Is a Father Whose Parental Rights Have Been Terminated Entitled to File Post-Trial Motions ?
In In re J.J.F., 1999 PA Super 83, 729 A.2d 79 (Pa. Super. 1999), cited in L.V.H.M's brief, a panel of this Court addressed whether a father, whose parental rights were terminated, was entitled to file post-trial motions.
The majority of the panel held that he was entitled to file post-trial motions to give the trial court an opportunity to correct any errors before it entered its final decree.
The panel vacated the order involuntarily terminating the father's parental rights and remanded the matter for further proceedings.
The panel further directed the trial court, on remand, to enter a finding, based solely on the evidence already presented, on how terminating the father's parental rights would affect the children, as required by section 2511(b) of the Adoption Act.
Judge Schiller, who authored a separate concurring opinion in J.J.F., expressed his dismay at the failure of the counsel appointed to represent the children in fulfilling her responsibilities, pointing out that she failed to evaluate in detail how the termination would serve the needs and welfare of the children.
He would have required the trial court, on remand, to direct the counsel appointed to represent the children to file an amended report that detailed the effect of the termination on the children, and, since the panel retained jurisdiction, to file a detailed appellate brief.