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In re X.J.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

November 20, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF: X.J., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: D.A., MOTHER

Submitted August 11, 2014

Appeal from the Decree April 21, 2014 of the Court of Common Pleas, Lancaster County, Orphans' Court Division, No(s): 36-2013-1861. Before GORBEY, J.

Caprice H. Bunting, Leola, for appellant.

David J. Natan, Lancaster, for Lancaster County Children & Youth Services, appellee.

Jeffrey S. Shank, Elizabethtown, for Guardian Ad Litem, appellee.

BEFORE: LAZARUS, MUNDY, and STABILE, JJ.

OPINION

Page 2

MUNDY, J.:

Appellant, D.A. (Mother), appeals from the April 21, 2014 decree, involuntarily terminating her parental rights to her minor child, X.J., born in July 2010.[1] In addition, Mother's counsel has filed a petition to withdraw, together with an Anders[2] brief, averring the appeal is frivolous. After careful review, we deny counsel's petition to withdraw, vacate the decree, and remand for further proceedings.

We summarize the relevant factual and procedural history of this case as follows. X.J. was removed from Mother's care as a result of Mother's alleged drug use, and following an incident in which X.J. was left unsupervised for an extended period of time. Because of Mother's neglect, X.J. fell out of a bassinet/playpen and fractured his arm. The Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Service Agency (the Agency) filed a petition for temporary custody of X.J., along with a shelter care application and motion for a finding of aggravated circumstances. X.J. was adjudicated dependent on May 29, 2013.[3] Mother appealed, and a panel of this Court

Page 3

affirmed the juvenile court's order on November 7, 2013. See In re X.J., 91 A.3d 1276 (Pa. Super. 2013) (unpublished memorandum). Mother did not file a petition for allowance of appeal with our Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, on July 25, 2013, the Agency filed a petition to terminate Mother and Father's parental rights to X.J. The orphans' court held a termination hearing on March 17, 2014. Mother did not appear at said hearing. The orphans' court issued a decree terminating Mother's parental rights, dated March 17, 2014, and entered April 21, 2014. Also on April 21, 2014, Mother filed a notice of appeal, along with a concise ...


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