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11/26/97 COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. SAMUEL F.

November 26, 1997

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
SAMUEL F. CADORA, APPELLANT; COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
SAMUEL F. CADORA, APPELLANT



Appeal from the ORDER ENTERED September 13, 1996. In the Court of Common Pleas of WAYNE County. CRIMINAL NO. 98-1996 CRIMINAL, NO. 97-1996 CRIMINAL.

Appeal from the ORDER ENTERED September 12, 1996. In the of Common Pleas of WAYNE County, CRIMINAL. Before CONWAY, J.

Before: Kelly, Schiller, Hoffman, JJ. Schiller, J. filed a Concurring Opinion.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hoffman

OPINION BY HOFFMAN, J.:

FILED Nov 26 1997

This is an appeal from a September 13, 1996 order denying appellant's motion to dismiss informations charging various violations of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act. Appellant, Samuel F. Cadora, raises the following issue for our review:

Whether the "jurisdiction of a single court" language of 18 Pa. C.S. § 110 deals with the competency of a court to hear a matter as opposed to venue?

See Appellant's Brief at 3.

Appellant was arrested on February 15, 1996 and charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance *fn1 and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, *fn2 arising out of two incidents occurring in Wayne County. Appellant had previously been arrested for similar charges in Luzerne County on July 27, 1995, and in Lackawanna County on May 24, 1995, based on the same criminal episode.

On or about February 26, 1996, before the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, appellant pled guilty to two counts of criminal conspiracy, *fn3 two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, and two counts of possession of a small amount of marijuana. *fn4 On March 26, 1996, the trial court of Luzerne County sentenced appellant to twenty-three (23) months probation, the first six (6) months in home confinement.

On August 29, 1996, appellant filed a motion to dismiss the Wayne County informations, arguing that the prosecution in Wayne County is barred under 18 Pa. C.S. § 110 because of the former prosecution in Luzerne County. On September 12, 1996, the trial court denied the motion to dismiss, reasoning that the instant prosecutions and the former prosecutions do not fall within the jurisdiction of a single court. Appellant contends that he has met all the requirements of 18 Pa. C.S. § 110 and therefore his prosecution in Wayne County is barred. This timely appeal followed.

Our supreme court has stated that:

Section 110(1) (ii) will only bar the instant prosecutions if: (1) the former prosecutions resulted in an acquittal or a conviction; (2) the instant prosecutions are based on the same criminal conduct or arose from the same criminal episode as the former prosecutions; (3) the prosecutor was aware of the instant charges before the commencement of the trials on the former charges; and (4) the instant charges and former charges were within the jurisdiction of a single court.

Commonwealth v. Bracalielly, 540 Pa. 460, 470, 658 A.2d 755, 760 (1995) (citing 18 Pa. C.S. ...


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