IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA WESTERN DISTRICT
January 12, 2011
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENT
JENNIFER MARIE BALLARD, PETITIONER
Petition for Allowance of Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court entered February 18, 2010 at No. 2028 WDA 2007, affirming the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County entered October 26, 2007 at No. CP-02-CR-0004318-2006.
AND NOW, this 12th day of January, 2011, the Petition for Allowance of Appeal is GRANTED, and the order of the Superior Court is VACATED. The Superior Court erred by concluding, under the coordinate jurisdiction doctrine, that it was bound by its prior decision in Commonwealth v. Jackson, 991 A.2d 358 (Table) (Pa. Super. 2010). Petitioner was not a party to the appeal of her co-defendant in Jackson, and raised distinct legal challenges in her appeal to the Superior Court. See Ario v. Reliance Ins. Co., 980 A.2d 588, 597 (Pa. 2009) (holding that, under the coordinate jurisdiction doctrine, judges of equal jurisdiction sitting in the same case should not overrule each others' decisions).
This case is REMANDED to the Superior Court with instructions to conduct a merits review of Petitioner's challenge on direct appeal to the legality of the inventory search of the vehicle following Petitioner's arrest.
Madame Justice Orie Melvin did not participate in the consideration or decision of this matter.
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