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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. SHARPE v. SHARPE (09/16/60)

September 16, 1960

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. SHARPE
v.
SHARPE, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 189, Oct. T., 1960, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Delaware County, June T., 1960, Miscellaneous Q. S. Docket A-1-A, page 290, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. William M. Sharpe v. William A. Sharpe. Order, as amended, affirmed.

COUNSEL

Charles F.Mayer, for appellant.

Angelo A. DiPasqua, with him Melvin E. Caine, and Caine and DiPasqua, for appellee.

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

Author: Woodside

[ 193 Pa. Super. Page 163]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal from an order entered by the Court of Quarter Sessions of Delaware County against a son for the support of his father.

The action was brought, and the order entered, under the Act of June 24, 1937, P.L. 2045, § 3, as amended, 62 P.S. § 1973, which provides: "The ... child ... of every indigent person, whether a public charge or not, shall, if of sufficient financial ability, care for and maintain, or financially assist, such indigent person at such rate as the court of the county, where such indigent person resides shall order or direct."

After a hearing, the court below directed the defendant to pay his father $150 to cover outstanding debts and to pay him $50 per week for his support. The appellant contends that the court abused its discretion by making what he considers an excessive weekly order, and that the court had no authority to direct the payment of $150 because this action constituted an illegal retroactive order.

The father and son operated a prosperous building supply business incorporated as the Wilshar Lumber Co. The father had failed in a similar business during the depression of the thirties and has no recorded interest in the corporation, although he has always been a salaried officer and apparently had much to do with the development of the corporation's assets, which are substantial. The business was started by the father with his wife's money, and all the stock is held by the defendant and his mother.

For the past thirty years, the father, with the knowledge of the wife, and while living in the same house with her, maintained a meretricious relationship with another woman. As he advanced in age, he became concerned about the future of this woman and, having no recorded interest in the business to pass on to her,

[ 193 Pa. Super. Page 164]

    sought a contract requiring the corporation upon his death to pay $100 a week to her for ten years. The refusal of the son to do this led to a family feud, which resulted in the father being removed from the corporate payroll and forced to leave the home in which he was living. The son arrested the father for assault and battery. The father brought this action for support, and an equity action claiming an interest in the business. The wife brought an action of divorce ...


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