Donald B. Smith, Perkasie, and Guy S. Claire, Souderton, for appellants.
Frederick B. Smillie of Smillie, Bean & Scirica, Norristown, for appellees.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.
[ 172 Pa. Super. Page 208]
This is a habeas corpus proceeding to obtain the custody of Russell George Sipler, a minor child.
Russel K. Shelly and Kathryn Shelly, the relators, adopted Jane Shelly, who later married Lester C. Sipler, one of the respondents. Lester C. Sipler and Jane Sipler, being thus married, adopted Russell George Cox in March 1949, and the name of the child was changed to Russell George Sipler. Lester C. Sipler and Jane Sipler separated shortly thereafter, and they entered into an agreement that the custody of the child, Russell George Sipler, be in the adopting mother, Jane Sipler, and he surrendered any and all rights to the child except the right of visitation. On the date of this agreement a divorce proceeding had been brought by Lester C. Sipler against his wife,
[ 172 Pa. Super. Page 209]
Jane Sipler, and the marriage was dissolved by decree in the Common Pleas Court of Northampton County on September 26, 1949.
Jane Sipler then returned to the home of the relators, Russel K. Shelly and Kathryn Shelly, with the minor child, and Jane Sipler thereafter married Elmer Brennerman. Without waiting for the decree to become final, Lester C. Sipler married Mary Cox, who was the natural mother of Russell George Cox (Sipler), the minor whose custody is involved in this case. This marriage took place before the divorce decree, but the parties were remarried on September 4, 1951, when, according to Lester C. Sipler, he had learned that the previous marriage to Mary Cox was void.
Jane Sipler neglected the child and did nothing for him from March, 1951, to July, 1951, during which period the child was with the relators.
After Lester C. Sipler married the natural mother of the child they arranged, in July, 1951, to take Russell for week-end custody. When it appeared to them that the Shellys were trying to make Russell dissatisfied with his living conditions, the Siplers kept him, and on August 10, 1951, the present habeas corpus proceeding was instituted by the relators.
At the hearing Jane Shelly Brennerman was present but did not testify. Elmer Brennerman was also in court, but Jane had not been living with him, and had been ...