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Commonwealth v. K.M.-F.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

May 22, 2015

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
K.M.-F., A MINOR, Petitioner

Appeal from the Dispositional Order, February 23, 2015, of the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Juvenile Division, Docket No. JV-12-002408. Before KLEIN, J.

Tiffany E. Sizemore-Thompson, Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for petitioner.

Michael W. Streily, Deputy District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, respondent.

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E., DONOHUE AND STRASSBURGER,[*] JJ.

OPINION

Page 347

PER CURIAM

In this case, we are presented with a petition for review filed pursuant to Pa.R.A.P., Rule 1770, 42 Pa.C.S.A., Review of Dispositional Order for Out of Home Placement in Juvenile Delinquency Matters. This relatively new rule was promulgated by our supreme court in response to the recommendations made by the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Report of May 2010. The commission was created in August 2009 with a mandate to develop appropriate recommendations for reform of the juvenile justice system. It recognized the importance of timely appellate review of juvenile placement decisions finding that in order for review to be meaningful, it must be completed before the child's placement or other disposition is completed. The commission recommended the following:

That the Supreme Court's Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee and Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee collaborate to develop an expedited appeals process or, in the alternative, collaborate to develop a process that affords an aggrieved party an option to elect a mechanism that affords some measure of review of a juvenile court judge's decision short of a formal appellate review in the following proceedings . . . an order of disposition following an adjudication of delinquency that removes a child from his or her home.

Commission Report p. 56.

This expedited appellate review is the genesis of Rule 1770.[1] The rule provides a

Page 348

vehicle for a juvenile placed in out-of-home overnight placement to seek review of that decision within ten days of the placement order.[2] The rule references the requirements of Chapter 15 of the Appellate Rules (Judicial Review of Governmental Determinations), which sets forth various procedural requirements of a petition for review generally. Additionally, Rule 1561(a) allows that this court " may affirm,

Page 349

modify, vacate, set aside, or reverse any order brought before it for review and may remand the matter and direct the entry of such appropriate order or require such further proceedings as may be just under the ...


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