Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, of Allegheny County, No. D-838 of 1969, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. Nancy Sissel v. Michael John Sciulli et ux.
Abe R. Cohen, with him Crone and Cohen, for appellants.
Mark L. Unatin, with him Goldman & Unatin, for appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Spaulding, J.
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This is a custody case, which arises in a complex factual setting.
In July 1967, Michael and Nancy Sciulli had been married three years and lived together in Pittsburgh with their children, John Edward, eight months old, and Michael John, twenty-six months old. Stuart and Marta Sissel were very close friends of the Sciulli's, and the two couples spent a great deal of time in each other's company. Michael became suspicious of the relationship between Stuart and Nancy and accused them of an undue interest in each other, which both denied. Marta never entertained any suspicions.
On July 14, 1967, Nancy left the Sciulli home while Michael was sleeping and took the two children. Michael was unable to locate them until Nancy's mother called three days later and informed him that the children were with her and asked him to come and take them home. Michael immediately came for the children and they have been living with him since that time. Within forty-eight hours after the children returned home, Nancy Sciulli and Stuart Sissel drove to California together, leaving Stuart's wife Marta, with their two children, then approximately five and six and one-half years old. Nancy and Stuart lived in California and in New Jersey until their respective spouses secured
[ 216 Pa. Super. Page 431]
decrees in divorce. They then married and returned to Pittsburgh.
In February 1968, Michael Sciulli and Marta Sissel married, being brought together by their common problems, arising from the infidelity of their respective spouses. There was no suggestion of romance prior to the separation. Following their marriage, Marta, her two children, and Michael's two children, joined him in Philadelphia, where he had moved for a better job opportunity. They lived there until February 1969, when they returned to Pittsburgh where they now reside.
In May 1969, Nancy Sissel filed a petition for habeas corpus, seeking custody of her sons, John and Michael. Hearings were held in the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Family Division, and on February 6, 1970, the court awarded custody of the two children to Nancy Sissel. Appellants, Michael and Marta ...