Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Juvenile Division, No. 253 of 1985. Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Juvenile Division, No. 254 of 1985.
James A. Esler, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Joseph Mack, Pittsburgh, for appellee (at 1090).
Georgene Siroky, Pittsburgh, for appellee (at 1091).
Tamilia, Kelly and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 108]
These consolidated appeals, instituted by Allegheny County Children and Youth Services, arise out of a requisition filed in the state of North Carolina pursuant to the Interstate Compact on Juveniles, 62 P.S. § 731, requesting C.P.'s return to her father's home in North Carolina.
C.P. was born on July 26, 1971, and in December of 1984 gave birth to a son, J.P. J.P.'s birth was the result of C.P. becoming impregnated by Gregory Kline when she was twelve years old. Gregory Kline was charged with statutory rape in connection with the aforementioned incident and is currently awaiting trial. C.P. and her infant son, J.P., resided in North Carolina with C.P.'s father, her legal
[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 109]
guardian, before running away from home in February of 1985. C.P. alleged various undocumented instances of abuse by her father. C.P. fled with J.P. to Allegheny County where they stayed with Mrs. Katherine Kline, Gregory's mother and J.P.'s paternal grandmother.
After receiving the requisition for C.P.'s return, Pennsylvania authorities took both children into custody. Following a shelter hearing on February 19, 1985, they were returned to Mrs. Kline's home pending receipt from North Carolina of materials necessary for resolution of the case under the Interstate Compact. Upon request of the lower court, the juvenile authorities in North Carolina, by letter dated April 11, 1985, gave assurances that they would intervene immediately upon C.P.'s return to North Carolina to provide supervision and protection from the alleged abuse of C.P. by her father.
The lower court held a hearing to determine C.P.'s best interests after concluding that Pennsylvania courts have the right to inquire into the propriety of a requisition filed under the Compact and order a child's return only if such return would serve the best interests of the child. Upon conclusion of said hearing, it was determined that the best interests of both children would be served by remaining in Pennsylvania and residing with Mrs. Kline. The lower court held that in view of C.P.'s allegations of abuse and of the apparent lack of interest of her parents and of the North Carolina authorities in her welfare, it doubted a return to the family environment in North Carolina would serve her best interests. Appellant, Children and Youth Services, petitioned for reconsideration and upon reconsideration the prior Order was upheld. This appeal followed.
Appellant now contends that C.P. should have been returned to North Carolina pursuant to the requisition filed under the Interstate Compact. Appellant submits that the plain language of the Interstate Compact indicates that it is for the court of North Carolina to determine what is in the child's best interest and the power of the Pennsylvania court is limited to ...