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GARY GORHAM. APPEAL VIVIAN GORHAM (11/30/79)

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


filed: November 30, 1979.

IN RE GARY GORHAM. APPEAL OF VIVIAN GORHAM

No. 878 October Term 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Family Division, Juvenile Branch, D # 656 May Term, 1976, J # 201011.

COUNSEL

Deborah Harris, Philadelphia, for appellant.

David Mullins, Philadelphia, for Child Advocate, appellee.

Mary Rose Cunningham, Assistant City Solicitor, Philadelphia, for City of Philadelphia, appellee.

Van der Voort, Wieand and Lipez, JJ.

Author: Lipez

[ 272 Pa. Super. Page 146]

We find that this appeal from a dispositional order in a deprived child proceeding under the Juvenile Act*fn1 was untimely, and must be quashed. The record shows that the court below temporarily transferred custody of appellant's son to appellant's older daughter on October 13, 1977. On January 5, 1978 a hearing was held at which appellant, represented by her attorney, was given the opportunity to present evidence and cross-examine the Commonwealth's

[ 272 Pa. Super. Page 147]

    witnesses. At the end of the hearing, the trial judge informed appellant's attorney that he was making the temporary custody order final. A final order transferring custody was entered by the court below on its docket that day.

On February 8, 1978 appellant both filed in the court below and caused to be docketed in this court a notice of appeal from the order of January 5, 1978.*fn2 The notice of appeal was untimely if it was not filed in the lower court within 30 days of the entry of the order appealed from. Pa.R.A.P. 903(a). We must determine the date of entry under Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 108(a),*fn3 which states:

[ 272 Pa. Super. Page 148]

"General rule. Except as otherwise provided in this rule, in computing any period of time under these rules involving the date of entry of an order by a court or other government unit, the day of entry shall be the day the clerk of the court or the office of the government unit mails or delivers copies of the order to the parties, or if such delivery is not otherwise required by law, the day the clerk or office of the government unit makes such copies public. The day of entry of an order may be the day of its adoption by the court or other government unit, or any subsequent day, as required by the actual circumstances."

As in Commonwealth v. Dorman, 272 Pa. Super. 149, 414 A.2d 713, (1979), we have no way of determining from the record before us any of the three possibilities -- date of mailing copies of the order, date of delivery of copies, and date of making copies public -- provided for in the first sentence of Rule 108(a). We therefore determine date of entry "as otherwise provided in this rule," i. e., by the second sentence of Rule 108(a) ("The day of entry of an order may be the day of its adoption by the court or other government unit, or any subsequent day, as required by the actual circumstances."). We hold that the date of entry of the order in this case was January 5, 1978. On that day, the lower court both informed appellant's attorney that the temporary custody order was made final, and also entered that final order on its docket, making it appealable from that date. Pa.R.A.P. 301(a). See Commonwealth v. Dorman, supra.

Since the date of entry of the order was January 5, 1978, appellant's notice of appeal filed 34 days later on February 8, 1978 was untimely. Pa.R.A.P. 903(a). Timely filing of the notice of appeal is essential to the validity of the appeal. Pa.R.A.P. 902. An appellate court may not extend the time for filing a notice of appeal. Pa.R.A.P. 105(b).

Appeal quashed.


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