Commonwealth v. Davis

In Commonwealth v. Davis, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reviewed the process by which prosecuting authorities can refile criminal charges pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 544. In Davis, after a preliminary hearing, a magisterial district judge dismissed charges. The Commonwealth sought to refile the complaint but went to a different MDJ to do so. Then the case proceeded to another preliminary hearing before yet another MDJ. The Superior Court held that the language in Rule 544(a) requires the Commonwealth to refile the complaint with the particular MDJ who dismissed the charges, not just another MDJ within the same district. The Court further held that the MDJ, who dismissed the charges, needed the Commonwealth’s consent in order to have jurisdiction to proceed on several summary citations. Since the Commonwealth did not agree, the judge did not have jurisdiction, and any convictions for those summary offenses were moot.

Davis