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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM VANBUSKIRK (08/06/82)

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


filed: August 6, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM VANBUSKIRK, APPELLANT

No. 710 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Juvenile Division at No. 266-1979.

COUNSEL

Paul C. Hensel, Bethlehem, for appellant.

Donald Corriere, District Attorney, Bethlehem, submitted a brief on behalf of the Commonwealth, appellee.

Price, Wieand and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 149]

The instant appeal is from an adjudication of delinquency by the Juvenile Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County. For the reasons that follow, we quash the appeal.*fn1

This court has jurisdiction over "all appeals from final orders of the courts of common pleas." Act of July 9, 1976, P.L. 586, No. 142, § 2, 42 Pa.C.S. § 742 (effective June 27, 1978) (emphasis added). "In determining what constitutes a final order we . . . look to 'a practical rather than technical construction' of an order." Pugar v. Greco, 483 Pa. 68, 73, 394 A.2d 542, 545 (1978) (citation omitted). "A final order is one which . . . ends the litigation, or alternatively disposes of the entire case. Piltzer v. Independence Federal Savings and Loan Association, 456 Pa. 402, 404, 319 A.2d 677, 678 (1974)." Pugar v. Greco, 483 Pa. at 73, 394 A.2d at 544-45. On the other hand, "an order is interlocutory and not final unless it effectively puts the litigant 'out of court.'" Giannini v. Foy, 279 Pa. Superior Ct. at 556, 421 A.2d at 339 (citations omitted).

Instantly, appellant has appealed from the order, finding and adjudication of delinquency entered on March 6, 1980. The adjudicatory order is as follows:

[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 150]

ADJUDICATION

AND NOW, this 6th day of March, 1980, a full hearing in the case at bar having been concluded on March 4, 1980, we enter the following:

FINDING

The evidence introduced by the Commonwealth and the alleged delinquent is sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that William Van Buskirk's conduct amounted to "a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in his situation." Accordingly, we make a finding of delinquency based on homicide by vehicle. See Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Theresa Barone, Superior Court of Pennsylvania, January 25, 1980, as yet unreported.*fn2

ADJUDICATION OF DELINQUENCY

Further, we find that William Van Buskirk is in need of treatment, supervision and rehabilitation and enter an adjudication of delinquency. Disposition is postponed until completion of a social investigation. Pending disposition, he may remain in the custody of his parents.

Adjudication, March 6, 1980 (emphasis added).

The Juvenile Act of July 9, 1976, P.L. 586, No. 142, § 2, as amended, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 630 et seq., effective June 27, 1978, contemplates a two step process: First, an alleged delinquent must be found to be either delinquent or not delinquent; and second, if an adjudication of delinquency is entered, a disposition must follow.*fn3 In the case sub judice,

[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 151]

    this process was not followed, and appellant's appeal was taken from the adjudicatory order, prior to any disposition. "Until the [dispositional] hearing had been held and a final

[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 152]

    disposition made, the litigation was not ended, and [the appropriate form of treatment, supervision and rehabilitation] had not been determined. [The] finding of [delinquency], therefore, was interlocutory. In the Interest of C. A. M., 264 Pa. Superior Ct. 300, 303, 399 A.2d 786, 787 (1979). See, e.g., In the Interest of K. B., 276 Pa. Superior Ct. 380, 384 n.1,

[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 153419]

A.2d 508, 510 n.1 (1980). See also In the Interest of McDonough, 287 Pa. Superior Ct. 326, 333-34, 430 A.2d 308, 312-13 (1981). Since the appeal thereof is not rendered appealable by statute or rule, the appeal is not properly before us.

Accordingly, the appeal from the order of the court of common pleas is quashed as interlocutory.


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