Com. v. Snyder

CourtSuperior Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtCAVANAUGH
Citation280 Pa.Super. 127,421 A.2d 438
Decision Date25 July 1980
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellant, v. James C. SNYDER.

Page 438

421 A.2d 438
280 Pa.Super. 127
COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellant,
v.
James C. SNYDER.
Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Argued Nov. 14, 1979.
Filed July 25, 1980.

Page 439

[280 Pa.Super. 129] Ralph C. Warman, Uniontown, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Vincent J. Roskovensky, II, Uniontown, for appellee.

Before PRICE, HESTER, and CAVANAUGH, JJ.

CAVANAUGH, Judge:

Pursuant to the defendant's motion under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(f) the lower court dismissed the complaint with prejudice. The Commonwealth appeals. We remand.

[280 Pa.Super. 130] On March 8, 1977 the defendant was arrested for driving while intoxicated. On the same day a complaint was filed, he waived a preliminary hearing and was released on bond. On April 6, 1977 the Commonwealth sent to the defendant a notice of his trial date by certified mail return receipt requested. This notice was returned to the Commonwealth marked "unclaimed" on April 22, 1977. 1 On the scheduled trial date, June 15, 1977, the defendant did not appear and at the Commonwealth's request a bench warrant was issued. On August 17, 1978 the defendant was stopped for motor vehicle violations; he was then arrested on the bench warrant and subsequently was released. In September he filed a motion for continuance to the December term of court 2 and in November he filed a motion to dismiss under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(f) and a hearing was held. The court granted the motion to dismiss the complaint with prejudice and the Commonwealth filed the instant appeal.

The Commonwealth is required to try a defendant within 180 days of the filing of the complaint. Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100. Any delay beyond the 180-day period "... must be either excluded from the computation (of the period, Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(d)) or justified by an order granting an extension pursuant to the terms of the rule (Pa.R.Crim.P.

Page 440

1100(c)) if the Commonwealth is to prevail." Commonwealth v. Shelton, 469 Pa. 8, 14-15, 364 A.2d 694, 697 (1976) quoting Commonwealth v. O'Shea, 465 Pa. 491, 496, 350 A.2d 872, 874 (1976). In the instant case defendant was not tried within 180 days from the filing of the complaint. The Commonwealth did not file for an extension of time under Pa.R.[280 Pa.Super. 131] Crim.P. 1100(c). Therefore, it can prevail only if it is permitted to exclude a period of time under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(d).

Under 1100(d) the Commonwealth may exclude any period of delay which results from the unavailability of the defendant. Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(d). The Commonwealth may exclude such period if while the defendant is on bail the Commonwealth properly notifies him of his trial date and he fails to appear, Commonwealth v. Cohen, 481 Pa. 349, 356, 392 A.2d 1327, 1330-31 (1978); Commonwealth v. Mizic, --- Pa.Super. ---, 418 A.2d 432 (1980); Commonwealth v. McCulley, --- Pa.Super. ---, 410 A.2d 1276 (1979), or if the Commonwealth establishes that despite the exercise of due diligence it was unable to locate the defendant. Commonwealth v. Smith, --- Pa.Super. ---, at ---, 418 A.2d 380, at 382 (1980); Commonwealth v. Bundridge, --- Pa.Super. ---, 407 A.2d 406, 408 (1979) allocatur granted February 4, 1980; Commonwealth v. Clark, 248 Pa.Super. 184, 374 A.2d 1380 (1977).

In Cohen, the Supreme Court held that "a defendant on bail who fails to appear at a court proceeding, of which he has been properly notified, is unavailable (under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(d)) from the time of that proceeding until he is subsequently apprehended or until he voluntarily surrenders himself." Cohen, supra, at 356, 392 A.2d 1327, 392 A.2d at 1331 (emphasis added). The Commonwealth argues that it properly notified the defendant of his trial date and that therefore the defendant was unavailable from the time of the scheduled trial until his arrest on the bench warrant. It relies on Pa.R.Crim.P. 309 as authority that notice of the trial date can be given by certified mail. It contends that for purposes of the exclusion under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(d) it is sufficient merely that the notice be sent by certified mail, and that receipt of such notice does not matter. In the context of the facts of the instant case we disagree.

We first consider whether certified mail is a sufficient form of notice under Cohen. It is true, as the Commonwealth argues, that Pa.R.Crim.P. 309 permits service to be effected by, inter alia, sending that which must be served by [280 Pa.Super. 132] certified mail. Pa.R.Crim.P. 309(b)(4). However, Pa.R.Crim.P. 309 does not by its terms apply to notice to the defendant to appear...

To continue reading

Request your trial
14 practice notes
  • Com. v. Trill
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 8 Julio 1988
    ...of the period under Rule 1100(d), or justified by an order granting an extension pursuant to Rule 1100(c). Commonwealth v. Snyder, 280 Pa.Super. 127, 421 A.2d 438 Rule 1100 excludes from the computation of the 180-day time frame any period of delay that results from "the unavailability of t......
  • Com. v. Taylor
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 8 Marzo 1985
    ...270 Pa.Super. 115, 410 A.2d 1276 (1979); Commonwealth v. Schwartz, 304 Pa.Super. 125, 450 A.2d 133 (1982); Commonwealth v. Snyder, 280 Pa.Super. 127, 421 A.2d 438 (1980); Commonwealth v. Williams, 299 Pa.Super. 226, 445 A.2d 537 (1982); Commonwealth v. Blackwell, 312 Pa.Super. 117, 458 A.2d......
  • Com. v. Snyder
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 10 Junio 1988
    ...226, 231, 445 A.2d 537, 539 (1982); Commonwealth v. Bedsaul, 298 Pa.Super. 174, 176, 444 A.2d 717, 718 (1982); Commonwealth v. Snyder, 280 Pa.Super. 127, 131, 421 A.2d 438, 440 (1980); Commonwealth v. Mizic, 274 Pa.Super. 331, 336, 418 A.2d 432, 433-34 (1980); Commonwealth v. McCulley, 270 ......
  • Com. v. Lyles
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 12 Julio 1983
    ...has held that the Commonwealth must show that it has exercised due diligence in executing a bench warrant. Commonwealth v. Snyder, 280 Pa.Super. 127, 421 A.2d 438, 441 (1980) ("mere issuance of a bench warrant does not establish due diligence"); Commonwealth v. Boerner, 281 Pa.Super. 505, 4......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Com. v. Trill
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 8 Julio 1988
    ...of the period under Rule 1100(d), or justified by an order granting an extension pursuant to Rule 1100(c). Commonwealth v. Snyder, 280 Pa.Super. 127, 421 A.2d 438 Rule 1100 excludes from the computation of the 180-day time frame any period of delay that results from "the unavailability of t......
  • Com. v. Taylor
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 8 Marzo 1985
    ...270 Pa.Super. 115, 410 A.2d 1276 (1979); Commonwealth v. Schwartz, 304 Pa.Super. 125, 450 A.2d 133 (1982); Commonwealth v. Snyder, 280 Pa.Super. 127, 421 A.2d 438 (1980); Commonwealth v. Williams, 299 Pa.Super. 226, 445 A.2d 537 (1982); Commonwealth v. Blackwell, 312 Pa.Super. 117, 458 A.2d......
  • Com. v. Snyder
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 10 Junio 1988
    ...226, 231, 445 A.2d 537, 539 (1982); Commonwealth v. Bedsaul, 298 Pa.Super. 174, 176, 444 A.2d 717, 718 (1982); Commonwealth v. Snyder, 280 Pa.Super. 127, 131, 421 A.2d 438, 440 (1980); Commonwealth v. Mizic, 274 Pa.Super. 331, 336, 418 A.2d 432, 433-34 (1980); Commonwealth v. McCulley, 270 ......
  • Com. v. Lyles
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 12 Julio 1983
    ...has held that the Commonwealth must show that it has exercised due diligence in executing a bench warrant. Commonwealth v. Snyder, 280 Pa.Super. 127, 421 A.2d 438, 441 (1980) ("mere issuance of a bench warrant does not establish due diligence"); Commonwealth v. Boerner, 281 Pa.Super. 505, 4......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT