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November 16, 1961


Appeal, No. 193, Oct. T., 1961, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1959, No. 2408, in case of Victor Jeanette v. Marietta Jeanette. Decree affirmed.


Philip Richman, for appellant.

No argument was made nor brief submitted for appellee.

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

Author: Ervin

[ 196 Pa. Super. Page 296]


This is a divorce case in which the master recommended a decree of divorce a.v.m. in favor of the plaintiff, Victor Jeanette, against his wife, Marietta Jeanette. After the dismissal of the defendant's exceptions the court below entered a decree of divorce a.v.m. The wife-defendant appealed.

The parties were married on October 7, 1940 at Elkton, Maryland. At the time of the marriage the defendant was living with her parents at 920 Morris Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the plaintiff was living with hi sister at 1605 Ritner Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After the marriage the parties did not live together but continued to live with their parents and sister until sometime in 1943, when they lived together for about three months in the home of the wife's parents at 920 Mossis Street. They then separated again and did not live together until 1956. In the meantime the wife's parents had died and she inherited from them the home at 920 Morris Street. After living together for about five months in that home the parties again separated on July 20, 1956. There were no children born of the marriage.

Throughout the entire period of the marriage the wife worked in a cigar factory and the husband worked in a plant which made bathing suits. In January 1957 the wife obtained a support order of $5.00 a week against her husband which later was raised to $7.00 a week. On February 25, 1957 the plaintiff-husband commenced an action in divorce founded upon indignities to the person and cruel and barbarous treatment. On November 1, 1957 the case was terminated by a court order so that the parties could make an effort to effect a reconciliation. The present action for a divorce a.v.m. on the ground of desertion was commenced by the plaintiff on April 27, 1959.

[ 196 Pa. Super. Page 297]

The plaintiff-husband testified that on the evening of July 20, 1956 he was playing cards in a taproom near 920 Morris Street when the defendant appeared and informed him that she was going to visit her sister. She asked the plaintiff to go with her. He said he did not want to leave until he finished playing cards and she asked him to call her at the sister's house when he had finished. At about 10:15 that night the plaintiff went to the home at 920 Morris Street and called the house of the defendant's sister. When the sister answered the plaintiff asked her in a joking manner for a loan. Later in the conversation he explained to the sister that he was only joking and he then asked to speak to his wife. The wife told him that she would be home directly. When she arrived home she was quite angry and almost "wild." She demanded to know why he had asked her sister for money. She said to him: "Who the hell do you think you are? You get the hell out of this house. ... If you stay in this house another minute, I will kill you." When the plaintiff, who was suffering from a sprained ankle, attempted to telephone for a taxi the defendant interfered with the call and stated that she would drive him to his sister's house. The defendant then drove the plaintiff to 1502 Morris Street, Philadelphia. She left the car before the plaintiff and yelled at the sister: "Get that brother of yours out of my car ... that drunken bum. I don't want to ever see him again." The defendant then demanded the plaintiff's house key. When he demurred she drove to her house, took the remainder of his clothes and returned to the Morris Street address and threw them over the steps. She again demanded the key, and threatened to kill him if he refused. At this point plaintiff gave his key to the defendant. After stating that she was going to change all the locks, the defendant then left.

[ 196 Pa. Super. Page 298]

Four witnesses testified as to the altercation that took place outside of 1502 Morris Street. They were the plaintiff's sister, his brother-in-law, a lunch room proprietress whose place of business was at 1500 Morris Street, and a patron of a taproom which was situated at 1501 Morris Street. Their testimony corroborated the plaintiff. The defendant-wife made a complete denial of the plaintiff's story. The date, she contended, was July 21, 1956 and her testimony was that she had been at home while the plaintiff was out and had sought him at the taproom to request his presence at the house. He refused her request and when he did arrive home he was drunk, and after an ensuing argument stated that he was leaving. He allegedly admitted "having" another woman, insulted the defendant and went out to the car, taking his clothes with him. The defendant ...

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