No. 401 October Term, 1979, Nos. 352 October Term, 1979 and 1226 October Term, 1979, Appeal from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, for the County of Lehigh at No. 26 April Term, 1962 and No. 3A, 1979
John B. Dunn, Allentown, for Norris, appellant in No. 401 and appellee in Nos. 352 and 1226.
William G. Sherr, Allentown, for Beck, appellee in No. 401 and appellant in Nos. 352 and 1226.
Spaeth, Brosky and Van der Voort, JJ. Spaeth, and Van der Voort, JJ., concur in the result.
[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 422]
On January 2, 1980, the appeal by Dolores Norris in a neglect to support a bastard action (26 April Term, 1962) and the appeal of Dale J. Beck in a civil action were consolidated for the purpose of argument and joint consideration by this court.
In September of 1962, pursuant to a guilty plea to the charges of fornication and bastardy (18 P.S. 4506) and
[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 423]
neglect to support a bastard child (18 P.S. 4732), Dale J. Beck was ordered to pay support to his two minor twin children, David and Debra, born August 2, 1962, until they reached the age of sixteen (16) years.
During the course of this order, from 1962 until August of 1978, the order was occasionally modified depending on the prevailing circumstances, such that at the time of the children's sixteenth (16) birthday, the court ordered support was thirty ($30) dollars per week for the support of both children.
When the children reached the age of sixteen (16), their father, Dale J. Beck, on September 12, 1978, petitioned for a suspension of the support order.
In December of 1978, Dolores Norris filed a civil support action (1226 October Term, 1979) as provided in 42 Pa.C.S.A. 6701, et seq. Ms. Norris did this to protect her right to support for her children in the event the court would rule in favor of Dale J. Beck's petition to suspend the order (Lehigh County) at 26 April Term, 1962, now on appeal before this court (401 October Term, 1979).
On December 29, 1978, the lower court took testimony on Mr. Beck's petition to suspend the order in the case of neglect to support a bastard. On January 30, 1979, the court entered an order terminating the order of support as of August 2, 1978 because the children had reached the age of sixteen (16).
Also on January 30, 1979, based on both the petition of Dolores Norris in the civil action and the testimony of December 29, 1978 in the criminal action, the lower court ruled the children were still entitled to support (despite the suspension of the order for neglect to support a bastard (18 Pa.C.S.A.).*fn1
[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 424]
On February 15, 1979, Mr. Beck appealed the lower court's ruling in the civil action. This appeal was mooted by the lower court's reconsideration order of February 16, 1979. On February 22, 1979, Ms. Norris filed a notice of appeal of the lower court's January 30, 1979 ruling in the neglect to support a bastard action (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4323).
Thereafter, on March 23, 1979, the lower court took further testimony and reconsidered its January 30, 1979 order in the civil action and, on March 29, 1978, ordered that Mr. Beck pay thirty ($30) dollars a week plus five ($5) dollars a week in arrearages for the support of the children. The order was ...