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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RONALD C. DANIELS (12/02/83)

filed: December 2, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
RONALD C. DANIELS



No. 490 Philadelphia, 1981, No. 600 PHILADELPHIA, 1981, Appeal from Orders entered in the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Philadelphia County, No. 80-03-0985.

COUNSEL

Ronald Eisenberg, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Vivian A. Sye-Payne, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Cavanaugh, Montemuro and Hester, JJ. Cavanaugh, J., filed a dissenting statement.

Author: Hester

[ 321 Pa. Super. Page 487]

On January 24, 1980, appellant, Ronald C. Daniels, was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance and the manufacture of a controlled substance. He was held for court on all but the charge of manufacture of a controlled substance. The original 180-day

[ 321 Pa. Super. Page 488]

    run-date under Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 1100 was July 22, 1980.

On July 21, 1980, the Commonwealth filed a Petition for Extension under Rule 1100(c). Said petition was granted and the run-date was extended to October 13, 1980. On October 9, 1980, a second petition for the extension of the 180-day period was filed; it too was granted with the proviso that no further extensions be granted. The run-date was therein extended to December 10, 1980.

On December 10, 1980, the day of trial, the Commonwealth's only witness, a police officer, was "on-call" and was on his way to court when the case was called.*fn1 In deference to the "must be tried" order then in effect, the lower court dismissed the charges, sua sponte, pursuant to Rule 1100. The Commonwealth subsequently filed a Petition to Reconsider Discharge under Rule 1100. That petition was also denied and the Commonwealth filed this prompt appeal.

Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 1100 serves the dual purpose of protecting the accused's speedy trial rights and assuring the public that trials will be commenced promptly so that those convicted will be readily punished. Where an extension of the trial date beyond the 180-day period is requested, and the Commonwealth neither purposefully abuses the accused's speedy trial rights nor lacks due diligence in preparing the prosecution, said 180-day period should not be strictly enforced. Commonwealth v. Reihart, 302 Pa. Super. 515, 449 A.2d 35 (1982); Commonwealth v. Long, 288 Pa. Super. 414, 432 A.2d 228 (1981); Commonwealth v. Genovese, 493 Pa. 65, 425 A.2d 367 (1981).

It is to be noted here this matter was continued on two occasions prior to the Commonwealth's final request on December 10, 1980. These ...


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