April 29, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
HOWARD J. GERARD



No. 1245 Pittsburgh, 1981, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Crawford County at No. 1980-412.

COUNSEL

John M. Dawson, Assistant District Attorney, Meadville, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Paul E. Allen, Meadville, for appellee.

Cavanaugh, Rowley and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Cavanaugh

[ 313 Pa. Super. Page 72]

The questions on appeal are whether the substantive and procedural requirements of Pa.R.Crim.P. 51 were met in this case and whether the failure of the summons to contain a certification of disposition pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 58 constitutes a procedural defect under Pa.R.Crim.P. 150.

Appellee Howard J. Gerard appealed to the Common Pleas Court from a summary conviction under the Motor Vehicle Code. The Common Pleas Court dismissed the charges upon a stipulation of facts, holding that the proceedings were not initiated in compliance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.

The background is that the Commonwealth alleges that appellee failed to stop at the scene of an accident on July 15, 1980. No citation was issued on that day, but two days later a Pennsylvania State Trooper filed a citation with the District Justice and attested to the facts therein. The District Justice in turn notified appellee of the charge by sending him a document removed from a multi-leaf form. The document is entitled at the top "Citation/Summons". It was signed and dated by the District Justice, who also entered the magisterial district number. Appellee admits that he received this document. The present appeal is from a dismissal of the charges following an appeal from the District Justice. The procedure sought to be employed by the Commonwealth for instituting the present proceeding is the one set forth in Rule 51 A(1)(b):

Rule 51. Means of Instituting Proceedings in Summary Cases

A. Criminal proceedings in summary cases shall be instituted in the following manner:

(1) Traffic Offenses (Other than Parking)

(b) A citation (rather than a complaint) shall be filed with an issuing authority by a police officer when the offense charged is a ...


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