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JOSEPH R. NAGLICH v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/19/84)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: December 19, 1984.

JOSEPH R. NAGLICH, AN INDIVIDUAL, AND NAGLICH AUTO SALES, INC., A PENNSYLVANIA CORPORATION, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE BOARD OF MOTOR VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS, DEALERS AND SALESMEN, RESPONDENT

Appeal from the Order of the State Board of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salesmen, in case of State Board of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salesmen v. Joe Naglich Auto Sales, Inc. and Joseph R. Naglich, No. 82-MV-726.

COUNSEL

Joseph J. Malizia, Joseph J. Malizia, P.C., for petitioners.

Michele P. Monaghan, Board Counsel, with her, Jerome P. Grossi, Counsel, Joyce McKeever, Chief Counsel, Professional & Occupational Affairs and David F. Phifer, Chief Counsel, Department of State, for respondent.

Judges MacPhail, Barry and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 479]

Joseph R. Naglich and Joe Naglich Auto Sales, Inc. (Petitioner) appeal here from a decision of the State Board of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salesmen (Board) which ordered that Petitioner's salesman and dealer licenses be revoked.

The Board concluded as a matter of law that Petitioner had violated Section 5 of the Motor Vehicle Salesmen's License Act (License Act), Act of September 9, 1965, P.L. 499, as amended, 63 P.S. § 805,*fn1 by knowingly making a substantial misrepresentation of a material fact. The Board found that Petitioner failed to disclose the true mileage of a vehicle when he sold the vehicle.

[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 480]

In our review of this decision, this Court must affirm the Board's adjudication unless we find that Petitioner's constitutional rights have been violated, the adjudication is not in accordance with the law, or necessary findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidence. Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. § 704.

Petitioner questions the admission into evidence of various copies of documents from New York state.*fn2 We find that the document identified as exhibit C-5 was improperly admitted into evidence because it fails to conform to Section 5328(a) of the Uniform Interstate and International Procedure Act, 42 Pa. C.S. § 5328(a).*fn3 Those pages of the document identified as exhibit C-6 which are copies of documents from New York state were also improperly admitted. Although the Pennsylvania records in exhibit C-6 conform to the requirements of Section 6103 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 6103, the mere fact that documents from another state are kept with Pennsylvania records does not validate those documents independently of Section 5328(a) of the Uniform Interstate and International Procedure Act.

Since the documentary evidence regarding the alleged illegal act must be excluded, the substantial evidence supporting the Board's finding that Petitioner violated Section 5 of the License Act must be found in the evidence relating to Petitioner's payment of a fine and costs pursuant to a citation for tampering

[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 481]

    with an odometer,*fn4 a violation of Section 1112(c) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. § 1112(c).*fn5 Petitioner argues, however, that such evidence is inadmissible pursuant to the provisions of Section 6142 of the Judicial Code, as amended, 42 Pa. C.S. § 6142, which provides

(a) General rule. -- A plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or a payment of the fine and costs prescribed after any such plea, in any summary proceeding made by any person charged with a violation of Title 75 (relating to vehicles) shall not be admissible as evidence in any civil matter arising out of the same violation or under the same facts or circumstances.

(b) Exception. -- The provisions of subsection (a) shall not be applicable to administrative or judicial proceedings involving the suspension of a motor vehicle or tractor operating privilege, learner's permit, or right to apply for a motor vehicle or tractor operating privilege, or the suspension of a certificate of appointment as an official inspection station, or the suspension of a motor vehicle, tractor, or trailer registration. (Emphasis added.)

We must agree with the Petitioner that Section 6142 does not apply to the evidence regarding Petitioner's plea of guilty to the summary offense.*fn6 None

[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 482]

    of the exceptions set forth in Section 6142(b) are applicable to the facts of the case now before us. Such evidence, therefore, was inadmissible in the administrative proceeding now under our review.

Petitioner denied throughout the proceeding that he had tampered with the odometer or that he had failed to disclose the true mileage on the vehicle he sold. Under the circumstances, we are compelled to conclude that since the documentary evidence and the testimonial evidence regarding the citation proceeding should have been excluded, there is no substantial evidence to support the Board's crucial findings of fact. We, accordingly, reverse.

Order

The order of the State Board of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salesmen dated December 12, 1983, File No. 82-MV-726, is hereby reversed.

Disposition

Reversed.


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