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[U] Commonwealth v. Monning

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 25, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
MARCY L. MONNING Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence March 19, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Criminal Division at No.: CP-02-SA-0000082-2013

BEFORE: BOWES, J., WECHT, J., and STABILE, J.

JUDGMENT ORDER

WECHT, J.

Marcy Monning appeals the March 19, 2013 judgment of sentence, which was imposed after Monning was convicted of disorderly conduct. We conclude that written judgment of sentence contains a clear clerical error. Consequently, we vacate the judgment of sentence, and remand.

At the conclusion of Monning's de novo summary trial, the trial judge unambiguously stated the following: "Ma'am, I am finding your [sic] guilty. I will reduce the fine to $50 plus costs." Notes of Testimony, 3/19/2013, at 9. However, the clerk who transcribed the written judgment of sentence, which the trial judge signed, wrote "$300" instead of "$50." This appeal followed.

A question pertaining to the validity of a sentence concerns the legality of the sentence, which is a non-waivable issue. Commonwealth v. Quinlan, 639 A.2d 1235, 1238 (Pa.Super. 1994). It is well-settled that a trial court has the inherent, common-law authority to correct clerical errors in its orders that amount to "patent and obvious mistakes." Commonwealth v. Klein, 781 A.2d 1133, 1135 (Pa. 2001). Our Supreme Court has emphasized that a sentencing court's inherent power to correct clerical errors encompasses not only patent and obvious errors on the face of the order, but also errors that become obvious based upon the information in the certified record. Commonwealth v. Holmes, 933 A.2d 57, 67 (Pa. 2007).

Here, the clerical error is patent and obvious. The trial judge unambiguously imposed upon Monning a $50 fine in open court, which the clerk transcribed onto the judgment of sentence as $300. The Commonwealth concedes candidly that the case presents a "clear clerical error" that is subject to correction. See Brief for Commonwealth at 11-12. Hence, we vacate the judgment of sentence, and remand to the trial court to correct the judgment of sentence pursuant to its inherent powers as delineated above.

Judgment of sentence vacated. Case remanded. Jurisdiction relinquished.

Judgment Entered.


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