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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. EUGENE M. BOLDEN (12/05/84)

filed: December 5, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
EUGENE M. BOLDEN



No. 00028 Philadelphia 1984, APPEAL FROM THE ORDER OF DECEMBER 7, 1983 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF CHESTER COUNTY, CRIMINAL NO. 1060-83

COUNSEL

Stuart B. Suss, Assistant District Attorney, West Chester, for Commonwealth, appellant.

William L. Howard, Malvern, for appellee.

Cirillo, Olszewski and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 245]

This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from an order dismissing rape, burglary, indecent assault, and simple assault charges against appellee, Eugene Bolden, on the basis of Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100. The case at bar presents the issue of the application of Rule 1100 to judicial delay. Initially, it must be noted that we are guided in our decision by the sentiments expressed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Genovese, 493 Pa. 65, 69-70, 72-73, 425 A.2d 367, 369-70, 371 (1981):

Rule 1100 "serves two equally important functions: (1) the protection of the accused's speedy trial rights, and (2) the protection of society," Commonwealth v. Brocklehurst, 491 Pa. 151, 154, 420 A.2d 385, 387 (1980); Commonwealth v. Hamilton, 449 Pa. 297, 297 A.2d 127 (1972). In determining whether an accused's right to a speedy trial has been violated, consideration must be given to society's right to effective prosecution of criminal cases, both to restrain those guilty of crime and to deter those contemplating it. Commonwealth v. Johnson, 487 Pa. 197, n. 4, 409 A.2d 308, n. 4 (1980). The administrative mandate of Rule 1100 certainly was not designed to insulate the criminally accused from good faith prosecution delayed through no fault of the Commonwealth.

[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 246]

. . . So long as there has been no misconduct on the part of the Commonwealth in an effort to evade the fundamental speedy trial rights of an accused, Rule 1100 must be construed in a manner consistent with society's right to punish and deter crime. In considering matters such as that now before us, courts must carefully factor into the ultimate equation not only the prerogatives of the individual accused, but the collective rights of the community to vigorous law enforcement as well. Strained and illogical judicial construction adds nothing to our search for justice, but only serves to expand the already bloated arsenal of the unscrupulous criminal determined to manipulate the system.

For the reasons set forth below, we reverse the order of the trial court, and remand for trial.

A criminal complaint charging appellee with rape, burglary, indecent assault, aggravated assault, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person was filed on May 21, 1983. On June 3, 1983, a preliminary hearing was held. The presiding district justice concluded that a prima facie case existed on all charges. Appellee filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus and to quash information on July 6, 1983, claiming error in finding a prima facie case on the charges of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. By agreement of counsel, the trial court entered an order dismissing the recklessly endangering another person and aggravated assault charges on August 10, 1983. The focus of the issues involved in this appeal stem from the events following the entry of this order.

On the same date the trial court entered the order, an employee of the Clerk of Courts of Chester County erroneously recorded in the court file that all charges against appellee had been quashed. This resulted in the case being dropped from the Chester County computer that is used for monitoring cases, and the case never receiving a listing for ...


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