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[U] In re C.W.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

September 9, 2013

IN THE INTEREST: C.W., A MINOR
v.
APPEAL OF: C.D.W., FATHER IN THE INTEREST: C.W., A MINOR APPEAL OF: J.W., MOTHER

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order entered January 23, 2013, in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Criminal Division, at No(s): CP-22-DP-0000115-2012.

BEFORE: BENDER, SHOGAN, and MUSMANNO, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

BENDER, J.

C.D.W. ("Father") and J.W. ("Mother") (collectively "Parents") separately appeal two orders, both entered January 23, 2013.[1] One of the two orders adjudicated C.W. ("Child") dependent and changed Child's permanency goal to adoption. The other order determined that "aggravated circumstances" existed, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302.[2] After review, we affirm in part, and vacate in part.

Child was born in December of 2012. Shortly before Child's birth, in September of 2012, the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County Orphans' Court Division, terminated the parental rights of Parents to another child, I.M.W. In the days following Child's birth, the Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth ("Agency") filed a dependency petition with respect to Child. On January 10, 17, and 22, 2013, the trial court held hearings on the petition. On January 23, 2013, the trial court entered the two orders at issue in this case. Specifically, the first order held that aggravated circumstances existed, based on the recent termination of Parents' parental rights to Child's sibling, I.M.W., which, at that time, was on appeal to this Court. The second order adjudicated Child dependent, and changed the permanency goal to adoption.

On February 22, 2013, Mother and Father each filed a notice of appeal, purporting to appeal holdings in both of the trial court's orders entered on January 23, 2013. Both Mother and Father simultaneously filed their concise statement of errors complained of on appeal, pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a)(2)(i) and (b). Subsequently, on April 12, 2013, this Court reversed the termination of parental rights decrees with respect to I.M.W. In this appeal, Mother raises three issues for our review:

1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in adjudicating the minor child dependent?
2. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it ordered the goal change to adoption?
3. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in determining that aggravated circumstances existed?

Mother's Brief at 6 (capitalization modified).

Father raises three identical issues, though he presents them in a different order:

Whether the [t]rial [c]ourt committed reversible error in determining aggravated circumstances under the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa.C.S. §6301 et seq., where an appeal is extant respecting the parental rights termination order on which this determination relies[?]
Whether the [t]rial [c]ourt committed reversible error in granting a goal change to adoption under the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa.C.S. §6301 et seq., and thereby denying any good faith effort by the Appellee Agency in providing reasonable efforts to prevent the Minor's removal and retain Appellant Father's family unity[?]
Whether the [t]rial [c]ourt committed reversible error in adjudicating dependent, 42 Pa.C.S. §6302; In re R. W.J., 826 A.2d 10 (Pa. Super. 2003), the Minor, C.W., under the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa.C.S. §6301 et seq., upon evidence sufficient to ...

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