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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. SHROAD v. SMITH. (01/17/56)

January 17, 1956

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. SHROAD, APPELLANT,
v.
SMITH.



Appeal, No. 271, Oct. T., 1955, from order of Municipal Court of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1954, No. 8467, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. John Charles Shroad v. Maria T. Smith, also known as Mrs. Edward Smith, and Edward Smith. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Louis Lipshitz, for appellant.

Harry D. Sporkin, with him Jacob B. Abrams, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Woodside

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 446]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is a habeas corpus case in which the Municipal Court of Philadelphia refused Vincent J. Shroad, Jr. full custody of his son, John, now eleven years old. The boy has been residing with his maternal grandparents since his parents separated about ten years ago.

John's parents were married in 1942. He was born August 2, 1944. About a year after his birth his parents separated and were divorced. The mother of the boy took him to the home of her mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Smith, the respondents in this case. John's mother worked as a supervising nurse at the Nazareth Hospital and resided there. She visited her parents and John over the weekends. On September 24, 1954 the mother died, and the father immediately

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 447]

    brought this action to gain full custody of his son.

After a hearing on May 23, 1955 Judge GILBERT entered an order dismissing the father's petition. From this order the father appealed.

John is a bright, mannerly, well adjusted boy. The grandparents have given him a good home. He attends St. Bartholomew's Roman Catholic School where he won highest scholastic honors in his class for three consecutive years. He is an altar boy, a cub scout and has a "club" which meets in his grandparents' home. Each summer he spends his vacation with the Smiths at Ocean City, Md. The Smiths have applied for his admission to St. Joseph's Preparatory School to prepare the boy for a college education, with a view to his becoming a doctor if he so desires. They have bought bonds for his college education and placed his mother's insurance money in his name to be given him or spent upon his education later.

Mr. Smith is a die setter who worked for one firm for 20 years until it went out of business. He has been working for his present employer 22 years and earns $110 per week. He appeared to the trial court to be "a steady, reliable man." ...


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