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Commonwealth v. Fantauzzi

Pennsylvania Superior Court

April 27, 2022

The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the defendant’s sentence and ruled that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to resentence him. The case’s procedural history is tortured but can be summarized as follows: 1.) The lower court granted collateral relief in the form of a new sentencing proceeding resulting in the defendant’s 2015 judgment of sentence; 2.) the defendant subsequently filed a PCRA petition raising ineffective assistance of re-sentencing counsel claim; 3.) the lower court denied collateral relief; 4.) on appeal, the Superior Court remanded the matter for a new sentencing proceeding; 5.) the lower court then imposed a new judgment of sentence in 2020; and 6.) the instant appeal of the new sentence. The Commonwealth argued that the lower court did not have jurisdiction to resentence the defendant in 2015 or 2020. The Court noted that the “Commonwealth’s jurisdictional argument pertaining to the untimeliness of a PCRA petition that is not the basis of the instant appeal but, rather, appears in the procedural history of the case” was an issue of first impression. The Court held that because the defendant’s 2014 PCRA petition was untimely, the PCRA court did not have jurisdiction to grant collateral relief in the form of a new sentencing proceeding that resulted in the defendant’s 2015 judgment of sentence.

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