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March 2016 Archives

Superior Court of Pennsylvania Affirms Conviction of Husband for Criminal Trespass, Where Wife was only Party on Lease and Wife Excluded Husband from the Residence

On February 9, 2016, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania handed down Com. v. Benito, 2016 Pa. Super. 30.Brent Benito ("Husband") and L.C. ("Wife") were married in Trinidad in 2011. Wife subsequently rented an apartment in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, while Husband remained in Trinidad. Husband moved into Wife's apartment in September, 2013. The relationship quickly deteriorated and Husband became physically abusive. In December, 2013, while Husband was in Connecticut visiting a friend, Wife told Husband not to return to the marital residence. Wife also changed the locks. 

Superior Court of Pennsylvania Shrinks Admissibility of Criminal Convictions in Child Custody Cases

On June 17, 2015, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania handed down K.T. and M.R.T. v. L.S. f/k/a L.R., 118 A.3d 1136 (Pa. Super. 2015). In K.T., paternal grandparents sought partial physical custody of their minor grandchildren, from the minor children's Mother. On cross-examination, it was revealed that paternal grandparents had several past criminal offenses, which were not offenses listed by the Pennsylvania legislature for consideration, when a party seeks "any form of custody," pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. Section 5329(a).The trial court allowed testimony of paternal grandparents' past criminal offenses on the theory that the character exhibited by those offenses, which, interestingly, included crimes of dishonesty, might impact "whether or not they should be around children." 

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