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MANSTEIN v. MANSTEIN (01/07/52)

January 7, 1952

MANSTEIN
v.
MANSTEIN, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 233, Jan. T., 1951, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1948, No. 304, in case of Anna Manstein v. Samuel A. Manstein. Order, as modified, affirmed.

COUNSEL

H. Eugene Heine, with him Maximillian J. Klinger, for appellant.

Daniel Marcu, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j. Stern, Stearne, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 369 Pa. Page 253]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

Anna Manstein filed a bill in equity against Samuel A. Manstein, her husband, appellant, to restrain him from withdrawing monies from a bank account and from transferring or converting into cash certain United States government bonds, to secure an accounting of certain monies and recovery of such monies to which she would be found entitled, and to restrain him from disposing of certain wearing apparel.

The bill averred ownership by plaintiff of all of the property mentioned and unlawful refusal by defendant to return the same to her. An answer was filed denying that the property was that of plaintiff and asserting, to the contrary, that the monies were an absolute gift to him by the plaintiff's parents in the nature of a dowry. After hearing, the chancellor entered an adjudication directing an accounting of all monies and bonds possessed by defendant and that he turn over to the plaintiff the sum of $5,900 with interest from April, 1945.

Defendant filed exceptions to said decree and a petition for further hearing. A rule issued on plaintiff to show cause why further hearing should not be had. An

[ 369 Pa. Page 254]

    answer to the petition for further hearing was filed and depositions taken. Thereafter the petition for further hearing and exceptions to the decree nisi were dismissed, and the decree nisi entered as a final decree. This appeal followed.

The facts as found by the hearing judge and approved by the court en banc were as follows. Anna Manstein, plaintiff, and Samuel A. Manstein, defendant, were married on June 17, 1945. At the time of the marriage plaintiff was 19 years of age. Her parents, in contemplation of her marriage to defendant, gave to her, on or about April, 1945, the sum of $5,000. Thereafter, plaintiff and defendant together attempted to deposit said sum in a joint savings account at the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society but were informed that because of plaintiff's age such a joint bank account could not be opened at that bank. Thereupon plaintiff took the $5,000 to the home of her parents where she retained it. Subsequent thereto, but prior to the marriage, defendant induced her to go with him to the Pennsylvania Company and place the $5,000 in an account in his name upon the promise that when she reached her majority he would transfer the account into joint names. This deposit was made. In addition to the $5,000, plaintiff, prior to the marriage, also gave defendant $900 to be deposited in the same bank account in defendant's name under the same promise that the account would be made a joint account upon her reaching her majority. Plaintiff, upon attaining the age of 21, requested defendant that the money be redeposited in their joint names. This he has refused and continues to refuse to do.

Plaintiff and defendant, at the time of their marriage, received as wedding presents six United States government bonds aggregating $250. These were in the name of Anna Manstein and Samuel A. ...


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