from the Order Entered February 9, 2017 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Lycoming County Criminal Division at No(s):
BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J., SHOGAN, J., and FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E.
Carl H. Parker, purports to appeal from the order entered in
the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas, which denied his
pretrial motion in limine for the production of the
complainant's medical, psychological, psychiatric, and
therapy records. For the following reasons, we quash the
relevant facts and procedural history of this case are as
follows. The Commonwealth arrested and charged Appellant with
numerous sex offenses as a result of allegations that he
committed these various offenses against C.P., a minor,
between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. At the time of
the offenses, C.P. was fifteen and sixteen years old; and
Appellant was married to C.P.'s mother. Around the same
time, C.P. was also receiving psychological support therapy.
C.P. reported the alleged sexual abuse on January 15, 2015.
November 10, 2016, Appellant filed a motion in
limine, including a motion for production of C.P.'s
medical, psychological, psychiatric and therapy records. The
trial court held a hearing on November 18, 2016, on
Appellant's various motions in limine, including
the motion for production. The trial court denied
Appellant's motions on February 8, 2017. Appellant filed
a notice of appeal on March 8, 2017. No concise statement of
errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b)
was ordered or filed.
raises two issues for our review:
WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE DEFENSE REQUEST
FOR PRODUCTION OF MEDICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, PSYCHIATRIC, AND
THERAPY RECORDS OF [VICTIM][?]
WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN DETERMINING
THAT THE MEDICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, PSYCHIATRIC, AND THERAPY
RECORDS SOUGHT BY [APPELLANT] WERE NOT RELEVANT TO ANY OF THE
ELEMENTS OF THE CRIMES CHARGED[?]
(Appellant's Brief at 4).
prefatory matter, we must determine whether this appeal is
properly before us. In Appellant's response to this
Court's rule to show cause why the appeal should not be
quashed, Appellant argues his defense motion in
limine for the production of C.P.'s medical,
psychological, psychiatric, and therapy records qualifies as
a collateral matter; and the order denying that request is
immediately reviewable as a collateral order. Specifically,
Appellant argues the denial of his motion for production is
separate from and collateral to the issue of whether
Appellant is guilty of the charged sex offenses. Appellant
claims he has a right to favorable evidence and to confront
his accuser, which outweighs C.P.'s interest in the
non-disclosure of her confidential records. Appellant asserts
that without access to the potentially exculpatory evidence
contained in C.P.'s records, his defense will be
irreparably lost because it rests on C.P.'s credibility,
her delay in reporting, and her reason for the delay.
Appellant submits an in camera review of C.P.'s
records would remove concerns for C.P.'s privilege and
privacy, and allow Appellant to prepare a proper defense.
Appellant concludes the court's order denying
Appellant's access to this confidential information is
immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine.
review of any "court order is a jurisdictional question
defined by rule or statute." Commonwealth v.
Rosario, 615 A.2d 740, 742 (Pa.Super. 1992),
affirmed, 538 Pa. 400, 648 A.2d 1172 (1994). This
principle applies to appellate review of a pretrial order.
Commonwealth v. Jones, 826 A.2d 900, 903 (Pa.Super.
2003) (en banc). A court may consider the issue of
jurisdiction sua sponte. Commonwealth v.
Grove, ___A.3d___, 2017 PA Super 286 (2017) (citing
Commonwealth v. Ivy, 146 A.3d 241, 255 (Pa.Super.
2016)). In evaluating our jurisdiction to allow
Appellant's appeal, we look to other criminal cases
involving appeals of pretrial orders. Id.
The general rule in criminal cases is that a defendant may
appeal only from a final judgment of sentence, and an appeal
from any prior order or judgment will be quashed. In this
Commonwealth, an appeal may only be taken from: 1) a final
order or one certified by the trial court as final; 2) an
interlocutory order ...