In re A.J.R.O.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the orphans’ court’s decree, which terminated involuntarily Mother’s parental rights. In her notice of appeal, Mother contravened the rule in Commonwealth v. Walker when she filed one notice of appeal but listed two dockets. In response to the Superior Court’s rule to show cause, Mother asked the Court to strike only one of the appeals. The Court agreed and addressed one case. The Court noted that Pa.R.A.P. “341 requires that when a single order resolves issues arising on more than one docket, separate notices of appeal must be filed from that order at each docket; but, where a timely appeal is erroneously filed at only one docket, Pa.R.A.P. 902 permits the appellate court, in its discretion, to allow correction of the error, where appropriate.” The Court then vacated the trial court’s decree and remanded the case. The Superior Court could not determine whether the orphans’ court fulfilled its 23 Pa.C.S. ยง 2313(a) duty to “determine whether counsel can represent the dual interests before appointing an individual to serve as GAL/Counsel for a child[,]” Therefore, the Court could not fulfill its duty to sua sponte “verify that the orphans’ court indicated that the attorney could represent the child’s best interests and legal interests without conflict.”

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