Appeal, No. 22, Jan. T., 1953, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, June T., 1948, No. 7, in case of Albert Bayout v. Rose Divaio Bayout. Order reversed.
Herbert Fishbone, with him Harry A. Dower, Israel Krohn and Getz, Perkin & Twining, for appellant.
Joseph F. Fruhwirth, Jr., with him James C. Lanshe, for appellee.
Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY
A bill in equity was filed by Albert Bayout in which he prayed for reformation of a deed which conveyed title to premises at 442 Gordon Street, Allentown,
Pennsylvania to the defendant, his wife. Plaintiff also prayed that defendant be required to account for certain money and property which he alleged she removed from his house. The chancellor found that the defendant had procured the execution of the deed in question by fraud, ordered that the property be placed in the names of plaintiff and defendant, but refused to order the defendant to account for any property she allegedly removed from plaintiff's house. The court en banc affirmed the chancellor and in addition ordered the defendant to the account for the proceeds received from renting the Gordon Street property from the date of the divorce of the parties, which occurred on February 13, 1950, subsequent to the time the bill was filed.
The parties to this action were married on August 3, 1940, and lived together as husband and wife until their separation on February 28, 1948. At the time of their marriage plaintiff owned 16 houses in the Borough of Northampton and was the real owner of the property at 442 Gordon Street, Allentown, although the legal title was held in the name of one Charles Yunas, who was acting as trustee for the plaintiff.
The deed in question, which conveyed title from Yunas to the defendant, was dated August 2, 1940 (the day immediately preceding the marriage), executed and acknowledged on January 7, 1941, and recorded on May 21, 1941. The name of the grantee appeared as Rose Divaio, the maiden name of the defendant. There was no evidence of erasures, corrections or deletions in the deed.
Plaintiff, a Syrian, was unable to read or write, and could speak English only with great difficulty. Most of his testimony was given through an interpreter. Defendant was of Italian origin but had an adequate command ...