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Commonwealth v. Spuck

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 10, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
DANIEL L. SPUCK, Appellant

Submitted: October 15, 2013.

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Clearfield County, Criminal Division, No.: CP-17-CR-0000396-1995. Before AMMERMAN, J.

Daniel L. Spuck, appellant, pro se.

Trudy G. Lumadue, Assistant District Attorney, Clearfield, for Commonwealth, appellee.

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E., OTT, J., and WECHT, J. OTT, J. concurs in the result.

OPINION

Page 871

WECHT, J.

Daniel L. Spuck, tireless gadfly in the state and federal courts of this Commonwealth,[1] seeks to appeal the PCRA court's June 15, 2012 order dismissing his serial petition under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (" PCRA" ), 42 Pa.C.S. § § 9541, et seq. We quash Mr. Spuck's appeal due to his flagrant failure to file a brief that conforms to the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate procedure.

In one of our prior decisions, among well over a dozen cases initiated by Mr. Spuck to come before this Court,[2] we provided

Page 872

the following synopsis of the facts underlying Mr. Spuck's convictions and the procedural history immediately following those convictions:

On March 22, 1996, a jury found [Mr. Spuck] guilty of third degree murder, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, aggravated assault, and simple assault in connection with the stabbing death of Michael Allen Cramer in DuBois[, Pennsylvania,] on February 23, 1995. [Mr. Spuck] also stabbed his ex-wife during the attack. Judgment of sentence was imposed on April 19, 1996, with [Mr. Spuck] receiving an aggregate term of 11 to 22 years' imprisonment. This court affirmed the judgment of sentence on February 27, 1998, and our [S]upreme [C]ourt denied appeal on October 1, 1998. Commonwealth v. Spuck , 714 A.2d 1089 (Pa. Super. 1998) (unpublished memorandum), appeal denied, 556 Pa. 708, 729 A.2d 1128 (Pa. 1998).

Commonwealth ex rel. Spuck v. Stowitsky , 1120 WDA 2007, Slip. Op. at 1-2 (Pa. Super. 2007) (unpublished) (citation modified).

Mr. Spuck's brief is very nearly a page-for-page copy of the brief he filed in one of his more recent appearances before this Court. See Brief filed in Commonwealth v. Spuck , 793, 912, and 1129 WDA 2012 (Pa. Super. Jan. 18, 2013) (unpublished).[3] At over eighty pages in length, and for various other reasons, Mr. Spuck's brief violates our Appellate Rules of Procedure in both their present state and in the form they took before recent amendments to the rules that took effect in May 2013. See former Pa.R.A.P. 2135 (limiting primary briefs to seventy pages in length). However, for the reasons set forth below, we find that Mr. Spuck's brief also fatally violates the amended rules that took effect before Mr. Spuck filed the instant brief.

We take this opportunity to review recent changes to our Rules of Appellate Procedure that have not yet been addressed in a precedential opinion by any Pennsylvania court, and indeed have been mentioned in an appellate opinion only once relative to their amended provisions. See Commonwealth v. Roney , 79 A.3d 595, 645-46 (Castille, C.J., concurring). In particular, we direct Mr. Spuck's attention to revised Pa.R.A.P. 2135, which was amended on March 27, 2013, and ...


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