No. 78 May Term, 1977, Appeal from Judgment of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at No. 170, March Term, 1977, Harrisburg District, Affirming Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County Pennsylvania at No. 26, Juvenile Division, 1975
Malcolm H. Waldron, Jr., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for appellant.
Marion E. MacIntyre, Second Asst. Dist. Atty., Harrisburg, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Pomeroy, J., concurs in the result. Roberts, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which O'Brien and Manderino, JJ., joined.
On January 20, 1975, appellant, who was thirteen years old, was charged in the Bergen County, New Jersey Juvenile Court with murder and two armed robberies, said offenses occurring on January 6 and 8, 1975 in Bergen County, New Jersey. Since January 17, 1975, appellant has been in the custody of Pennsylvania authorities on charges of burglary and four counts of robbery, aggravated assault and false imprisonment, all of which occurred in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. On March 6, 1975, appellant was adjudicated a delinquent by the Dauphin County Juvenile Court and was committed to the Youth Development Center.
In early 1976, the prosecutor of Bergen County, New Jersey submitted a petition to the Bergen County Juvenile Court, requesting appellant's return to that jurisdiction pursuant to the Interstate Compact on Juveniles (of which Pennsylvania and New Jersey are signatories) which provides that "any juvenile, charged [in another state] with being a delinquent by reason of violating any criminal law shall be returned to the requesting state upon a requisition to the state where the juvenile may be found . . ."*fn1 (Emphasis added) On March 8, 1976, the Bergen County Juvenile Court determined that New Jersey was entitled to immediate custody of appellant and ordered the matter certified to the Dauphin County Juvenile Court. The Dauphin County Juvenile Court ruled that Pennsylvania was required to return appellant to the New Jersey juvenile
authorities. The Superior Court affirmed the Dauphin County Juvenile Court's order in a per curiam opinion and we granted appellant's petition for an allowance of appeal.
Appellant's contention that it is not mandatory for Pennsylvania to return appellant to New Jersey is incorrect. The statute, above quoted, is explicit in providing that a juvenile ". . . shall be returned . . ." Appellant must be returned to New Jersey -- the only question is when. In the ordinary case, the answer is immediately. However, where the requested juvenile has violated a criminal law in Pennsylvania, then Pennsylvania might have an interest which must be served before the return of the juvenile to the requesting state. That interest would include the prosecution, sentence, and treatment of the juvenile. Routine probation, etc. would indicate the Pennsylvania's interest in the juvenile had ceased. A juvenile court would also compare the seriousness of the crimes committed in Pennsylvania and the requesting state and if the Pennsylvania crime is rather minor compared to the other crime, the court could fairly conclude that Pennsylvania had at that time no present interest in the juvenile so as to postpone the immediate return of the juvenile to the requesting state.
The order of the Juvenile Court is vacated and the case is remanded to the Dauphin County Juvenile Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion to determine ...