No. 845 April Term, 1976, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Pennsylvania, Juvenile Division at No. 341 of 1976.
Robin Russel Vandercoy, Erie, with him J. P. Ogilvy, Erie, for appellant.
Dana Sherwood Jones, Erie, for appellee.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Price, J., concurs in the result. Watkins, former President Judge, and Van der Voort, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
[ 254 Pa. Super. Page 540]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Juvenile Division, adjudicating appellant a delinquent child. Appellant contends, inter alia, that the adjudication of delinquency was illegal under the Juvenile Act.*fn1 We agree and reverse.*fn2
On December 18, 1975, appellant was found to be a deprived child by Judge Anthony of the court below. Not long thereafter, on February 3, 1976, a petition was filed alleging appellant to be a delinquent child. The allegations of delinquency charged appellant with committing the crime of simple assault upon a fellow resident while in placement at the Children's Services Shelter Care. A hearing relative to the allegations of delinquency was conducted before a court-appointed master on March 26, 1976. On March 30, 1976, a dispositional hearing was held for appellant as a deprived child at which time Judge Anthony entered an order placing her at Sarah Reed Children's Center. At the conclusion of a dispositional hearing (relative to the delinquency petition) conducted on May 6, 1976, Judge Anthony
[ 254 Pa. Super. Page 541]
found appellant to be delinquent and again placed her at Sarah Reed Children's Center. This appeal followed.
Section 50-102(3) of the Juvenile Act, supra, defines a "delinquent child" as one "whom the court has found to have committed a delinquent act and is in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation." A "delinquent act" is, among other things,
"(i) an act designated a crime under the law of this State . . . ." 11 P.S. § 50-102(2)(i).
Section 50-320(b) of the Act provides in pertinent part:
"If the court finds on proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the child committed the acts by reason of which he is alleged to be delinquent it shall enter such finding on the record and it shall then proceed immediately or at a postponed hearing to hear evidence as to whether the child is in need of ...