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Commonwealth v. Carl

Pennsylvania Superior Court

May 4, 2022

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed an order from the Court of Common Pleas that granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the charges based on the Commonwealth’s violation of Rule 600(c). The critical issue was the county’s COVID-related judicial emergency declaration, which closed the courts and mandated that “any postponement caused by the judicial emergency shall be considered a court postponement and shall constitute excludable time for purposes of the application of Rule 600.” But all parties agreed that the pandemic had no impact on this case and that there was no discernible backlog of cases. The Superior Court ruled that the language of the declaration suspended the rule-based speedy trial right for all cases, including the instant one. As such, the Commonwealth did not violate the rule.

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