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Juvenile Law Cases in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

PA Appellate Cases involving Juvenile Delinquency & Juvenile Dependency

  • In Re DG, Jr. – No contact provision vacated when requested by CYF attorney after father and his attorney left the courtroom. 
  • In Re Adoption of JEF, CJU, NGF – PA Supreme Court ruled that the CYF Agency does not have to give its consent or approval before a family member can seek to adopt children whose parents’ parental rights have been terminated. 
  • In Re Adoption of RJS – Termination of parental rights (TPR) case. 
  • In Re Adoption of SEG – CYF can file a petition for termination of parental rights prior to the court ordering a change of goal to termination of rights. 
  • In Re CP – Termination of parental rights (TPR) case. In Re Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights to EM, RM – Termination of parental rights (TPR) case. 
  • In The Interest of GT – Termination of parental rights (TPR) case. 
  • In The Interest of JE – Finding of delinquency overturned when probation officer did not have probable cause to search bedroom where juvenile was sitting and Motion to Suppress Evidence should have been granted. 
  • In The Interest of KC – Juvenile dependency case. 
  • In The Interest of LC, II – PA Superior Court ruled that grandmother of minor child did not have standing to participate in grandchild’s juvenile dependency hearing. 
  • In The Interest of MJS – Biological father’s termination of parental rights and adoption of child by grandparents upheld after father sought to vacate adoption decree when father failed to participate in judicial proceedings seeking to advance his rights when he knew he was not named on child’s birth certificate. 
  • In The Interest of SJ – Office of Children, Youth, & Families (OCYF) compelled to pay expenses related to dependent child’s college education when child requested to remain under dependency status beyond her 18th birthday. 
  • In The Matter of AK and LK – Goal change from reunification to termination reversed by Superior Court when mother showed she had made progress in correcting conditions that necessitated original placement. 
  • In The Matter of EB – Finding of dependency upheld when child indicated mother’s friend made sexual advances towards her and mother chose not to believe child and did nothing to protect her. 
  • In The Matter of IAC – Termination of parental rights (TPR) case. 
  • In the matter of N.C. – The PA Superior Court decided that although a parent made substantial progress towards achieving the goal of her permanency plan, the trial court properly decided to change the permanency goal to adoption because the trial court must focus on the child and determine the goal in accordance with the child’s best interest and not those of his or her parents. 
  • In Re: Adoption of A.P. & A.P. – Termination of mother’s parental rights upheld after children in placement for more than 12 months and grounds for their removal continue. 
  • In the Interest of D.K. – Non-relative who had raised children prior to their dependency adjudication was deemed to stand in loco parentis, or acting like a parent, and was therefore entitled to standing as a party in all dependency proceedings, permitted to testify and present evidence, and should have been appointed counsel to represent him in the juvenile court proceedings. 
  • Bradford County CYS v. Moon – The PA Superior Court affirmed an order directing mother to pay one-half of the costs for the placement for her son by Children and Youth Services in a foster setting. 
  • Morgan v. Weiser – Mother and father’s parental rights were terminated and the maternal grandparents became the children’s adoptive parents. After the grandparents’ adoption, the grandparents permitted father some minimal contact with the children. The court held that father no longer had standing to seek custody of the children since his rights were terminated and he did not stand in loco parentis any longer to the children. 
  • Mother’s appeal of the order terminating her parental rights to her daughter was waived for failing to comply with court rules which required her to file a concise statement of matters complained of on appeal, pursuant to PA Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(b). 
  • In re S.D.T., Jr., a minor – The PA Superior Court reiterates that Pennsylvania courts are required to engage in a two-step evaluation process before terminating parental rights. First, the conduct of the parent must be examined. The petitioner seeking termination must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the parent’s conduct satisfies at least one of the nine statutory grounds for termination, as set forth in 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 2511(a). If it is determined that this burden of proof has been met, then the trial court must next consider the second step of the process, which entails a determination of whether termination best serves the needs and welfare of the child. The needs and welfare of the child are the paramount consideration in deciding whether to terminate parental rights. The effect of severing the bond between the parent and the child is a major aspect of the needs and welfare analysis. 
  • In the Interest of M.S.K. – Father appeals order denying his petition for leave to appeal nunc pro tunc the order terminating his parental rights to his minor child. 
  • In re: Adoption of K.J. – Mother appeals final decrees which terminated her parental rights to her minor children. 
  • In the Interest of B.L.J., Jr. – Appellants, S.A.L. and C.E.L. appeal the order which sustained the preliminary objections of Appellee, T.G.H. (“Mother”), to Appellants’ petition to terminate her parental rights as to B.L.J., Jr. and dismissed the termination petition. 
  • In the Interest of KZS, Appeal of CVS, mother – Termination of parental rights case when the child tested positive for cocaine at birth, remained in placement for substantial period of time, and the mother had not proven she remedied her housing or drug addiction problems. 
  • In Re: Z.S.W., a/k/a Z.J., – Termination of parental rights case affirmed when biological father who did not come forward to claim his paternity until after child was already dependent and who did not seek to establish relationship with child even after paternity test confirmed his parentage. 
  • R.C. v. J.S. – The Pennsylvania Superior Court determined that it is improper to suspend child support orders during periods of transitory in-patient treatment outside the home given that the custodial parent still must maintain an appropriate residence in anticipation of the child’s eventual return. While this case applied to a temporary hospitalization, the case also cited examples such as when the minor child is in temporary placement due to a juvenile court order removing the child from the home. 
  • P.T. & K.T. v. M.H. – Superior Court ruled that if a juvenile dependency case is pending, any child custody litigation must be consolidated with and heard as part of the dependency proceeding since both proceedings involve an analysis of a child’s best interests. 
  • In Re: C.T. and G.T.F., Both Minors, Appeal of C.T., Biological Father, P.T. & K.T. v. M.H. – The Superior Court affirmed termination of father’s parental rights when evidence failed to prove that the children had any bond with their father.

NOTE: The cases listed are for informational purposes only and may have been amended or overturned by subsequently decided court cases.

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