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RHINEHART v. RHINEHART (04/12/62)

April 12, 1962

RHINEHART
v.
RHINEHART, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 8, March T., 1962, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of York County, Oct. T., 1959, No. 43, in case of Maurice W. Rhinehart v. Bessie Ann Rhinehart. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

John T. Miller, for appellant.

H. Oscar Ruby, for appellee.

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

Author: Montgomery

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 559]

OPINION BY MONTGOMERY, J.

This is an appeal from the decree of the Court of Common Pleas of York County granting a divorce a.v.m. in favor of Maurice W. Rhinehart, and against Bessie Ann Rhinehart, the appellant. Since this appeal was perfected Maurice W. Rhinehart has died, and upon petition filed, this Court, by order, has permitted Wilbert C. Rhinehart, the executor of his estate, to be substituted as appellee. See Henszey v. Henszey, 195 Pa. Superior Ct. 377, 171 A.2d 387, as authority for this procedure.

The decree of divorce was granted on the grounds of indignities which the lower court (LIVERANT, J., for the court in banc) found to exist, although the Master found to the contrary and that the husband-complainant was not an injured and innocent spouse.

The duty of this Court in appeals of this nature is to review the evidence de novo, giving the fullest consideration to the judgment of the Master on matters of

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 560]

    credibility where conflicting testimony is offered by key witnesses on important issues, Henszey v. Henszey (supra), but without controlling our appraisal of the weight and credibility of the testimony. Zirot v. Zirot, 197 Pa. Superior Ct. 124, 177 A.2d 137.

A rule as to what constitutes indignities cannot be stated with exactness because of its varied application, but generally they consist of vulgarity, unmerited reproach, habitual contumely, studied neglect, intentional incivility, manifest disdain, abusive language, malignant ridicule, and any other plain manifestation of settled hate and estrangement. McAnulty v. McAnulty, 196 Pa. Superior Ct. 534, 175 A.2d 892; Henszey v. Henszey (supra).

A review of the testimony reveals that during the three years prior to the institution of the divorce proceedings this marriage was subject to daily arguments involving loud cursing and swearing. Appellee would attempt to avoid the arguments by walking away, but appellant would continue them. Appellee maintained that appellant's continued swearing and accusations of stealing made against customers had driven business away from his grocery store and auto repair business. He also complained of appellant's ...


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