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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. BRANDT v. BRANDT. (04/13/61)

April 13, 1961

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. BRANDT, APPELLANT,
v.
BRANDT.



Appeal, No. 105, Oct. T., 1961, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Lebanon County, December 22, 1960, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Joan M. Brandt v. Lester F. Brandt. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

John A. Erickson, with him Lewis, Lewis & Erickson, for appellant.

James R. Koller, with him Elmer E. Harter, Robert E. Siegrist, and Siegrist, Koller & Siegrist, for appellee.

Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).

Author: Watkins

[ 195 Pa. Super. Page 49]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Lebanon County, reducing a support order for the appellant wife from $40 to $35 weekly.

Due to the illness and ultimate resignation of President Judge EHRGOOD, three visiting judges, specially presiding, Judge READINGER, and Judge HESS of Berks County, and Judge WISSLER, of Lancaster County, as well as the newly appointed President Judge GATES, who made the final order, had some part in this litigation. The record is confused and incomplete.

[ 195 Pa. Super. Page 50]

The action for support was brought by the appellant-wife, Joan M. Brandt, against the husband-appellee, Lester F. Brandt, on August 4, 1960. A hearing was fixed by Judge READINGER to be held August 17, 1960.

This hearing was continued by Judge HESS. On October 22, 1960, the following order was entered by Judge WISSLER. "The tentative Order of the Court is that the respondent pay to his wife for her support, the sum of Forty Dollars ($40.00) per week, through the Domestic Relations Bureau, and his wife is to have the privilege of remaining living where she now is, and this Order is to remain in effect until a proper property settlement is made between the parties." On November 16, 1960, a petition for attachment was filed, which averred one week delinquency. The record does not disclose the disposition of this matter.

Subsequently, on December 7, 1960, the husband filed a petition praying for a rehearing on the ground that the temporary order entered by Judge WISSLER was based solely on the wife's testimony; that the hearing before Judge WISSLER had not been completed and that the husband had no opportunity to present testimony as to his earnings and expenses. No answer was filed to this petition. The court below, "in order to obtain substantial justice", fixed December 21, 1960, as a date for rehearing. After hearing, President Judge GATES entered the following order. "And now, to wit, December 21, 1960, after hearing, the prayer of the Petition is hereby granted and the Order heretofore imposed in the amount of $40.00 per week for the support of the wife is reduced to the amount of $35.00 per week until further Order of the Court."

The appellant contends that the court below erred in reducing the amount of a support order in the absence of clear testimony of change of circumstances and that ...


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