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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GEORGE T. GRASSI (11/09/89)

decided: November 9, 1989.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF DRIVER LICENSING, APPELLANT,
v.
GEORGE T. GRASSI, APPELLEE



Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Delaware County; Honorable Joseph F. Battle, Judge.

COUNSEL

Donald H. Poorman, Asst. Counsel, with him, Harold H. Cramer, Asst. Chief Counsel, and John L. Heaton, Chief Counsel, for appellant.

Howard J. Levin, Anapol, Schwartz, Weiss & Schwartz, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, and Palladino (p.), and Smith, JJ.

Author: Smith

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 388]

The Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing (DOT), appeals from an order of the Court of

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 389]

Common Pleas of Delaware County which sustained the appeal of George T. Grassi (Grassi) from a six months revocation of his operating privileges. The order of the trial court is reversed.

On May 17, 1979, Grassi committed a driving violation in the State of New Jersey. He failed to respond to the citation issued, and as a result, DOT suspended Grassi's operating privileges effective July 1, 1980. Notice of the suspension was mailed to Grassi on June 30, 1980. Subsequently, Grassi paid the fine imposed by the New Jersey citation and his driving privileges were restored on September 10, 1980. In the interim, on July 15, 1980, Grassi was cited for operating a vehicle while under license suspension. DOT sent Grassi a notice of revocation on January 21, 1981 which informed Grassi that his operating privileges were being revoked effective February 25, 1981 due to the violation of driving while under suspension.

Grassi appealed DOT's license suspension on February 21, 1981, and although two hearings were scheduled which were continued, the case remained inactive for almost seven years until a hearing was ultimately held on April 18, 1988.*fn1 By order dated June 9, 1988, the trial court denied Grassi's appeal. On August 4, 1988, Grassi requested reconsideration, and on August 19, 1988, the trial court vacated its previous order and scheduled a rehearing for December 5, 1988. The trial court sustained Grassi's appeal by order dated December 5, 1988 from which DOT appeals to this Court.

The first issue before this Court is whether the trial court had jurisdiction to hear Grassi's reconsideration petition

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 390]

    which was filed more than thirty days after entry of the June 9, 1988 order. Grassi contends that although he filed his petition for reconsideration more than thirty days after the trial court's order, his initial appeal was timely filed and therefore the petition for reconsideration was proper. Grassi also contends that he did not receive notice of the trial court's June 9, 1988 ...


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