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State court denies Tamaqua man's appeal of parking ticket

Published June 30. 2010 05:00PM

A Tamaqua man lost his appeal in to the Pennsylvania Superior Court from a decision by Schuylkill County Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin who had found him guilty of a parking violation and imposed a $25 fine and court costs.

Robert J. Knepper, of 253 Brown Street, appealed from a judgment of sentence entered on Feb. 12, 2009. On May 25, 2008, Knepper was visiting his girfriend on East Broad Street, parking his car behind the Majestic House in a space that was reserved for residents of the building. Someone called police complaining a car was illegallly parked.

Officer Tito Loor responded and Knepper came outside and was asked by the officer to move his car. However, two minutes later the officer testified at the court hearing he saw Knepper had moved his vehicle to a space that was marked with a "no parking anytime" sign.

The court record shows the officer again advised Knepper to move his vehicle and reportedly Knepper became argumentative so the officer wrote a ticket for parking in a prohibited zone.The trial court found Knepper guilty but reduced the fine from $50 to $25 plus costs and fees.

At the court hearing Knepper argued that he was not illegally parked and that his girlfriend and her roommate had given him permission to park in the space where he was ultimately given the citation.

In his appeal to the Superior Court Knepper raised four questions:

Was this a borough ordinance violation and not a traffic citation? Was the trial judge biased? Did the trial judge err in his decision overall based on the solid facts presented? And will transcript of the court proceeding show outright not guilty verdict present even by the officer's own testimony?

The three judge panel first commented that Knepper failed to cite to the record or to any legal authority in support of his contentions. Also the court noted it was not in position to develop arguments for a party. They ruled, "When an appellant fails to develop his issue in an argument and fails to cite any legal authority the issue is waived."

As to his questions the Superior Court ruled as follows:

"His first issue is waived because he failed to raise this argument before the trial court. We found his second issue showed no support in the record for his contention that the trial court was biased and his last two issues generally challenge the sufficienty of the evidence. Our review of the record reveals the trial court did not err in making this determination of finding him guilty."

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