Friday, February 02, 2007

false imprisonment

In the Interest of M.G. - Superior Court - January 30, 2007

The court upheld the delinquency adjudiction of a juvenile accused of false imprisonment, where he followed his cousin into her bedroom, shut and locked the door, and stood between her and the door during an incident which lasted "at most, two minutes."

"In determining the magnitude of the restraint necessary for false imprisonment, this Court has recognized that false imprisonment covers restraints which are less serious than those necessary for the offenses of kidnapping [18 Pa. C.S. 2901(a)] and unlawful restraint [18 Pa. C.S. 2902(a)].

"In determining whether the restraint at issue interfered with [the victim's] liberty 'substantially,' we give the word 'substantially' its plain meaning....Thus, we determine the Legislature intended false imprisonment to cover restraints where an individual's liberty is interfered with in an ample or considerable manner."

It did not matter that the restraint took place in the victim's own bedroom. "Whether in her own home or elsewhere, Appellant restrained [the victim] and kept her in an area where she did not wish to remain. Removing [a victim] from her home or luring her to an unfamiliar place are simply not elements required for false imprisonment."

"Making threats, intimidating and/or using physical force are not stated elements of false imprisonment, although they may be the tool used by an offender in 'restraining another unlawfully.'"

custody - paternity - standing - presumption

E.W. v. T.S. and C.S - Superior Court - January 31, 2007

A man who claimed to be the father of a child did not have standing to seek a declaration of his paternity or ask for custody of a 3 year old child, as against mother (T.S.) and her husband (C.S.), where

- mother and husband were married before conception, at time of conception and birth, etc.
- mother and husband never separated, filed for divorce, etc., and want to maintain their marriage
- husband was named as father on birth certificate
- husband has always assumed paternity and treated child as his own

"The presumption that a child born during the marriage is a child of the husband is always the starting point in a contest involving the parentage of a child born during coverture. Moreover, the strength of the a child of the marriage is grounded in the Commonwealth's interest in protecting the family unit. Although the presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence of husband's non-access, impotency, or sterility, the presumption is irrebuttable where mother, child, and husband live together as an intact family and husband assumed parental responsibility for the child."

Justice Newman's opinion that there is a conflict between these principles and the Uniform Act on Blood Tests has never commanded a majority of the Court. See, Strauser v. Stahr, 726 A.2d 1052, 1056 n. 2 (Pa. 1999)

Pennsylvania Bulletin of February 3, 2007

courts - juvenile records - proposed amendments - public availability -

court rules - support - amendments

governor - regulatory agenda -
"The agendas are compiled to provide members of the regulated community advanced notice of regulatory activity. It is the intention of the Administration that these agendas will serve to increase public participation in the regulatory process."