John H. English, Asst. Public Defender, Hollidaysburg, for appellant.
Frederick B. Gieg, Jr., Hollidaysburg, for appellee.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ.
[ 243 Pa. Super. Page 339]
On November 19, 1975, the appellant, John Joseph Gardini, appeared before the Juvenile Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County and pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary. The lower court adjudicated the appellant, then sixteen years of age, a delinquent child and ordered, inter alia, that he pay a fine in the amount of $200 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The appellant contends that the court below acted without authority in imposing a fine upon him. We agree with this contention and therefore vacate the order of disposition.
[ 243 Pa. Super. Page 340]
Section 50-322 of the Juvenile Act*fn1 delimits the scope of discretion of a lower court in formulating an order of disposition after finding a child to be delinquent. Specifically, Section 50-322 provides that:
"If the child is found to be a delinquent child the court may make any of the following orders of disposition best suited to his treatment, supervision, rehabilitation, and welfare:
(1) Any order authorized . . . for the disposition of a deprived child.*fn2 (2) Placing the child on probation . . . under conditions and limitations the court prescribes.
(3) Committing the child to an institution, youth development center, camp, or other facility for delinquent children operated under the direction or supervision of the court or other public authority and approved by the Department of Public Welfare.
(4) Committing the child to an institution operated by the Department of Public Welfare or special facility for children operated by the Department of Justice.
The Commonwealth argues that Section 50-322 does not limit the lower court to the four listed orders of disposition because of the use of the word "may" in the wording of the statute. This argument is untenable. The Section clearly confines the discretion of the lower court to choosing the most appropriate of ...