Com. v. C.M.K.

Decision Date31 July 2007
Citation932 A.2d 111
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellee v. C.M.K., Appellant. Commmonwealth of Pennsylvania, Appellee v. M.W.K., Appellant.
CourtPennsylvania Superior Court

Philip M. Masorti, State College, for appellants.

Mark S. Smith, Assistant District Attorney, Bellefonte, for Commonwealth, appellee.

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J., TODD AND COLVILLE*, JJ.

OPINION BY COLVILLE, J.:

¶ 1 This is an appeal from the judgments of sentence imposed on Appellants C.M.K. and M.W.K. following their convictions, at a jury trial, of various offenses related to their physical abuse of their child. M.W.K. was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child ("EWOC") and ten counts of simple assault. C.M.K. was convicted of EWOC and two counts of simple assault. Both C.M.K. and M.W.K. filed notices of appeal from their respective judgments of sentence. Their direct appeals were subsequently consolidated; this Court vacated the judgments of sentence and remanded for consideration of a Pa. R.Crim.P. 607 motion challenging the weight of the evidence.

¶ 2 Following a hearing, the trial court denied that motion. Appellants were again sentenced in orders dated May 26, 2006, and filed June 6, 2006. M.W.K. received a sentence of 3 to 23½ months' incarceration on the EWOC count; on each simple assault count, M.W.K. received 1 to 23½ months' incarceration. The simple assault sentences were imposed concurrently to the EWOC sentence. C.M.K. was sentenced to 1 to 23½ months' incarceration on the EWOC count; on the simple assault counts, she was sentenced to 1 to 12 months' incarceration, to be served concurrently to the EWOC sentence.1

¶ 3 On June 23, 2006, Appellants filed one joint notice of appeal from their judgments of sentence. This joint notice was improper. Appellants were codefendants at trial, but were convicted individually of different charges and sentenced individually to different sentences. As they did for their original appeal, Appellants were required to file separate notices of appeal.2

¶ 4 In the civil context, the question of one appeal from multiple orders has been specifically disapproved of by courts of this Commonwealth.3 See General Electric Credit Corp. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 437 Pa. 463, 263 A.2d 448, 452-53 (1970) (holding that one appeal from several judgments is discouraged as unacceptable practice and stating that the Supreme Court has quashed such appeals where no meaningful choice between them could be made); Egenrieder v. Ohio Casualty Group, 399 Pa.Super. 86, 581 A.2d 937, 940 (1990) (holding separate appeals were required to be filed by each appellant where trial court entered separate orders denying each appellant's motion on different grounds).

¶ 5 Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 512 addresses joint appeals, providing:

Parties interested jointly, severally or otherwise in any order in the same matter or in joint matters or in matters consolidated for the purpose of trial or argument, may join as appellants or be joined as appellees in a single appeal where the grounds for appeal are similar, or any one or more of them may appeal separately or any two or more may join in an appeal.

Pa.R.A.P. 512 (emphasis added).

¶ 6 The note accompanying this rule observes that it "continues the policy that `taking one appeal from several judgments is not acceptable practice and is discouraged.'" Pa.R.A.P. 512 note (citing General Electric Credit Corp., 263 A.2d at 452). This rule has never been utilized in a published criminal case in this Commonwealth.

¶ 7 From a purely logical standpoint, the problems inherent in criminal co-defendants filing a joint appeal are readily apparent. In most cases, they would not have been convicted for identical actions. If, then, these co-defendants raised a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, as Appellants here do, the evidence under evaluation would be different for each defendant, necessitating individualized arguments and analyses. The same would be true for challenges to different sentences.

¶ 8 Some appellate issues may coincide; for instance, in this case, Appellants challenge ex parte contact between the prosecutor and a juror. The potential for prejudice from such contact would appear to be the same for each defendant. However, even this claim may not be treated by this Court in exactly the same fashion. Appellants were individually represented at trial;4 accordingly, the issue may have been preserved at trial by one defendant's counsel and not the other's. In this case, Appellants have filed...

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38 cases
  • In re Order Amending Rules 102
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • 7 Enero 2020
    ...separate actions lacking such overlap retain their separate identities and require distinct judgments"); Commonwealth v. C.M.K., 932 A.2d 111, 113 & n.3 (Pa. Super. 2007) (quashing appeal taken by single notice of appeal from order on remand for consideration under Pa.R.Crim.P. 607 of two p......
  • In re Order Amending Rules 102
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • 7 Enero 2020
    ...separate actions lacking such overlap retain their separate identities and require distinct judgments"); Commonwealth v. C.M.K., 932 A.2d 111, 113 & n.3 (Pa. Super. 2007) (quashing appeal taken by single notice of appeal from order on remand for consideration under Pa.R.Crim.P. 607 of two p......
  • Commonwealth v. Walker
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • 1 Junio 2018
    ...on more than one docket or relating to more than one judgment, separate notices of appeals must be filed." Commonwealth v. C.M.K. , 932 A.2d 111, 113 & n.3 (Pa. Super. 2007) (quashing appeal taken by single notice of appeal from order on remand for consideration under Pa.R.Crim.P. 607 of tw......
  • Commonwealth v. Young
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • 22 Diciembre 2021
    ...where two codefendants attempt to appeal their individual judgments of sentence via a single notice of appeal, see In re C.M.K. , 932 A.2d 111 (Pa. Super. 2007), the filing of a single notice of appeal presents difficulties because the two defendants may have been convicted based on distinc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 provisions
  • Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 50, No. 4. January 25, 2020
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Register
    • Invalid date
    ...separate actions lacking such overlap retain their separate identi- ties and require distinct judgments’’); Commonwealth v. C.M.K., 932 A.2d 111, 113 & n.3 (Pa. Super. (quashing appeal taken by single notice of appeal from order on remand for consideration under Pa.R.Crim.P. 607 of two pers......
  • Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 46, No. 01. January 2, 2016
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Register
    • Invalid date
    ...arising on more than one docket or relating to more than one judgment, separate notices of appeal must be filed. Commonwealth v. C.M.K., 932 A.2d 111, 113 n.3 (Pa. Super. 2007) (quashing appeal taken by single notice of appeal from order on remand for consideration under Pa.R.Crim.P. 607 of......
  • Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 46, No. 21. May 21, 2016
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Register
    • Invalid date
    ...arising on more than one docket or relating to more than one judgment, separate notices of appeal must be filed. Commonwealth v. C.M.K., 932 A.2d 111, 113 n.3 (Pa. Super. 2007) (quashing appeal taken by single notice of appeal from order on remand for consideration under Pa.R.Crim.P. 607 of......
  • Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 50, No. 04. January 25, 2020
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Register
    • Invalid date
    ...separate actions lacking such overlap retain their separate identi- ties and require distinct judgments’’); Commonwealth v. C.M.K., 932 A.2d 111, 113 & n.3 (Pa. Super. (quashing appeal taken by single notice of appeal from order on remand for consideration under Pa.R.Crim.P. 607 of two pers......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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