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PATCHES KERR 4-11-80 (09/21/84)

filed: September 21, 1984.

IN RE PATCHES KERR 4-11-80, STANLEY ALLEN KERR, JR. APPEAL OF KATHLEEN A. SHAFFER


No. 323 Pittsburgh, 1982, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Westmoreland County, Juvenile Division, at No. 7 WCCB 1982.

COUNSEL

Wesley T. Long, Greensburg, for appellant.

James L. Liberto, Greensburg, for appellee.

Brosky, Olszewski and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Brosky

[ 333 Pa. Super. Page 69]

This appeal is from an adjudication of dependency of two children. Appellant, the natural mother of the two minors, contends that the juvenile court was without jurisdiction over this case when it failed to hold the adjudicatory hearing within the statutorily prescribed period.*fn1 We hold that the consequence of a tardy hearing is the automatic activation of the right of the child and its parents to the immediate release of the child from the state's custody; it is not, as appellant argues, the loss of the court's jurisdiction over the case. Order affirmed.

The relevant procedural history is as follows.

On January 12, 1982 two children, Patches and her brother Stanley Kerr, Jr. were taken into emergency custody by a physician in a hospital emergency room.*fn2 A 24-hour order was entered that same day and a 72-hour hearing begun the next day and continued until January 19.*fn3 The adjudicatory hearing was initially scheduled for January 21 but was continued until January 29 because other cases were in progress on the 21st. After the hearing the juvenile court found that both children were dependent. This appeal followed.

Appellant contends that since the adjudicatory hearing was not held within the statutorily prescribed period the

[ 333 Pa. Super. Page 70]

    court was without jurisdiction to act in the case. The statute relied upon reads in relevant part:

After the petition has been filed the court shall fix a time for the hearing thereon, which, if the child is in detention or shelter care shall not be later than ten days after the filing of the petition. If the hearing is not held within such time, the ...


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