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JAMES MITCHELL v. SHEILA RANDALL AND ROYCE HOWARD (12/08/87)

filed: December 8, 1987.

JAMES MITCHELL
v.
SHEILA RANDALL AND ROYCE HOWARD, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order entered July 8, 1986, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Family Division at No. D.R. 83-14417.

COUNSEL

Shelly J. Leibel, Philadelphia, for appellants.

Neil Mittelman, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Popovich, Johnson and Hester, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 368 Pa. Super. Page 422]

Sheila Randall appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County finding James Mitchell

[ 368 Pa. Super. Page 423]

    to be the father of her son, Aaron Randall, born July 9, 1981. We affirm.

On November 9, 1983 appellee James Mitchell filed a petition for visitation alleging that he was the father of Aaron Randall. Sheila Randall filed an answer denying that Mitchell was the father and named Royce Howard as the biological father of the child. On March 8, 1984, the Court ordered Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Blood tests of all parties involved.*fn1 At a hearing conducted on February 20, 1985, before the Honorable Jerome A. Zaleski, the blood test results of Mitchell and Howard were not admitted into evidence; thereafter, Judge Zaleski, by an order dated February 21, 1985, denied appellee's petition for visitation. A petition for reconsideration was filed and denied by Judge Zaleski on March 14, 1985. No appeal was filed by appellee.

On March 29, 1985, appellee filed the instant petition to confirm paternity. Appellants filed an answer raising the defense of res judicata as a result of the denial of appellee's petition for visitation. On April 1, 1985, a Petition to Confirm Acknowledgment of Paternity/Waiver of Trial was filed by Randall requesting that Howard be acknowledged as the father of the child since Howard had formally executed an Acknowledgment of Paternity.

On October 18, 1985, the trial court ordered that Mitchell would not be precluded from introducing evidence of paternity at trial. Randall's appeal from this order was quashed by our court on February 3, 1986.*fn2 After hearings were conducted on May 19 and 29, 1986, the trial court by order dated July 8, 1986, granted Mitchell's petition, finding him to be the father of the child at issue. From this order, a timely appeal was filed.

Two questions are presented on appeal:

I. Do the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel bar reconsideration of a ...


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