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GARNER APPEAL (09/23/74)

decided: September 23, 1974.

GARNER APPEAL


Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 1974-144, in the matter of Donna Garner, a juvenile.

COUNSEL

Calvin S. Drayer, Jr., and Rhonda Lee Jordan, Assistant Public Defenders, for appellant.

Stewart J. Greenleaf, Assistant District Attorney, William T. Nicholas, First Assistant District Attorney, and Milton O. Moss, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Price, J.

Author: Price

[ 230 Pa. Super. Page 478]

A petition was filed in the Montgomery County Juvenile Court on February 21, 1974, by William Schlachter, Director of the Child Welfare Services of Montgomery County, in the interest of Donna Garner. Donna is fourteen years old, and resides with her mother. The petition alleged that Donna repeatedly exhibited extremely incorrigible behavior, including constant truancy from school, which recurred despite Donna's repeated promises that she would go back to school and attend classes.

The petition also alleged the following circumstances:

On October 22, 1973, with the consent of Donna's parents, the lower court awarded temporary custody of Donna to the Child Welfare Service which placed Donna in the Good Shepherd Diagnostic Center in Philadelphia. On October 23, 1973, with her parents' consent, Donna entered the Good Shepherd Diagnostic Center. On October 28, 1973, Donna left the grounds with her mother and was later reported to have run away. On October 29, 1973, Donna went to her mother's home, where she was found on October 30, 1973.

Donna requested that she not be returned to the Philadelphia Center, and promised to attend school

[ 230 Pa. Super. Page 479]

    regularly if she were permitted to stay at home. She was re-registered in school, but was truant after a few days. As a result of this truancy, an application was made for Donna at the Topton Lutheran Home, where she was admitted on January 29, 1974. On that same day, Donna told her caseworker that she had spent the previous Saturday night driving a friend's car, and that she had stayed out all night.

On February 4, 1974, Donna ran away from the Topton Lutheran Home. No one knew her whereabouts until February 13, 1974, when she returned to her mother's home. Although she had agreed to return to Topton in a telephone conversation with her caseworker, when the caseworker arrived, Donna refused to move or to speak, despite the efforts of her mother and the caseworker.

The petition concluded that, while Donna had been provided with several opportunities to avoid legal action, she had failed to use any to her advantage, because she continually refused to listen to anyone -- whether her mother or father, her caseworker or personnel of a school or placement facility. On the basis of Donna's "incorrigible behavior", the ...


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