Commonwealth v. Pammer

The Superior Court dismissed a DUI prosecution because the Commonwealth failed to comply with the compulsory joinder rule found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 110. The defendant had been charged with traffic offenses stemming from the same incident as the DWI charge and pled to summonses for those traffic offenses before a magisterial district judge. After later … Read more

Commonwealth v. Chichkin

In these two appeals, the Court considered the constitutionality of the provision of the mandatory minimum sentencing statute for driving under the influence (DUI), which treated a prior acceptance of accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) in a DUI case as a prior conviction for sentencing enhancement purposes. The Court held that Appellants were not afforded their constitutional protections … Read more

In the Interest of: T.M.W.

Mother appealed the trial court’s orders involuntarily terminating her parental rights to her daughter. The Superior Court reversed. The Court ruled that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by competent evidence of the record. Here, where Mother was faithfully attending every supervised, semi-weekly visit with Child, was cooperative with her DHS and other … Read more

M.B.S. v. W.E.

W.E. (Mother) appealed the trial court’s order, which granted sole legal custody of O.S. to M.B.S. (Father). The Superior Court dismissed the appeal as moot, finding, even if we enter a final order in this matter before O.S. turns 18 years old, the trial court will not be able to proceed on remand before it loses … Read more

Commonwealth v. T.B.

In this child sex assault prosecution, the Commonwealth called as a witness a forensic interviewer who testified about her interview of the minor victim. Over defense objections, she opined as to the importance of sensory detail for children generally, though she was not offered as an expert. The Superior Court found admission of this evidence … Read more

Commonwealth v. Bostian

Bostian was the conductor of an Amtrak train, which derailed in Phila., killing eight people and injuring many others. The PA Office of the Attorney General charged Bostian with causing catastrophe, eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, and 246 counts of REAP. After the prelim., the judge tossed the case, ruling the Commonwealth did not make out … Read more

In re J.C.

In this en banc case, the Superior Court dealt with Act 21, which is the Involuntary Treatment of Certain Sexually Violent Persons Statute, 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 6401-6409, and provides for involuntary commitment of juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent and where the Commonwealth can establish by clear and convincing evidence that the offender has a mental abnormality or … Read more

Commonwealth v. Hromek

Hromek appealed the denial of his challenge to the legality of his sentence via a “Petition for Enforcement of Plea Agreement.” The Superior Court deemed the Petition as a PCRA petition, and affirmed the denial because it was untimely. The Court noted that, while challenges to the legality of a sentence cannot be waived, they … Read more