Pennsylvania v. Walker

In this case, the Commonwealth filed a single notice of appeal from an order that disposed of four motions to suppress evidence filed by four criminal defendants (Appellees) at four different docket numbers. The Superior Court quashed the appeal, ruling that the Commonwealth was required to file four separate notices of appeal from the suppression order in connection with each of the Appellees’ docketed criminal cases. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found, as did the the Superior Court, the suppression order at issue here could affect one or more of the Appellees differently from the rest, including, for example, the remaining evidence (if any) against each Appellee that may be used at trial (which, in turn, may implicate whether all or some of the Appellees should be tried in a single joint trial). "The legal issues relating to suppression, e.g., the standing of each defendant to challenge the search and seizure, may also differ from one Appellee to the next. Given the clarification provided by the amendment to the Official Note, the proper practice under Rule 341(a) is to file separate appeals from an order that resolves issues arising on more than one docket. The failure to do so requires the appellate court to quash the appeal." Thus, the Court vacated the Superior Court’s order. The Court also held, however, that prospectively, where a single order resolves issues arising on more than one docket, separate notices of appeal must be filed for each case. View "Pennsylvania v. Walker" on Justia Law