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Corbett v. Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA WESTERN DISTRICT


May 28, 2009

THOMAS W. CORBETT, ATTORNEY GENERAL, PETITIONER
v.
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY, RESPONDENT

Per curiam.

Application for Leave to File Original Process and Petition for Issuance of Writ of Prohibition and Immediate Stay.

Pending Review

ORDER

AND NOW, this 28th day of May, 2009, it is hereby ordered that the Application for Leave to File Original Process and the Petition for Issuance of a Writ of Prohibition are GRANTED. Applications for disclosure of protected materials pertaining to the affairs of the Twenty-Sixth Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, including grand jury transcripts, are properly directed to Senior Judge Barry F. Feudale, the Supervising Judge. See In re: Application Of Thomas W. Corbett Jr., Attorney General Of The Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania, Requesting An Order Directing That An Additional Multicounty Investigating Grand Jury Having Statewide Jurisdiction Be Convened, No. 95 WM 2006 (December 20, 2006 Order, Cappy, CJ) ("All applications and motions relating to the work of the Twenty-Sixth Statewide Investigating Grand Jury - including motions for disclosure of grand jury transcripts and evidence -- shall be presented to [Supervising Judge Barry F. Feudale]."); 42 Pa.C.S. § 4544(b); Pa.R.Crim.P. 229 ("Except as otherwise set forth in these rules, the court [i.e., the supervising judge of the grand jury] shall control the original and all copies of the transcript and shall maintain their secrecy."). Pa.R.Crim.P. 229; Comment, Pa.R.Crim. P. 229 ("Reference to the court in this rule and Rule 230 is intended to be to the supervising judge of the grand jury."). The April 15, 2009 Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, in the cases of Commonwealth v. Maharaji M. Hemingway, CP-17-CR-0000043-2009, Commonwealth v. Kenneth Vernon Smeal, CP-17-CR-0000897-2008, Commonwealth v. Michael Charles Gearhart, CP-17-0000892-2008, and Commonwealth v. Michael Clair Styers, CP-17-CR-0000889-2008, are vacated insofar as they require disclosure of grand jury transcripts, without prejudice to the ability of each of the defendants in these cases to present an application for disclosure in the appropriate forum.

It is also hereby ordered that the Petition for Immediate Stay Pending Review is DISMISSED as moot.

20090528

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