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[U] Commonwealth v. Wise

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 11, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
KENNETH A. WISE Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order April 8, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-22-SA-0000036-2008

BEFORE: MUNDY, J., WECHT, J., and FITZGERALD, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

MUNDY, J.

Appellant, Kenneth A. Wise, appeals from the April 8, 2013 order granting the Commonwealth's motion to quash Appellant's summary appeal as untimely filed. After careful review, we reverse and remand for a trial de novo.

The trial court summarized the relevant factual and procedural history as follows.

A summary trial was held [on] February 13, 2008 before Magisterial District Judge Barbara Piank, and fines in the amount of $500 and costs in the amount of $90 were assessed against Appellant [for abandoning his vehicle on a highway, a violation of the motor vehicle code]. On February 14, 2008, Appellant made a payment of $100 toward his penalties. Appellant appealed to the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas on February 15, 2008. A trial de novo, at which Appellant failed to appear, was held on May 27, 2008 before Judge Joseph H. Kleinfelter and costs in the amount of $500 were imposed against Appellant.
On April 3, 2013, Appellant filed a motion to set aside his summary conviction, in which he claimed that he never received notice of the May 27, 2008 summary appeal hearing and was unaware of his summary appeal conviction until March 21, 2013. Appellant claimed that he only became aware of his conviction after he received a letter from Mr. Brendon Bellinger at the Dauphin County Adult Probation and Parole Office stating that he owed outstanding fines and costs. In his motion, Appellant also asserted that he had a valid defense to the charges. On April 5, 2013, [the trial court] issued a Rule to Show Cause on the Commonwealth.
On April 4, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a Motion to Quash Appellant's Summary Appeal because Appellant failed to appeal timely. On April 8, 2013, after a review of the record, [the trial court] granted the Commonwealth's Motion to Quash.

Trial Court Opinion, 6/25/13, at 2 (footnotes omitted). On May 8, 2013, Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal.[1]

On appeal, Appellant raises the following issue for our review.
[1.] Whether or not the trial court denied [] Appellant due process when he was convicted of a certain summary offense upon his failure to appear at his summary appeal hearing where he was not notified of the scheduled date of said hearing[?]

Appellant's Brief at 4.

Our review is guided by the ...


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