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Commonwealth v. Chester

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

May 19, 2017

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
CARL CHESTER, Appellant

         Appeal from the PCRA Order December 18, 2015 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, No(s): CP-51-CR-0016213-2008

          BEFORE: OLSON, STABILE and MUSMANNO, JJ.

          OPINION

          MUSMANNO, J.

         Carl Chester ("Chester") appeals from the Order dismissing his first Petition filed pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"). See 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 9541-9546. We vacate the Order and remand for further proceedings.

         In September 2009, Chester pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to deliver marijuana. In December 2009, the trial court sentenced Chester to three years' probation. On July 19, 2011, after

         Chester was found guilty of various crimes, the trial court revoked Chester's probation and sentenced him to three to six years in prison. The sentence was to run consecutive to Chester's other sentences. Chester was advised, on the record, that he had a right to file a motion to reconsider the sentence within ten days and to appeal his sentence within thirty days.

         On August 2, 2011, Chester filed a Motion for Reconsideration, arguing that the probation revocation sentence was excessive and that a new sentencing hearing was required. The Motion was in the form of an order, which included separate signature lines for the sentencing judge to approve or disapprove the Motion. On August 8, 2011, the sentencing judge signed the disapprove signature line. However, the docket did not include an entry of the denial of the Motion. Chester did not file a direct appeal.

         On September 16, 2013, Chester filed a pro se PCRA Petition. Thereafter, Chester, through counsel, filed an amended PCRA Petition. The PCRA court issued a Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 907 Notice. After Chester filed a Response, the PCRA court dismissed the Petition on December 18, 2015. Chester filed a timely Notice of Appeal.

         On July 22, 2016, the PCRA court ordered Chester to file a Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(b) concise statement.[1]Chester did not file a concise statement.

         On appeal, Chester raises the following questions for our review:

I. Whether the [PCRA] court erred in d[ismissing] [Chester's] PCRA [P]etition without an evidentiary hearing on the issues raised in the amended PCRA [P]etition regarding trial counsel's ineffectiveness[?]
II. Whether the [PCRA] court erred in not granting relief on the PCRA [P]etition alleging counsel was ineffective[?]

         Brief for Appellant at 8.

         Prior to addressing Chester's claims, we note that the PCRA court issued an Opinion finding that Chester waived his claims by failing to file a court-ordered Rule 1925(b) concise statement. See PCRA Court Opinion, 1/30/17, at 1 (unnumbered). It is well-settled that an appellant's failure to comply with a trial court's Rule 1925(b) Order results in a waiver of all issues on appeal. See Commonwealth v. Castillo, 888 A.2d 775, 780 (Pa. 2005); see also Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b)(4)(vii). Rule 1925(b)(2) provides that "[t]he judge shall allow the appellant at least 21 days from the date of the order's entry on the docket for the filing and service of the Statement." Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b)(2); see also Pa.R.A.P. 108(a) (noting that the date of entry of an order "shall be the day the clerk of the court … mails or delivers copies of the order to the parties[.]"). Further, when a Rule 1925(b) order is entered, the clerk of courts must furnish copies of the order to ...


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