No. 1375 April Term, 1978 Appeal from the Order of Court of Common Pleas of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania at No. 1 September Term, 1967 M.D. -- Child Custody - Civil Division.
Frank J. Piatek, New Castle, for appellant.
George P. Micacchione, Ellwood City, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Cercone, President Judge, and Wieand and Louik,*fn* JJ.
[ 278 Pa. Super. Page 218]
This is an appeal by the natural mother of a fourteen year old boy from an Order granting custody to the father. For the best interest of the child, the name will be withheld and he will be referred to herein as "the child" or "the minor". The proceedings were instituted by the father on a petition to amend a prior order which had granted custody to the mother. It was alleged that the mother had abused the child and that the child did not want to reside with his mother and was fearful of her.
Primary custody had been in the mother by virtue of prior orders of court with the father having visitation rights. The court granted temporary custody to the father and after hearing, final orders were entered giving custody to the father.
The action was brought after the father discovered a large hematoma on the child's scalp when the father had taken the child pursuant to his visitation rights. The child told the father that he had been hit on the head with a shoe by his mother. Upon examination by a doctor, it was found that there was a scar on the boy's right shoulder which the child said had been inflicted upon him when his mother had struck him with a belt in the past.
Appellant raises three issues in this appeal:
(1) That there was abuse of discretion in permitting the minor child to testify;
(2) That the transfer of custody was not based on competent testimony, and;
(3) That the court used an impermissible standard.
This minor was fourteen years of age, and although he was slightly below normal in intelligence and was withdrawn, the court found that he knew the ...