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Heddings v. Steele

Pennsylvania Supreme Court
496 A.2d 1166 (1985)


Facts

John and Edith Steele (plaintiffs) petitioned for primary custody of their grandchildren. The trial court denied John and Edith’s petition. During the trial court proceedings, the court admitted into evidence the testimony of eight witnesses who testified that Janet Steele Gatz, John and Edith’s daughter, told them that John had conducted an incestuous relationship with her when she was a child. Several witnesses testified that Janet told them that she became pregnant as a result of this sexual abuse. John and Edith objected to the testimony of these witnesses as hearsay, but the court admitted them. After the trial court denied them custody, John and Edith appealed, arguing that the witnesses’ testimony concerning John’s abuse was inadmissible hearsay.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wickersham, J.)

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