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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT B. MOORE (10/31/88)

decided: October 31, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLANT
v.
ROBERT B. MOORE, III, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Robert B. Moore, III, No. 1408 C.P. 1986.

COUNSEL

Melissa K. Dively, Assistant Counsel, with her, Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Chief Counsel, and John L. Heaton, Chief Counsel, for appellant.

Karen E. Pfeffer, Evey, Routch, Black, Dorezas, Magee & Andrews, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Blatt. President Judge Crumlish, Jr. concurs in result only. Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Blatt

[ 120 Pa. Commw. Page 618]

The Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety (DOT), appeals from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County sustaining in part the appeal of Robert B. Moore, III (appellee) and remanding the matter to the district justice for rehearing. We will affirm in part and vacate in part.

Initially, the appellee received a citation on April 20, 1983 for an invalid registration sticker and was fined $44.00. Effective November 15, 1983, his operating

[ 120 Pa. Commw. Page 619]

    privilege was suspended for failure to respond to that citation. He contends that he never received notice of this suspension and did not learn of it until he was cited on March 3, 1986 for failure to stop at a red light. At that time, he was also cited for driving while his operating privilege was suspended, in violation of Section 1543 of the Vehicle Code, as amended, 75 Pa. C.S. ยง 1543.

The appellee paid the fine for both of the March 3, 1986 violations,*fn1 and notice of the Section 1543 conviction was thereafter sent to DOT. As a result, DOT sent the appellee notice of a six-month revocation of his operating privilege. The appellee at first appealed the revocation, and then later petitioned the trial court for a remand for rehearing by district justice nunc pro tunc on both of his March 3, 1986 traffic citations.

Two hearings were held by the trial court. At the first, the court decided to continue the matter, directing DOT to present evidence at the next hearing on whether the appellee had received notice of his original suspension. After the second hearing, it was concluded that the appellee's arguments had merit. The court therefore granted the appellee's petition and remanded the matter to the district justice for rehearing.*fn2 The court also sustained and upheld the appellee's appeal and set aside the revocation of his operating privilege.

Before discussing the issues, we will first address the procedural and jurisdictional difficulties with this case. The case was ...


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