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Z.P. v. K.P.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

January 6, 2022

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed and remanded the trial court’s order that limited the manner in which the Commonwealth was permitted to interview R.P. and A.P. (“Children”) as part of its investigation into child abuse allegations against Z.P. (“Father”). This appeal implicated the interplay of different sections of the Domestic Relations Code. The Commonwealth argued that the trial court exceeded its authority by unilaterally canceling a forensic interview of Children that were the subject of sex abuse allegations and by imposing requirements on law enforcement before any interviews with Children. The Superior Court ruled that “under a plain reading of the relevant provisions of the Child Protective Services Law, the trial court has no authority to establish the investigatory protocol, or place limits on how the District Attorney and CYF follow that protocol. Put simply, nothing in 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 6334.1 or 6365(c) contemplates a custody court’s role in the investigatory process.”

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