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MULHOLLAND v. PITTSBURGH NATIONAL BANK. (11/14/61)

November 14, 1961

MULHOLLAND, APPELLANT,
v.
PITTSBURGH NATIONAL BANK.



Appeal, No. 239, March T., 1961, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1960, No. 1343, in equity, in case of Laura E. Mulholland v. Pittsburgh National Bank, successor to Peoples First National Bank and Trust Company, et al. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

J. Roland Johnston, with him Frank E. Coho, and Johnston & Coho, for appellant.

Walter A. Koegler, for appellees.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and Alpern, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 405 Pa. Page 269]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES.

This appeal challenges the validity of the action of the court below in sustaining preliminary objections and dismissing an equity complaint.

Laura Mulholland (appellant) has been married three times.*fn1 Beginning three years after the first marriage (1943) and continuing through 1953 appellant was an alcoholic and also addicted to the excessive use of drugs. In the period between 1943 and 1950 on many occasions appellant's father, Richard Eastall, and her then husband, Richard Hoover, were compelled to place appellant in various hospitals in an attempt to cure her. Finally on March 30, 1950 the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County declared appellant an inebriate and committed her to the Eugenia Memorial Hospital, St. Marys, Pa.; at that institution she remained until

[ 405 Pa. Page 270]

October 3, 1950 when she was released on condition she follow a prescribed course of rehabilitation. Thereafter, appellant and her then three children went to Clearwater, Florida,*fn2 where she resumed her drinking and use of drugs.

On February 4, 1953, on petition of appellant's father, the Court of the County of Pinellas, Florida, found that from March 30, 1950 appellant had been an inebriate and an incompetent, appointed her father as her guardian and authorized him to place appellant in the DePaul Sanitarium, New Orleans, La.*fn3

On February 20, 1954, the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, on application of appellant's father, again adjudged appellant to be an inebriate*fn4 and committed her to Mayview State Hospital for a period of one year. On June 2, 1954, in a habeas corpus proceeding, that court released appellant on probation in the custody of a Mrs. Lemmon and, on March 18, 1955, that court, finding appellant had "fully recovered", cancelled appellant's probation and released her from Mrs. Lemmon's custody. From the record it would appear that since that time appellant has used neither alcohol nor drugs.

On August 1, 1960, appellant instituted an equity action in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County against the ...


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