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GIUFFRE v. GIUFFRE (09/11/58)

September 11, 1958

GIUFFRE
v.
GIUFFRE, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 185, Oct. T., 1958, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1956, No. 5671, in case of Josephine V. Giuffre v. Joseph F. Giuffre. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

William M. Marutani, with him MacCoy, Evans & Lewis, for appellant.

J. Montgomery Forster, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Wright

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 155]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

On July 24, 1956, Josephine V. Giuffre filed a complaint in divorce a.v.m. against her husband, Joseph F. Giuffre, charging indignities to the person. The husband was personally served but did not appear or file an answer. The matter was referred to a master who scheduled a hearing on October 8, 1956. Due notice thereof was personally served on the husband but he did not appear. The master subsequently filed a report recommending that the divorce be granted. This report was approved by the court below on November 13, 1956, but the wife did not complete the proceeding by securing a final decree. On May 10, 1957, upon the husband's petition, a rule was granted to show cause why the matter should not be referred back to the master for further hearing, which rule was subsequently made absolute. The master scheduled a further hearing on June 18, 1957, at which time the husband appeared with counsel. The master thereafter filed a supplemental report, again recommending a decree. The husband's exceptions to this supplemental report were dismissed in the court below and a final decree entered. The husband has appealed.

While counsel for appellant has divided his argument into four sections, he concedes that "the sole question to be determined is whether or not the plaintiff's evidence, even if accepted without reservations, establishes

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 156]

'indignities' within the meaning of the Divorce Law".

The parties were united in marriage on October 13, 1951. It was the first marriage for each. Thereafter they lived together as husband and wife at 844 Wynnewood Road, Philadelphia, until their separation in July 1956. They have one child, a boy, born June 26, 1952, who is in the mother's custody. The parties are presently aged 26 and 29 years, respectively. The wife is employed at the Devon Hobby Shop. The husband is a sales engineer. Difficulties between the parties commenced upon their return from the wedding trip, and the union was an unsuccessful one from its very inception.

"The course of conduct amounting to such indignities as would justify a divorce is apparently incapable of specific or of exact definition. Each case must necessarily depend upon its own facts. The principles applicable to the charge of 'indignities to the person' have been fully and frequently set forth by this court. It is, of course, impossible to lay down any general rule as to what constitutes such indignities to the person as to render the condition of the injured spouse intolerable and life burdensome; such matters necessarily depend upon all the circumstances of the particular case and the position in life, character and disposition of the parties. It is well settled, however, that it is not with isolated occurrences that the law concerns itself in determining whether a divorce should be granted upon this ground, but only with indignities so repeated and continuous as to constitute a course of conduct which renders the complaining ...


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