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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. MCKEE v. REITZ. (09/16/60)

September 16, 1960

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. MCKEE, APPELLANT,
v.
REITZ.



Appeal, No. 27, April T., 1960, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County, Oct. T., 1955, No. 119, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Ruby McKee, mother and next friend of Scott Lee Reitz, v. Clair Reitz et ux. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

William J. McKnight, for appellant, submitted a brief.

William A. Sykes, with him John E. Aikman, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Montgomery, JJ. (watkins, J., absent).

Author: Wright

[ 193 Pa. Super. Page 126]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

We are here concerned with a controversy involving the custody of Scott Lee Reitz, presently aged fourteen years. The caption discloses that the contesting parties are the child's mother and his paternal grandparents. However, the child's father, divorced and remarried, lives in close proximity to the home of his parents and supports their claim. The original order below, dated October 20, 1955, awarded custody to the paternal grandparents. Subsequently, on February 9, 1959, a rule was issued to show cause why the order should not be changed. Following the taking of additional testimony, President Judge MORRIS, on August 24, 1959,

[ 193 Pa. Super. Page 127]

    continued his original order in full force and effect. This appeal followed. The factual situation appears in the following excerpt from the opinion below:

"The Relatrix was first married to Donald Reitz on July 5, 1944. To them were born three (3) children, namely, Donald James, now aged fifteen, Scott Lee, aged thirteen and a half, born July 3, 1946, and Dennis Wayne, aged eleven. This marriage ended in a divorce. The plaintiff in that action was the husband and the grounds for divorce were based upon indignities to the person. ... The second marriage of the Relatrix was to Clyde McKee, which also ended in a divorce in 1956 (December 18, 1956). Her last and presently subsisting marriage (May 20, 1957) is with Floyd Bishop. The Relatrix, her husband and the two children live in Buffalo, New York.

"Donald Reitz, the father of Scott Lee Reitz, the subject of this petition, remarried some two years after obtaining his divorce from the Relatrix in 1950. It has been a happy marriage. He has been steadily employed by the Hanley Brick Company at Summerville, Pennsylvania, and since 1954 has been sending to the Relatrix, $40.00 per month for the support of the other two boys. Donald Reitz and his wife and family live within a stone's throw of the grandparents' home and visit back and forth daily.

"Scott Lee, from the time of his birth up to 1949, when he was about two and one-half years old, lived with his mother on Zeitler Avenue in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Because of his mother's conduct and generally bad home conditions, the father removed the child from that home and took him to the home of the Respondent grandparents where he was living at the time. Since 1949, Scott Lee has continuously ...


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