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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. PODVASNIK v. PODVASNIK (06/13/62)

June 13, 1962

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. PODVASNIK
v.
PODVASNIK, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 5, April T., 1962, from order of County Court of Allegheny County, No. C 1770 of 1961, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Violet Podvasnik v. Lody Podvasnik. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Dale T. Lias, for appellant.

Violet Podvasnik, appellee, in propria persona.

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

Author: Wright

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 108]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

This is an appeal by Lody Podvasnik from an order of the County Court of Allegheny County, entered October 9, 1961, requiring him to pay the sum of $10.00 per week for the support of his wife, Violet Podvasnik. The order must be reversed because it is not supported by the record. This was in effect conceded by the hearing judge, who belatedly attempted to vacate the order, as will hereinafter appear.

The parties were united in marriage on February 18, 1961, when Lody was eighteen and Violet twenty years of age. The marriage was opposed by Lody's parents, but the parties misrepresented their ages when the license was obtained. Immediately after the marriage, they went to live with Violet's mother in a one-bedroom apartment. Lody agreed to stay there only until May 1, 1961, when the lease was to expire. He wanted Violet to live with him in an establishment separate and apart from her mother. However, Violet and her mother, over Lody's objection signed a lease for another year. In this connection Lody testified as follows: "I was supposed to stay there for two months and then we were supposed to be by ourselves and they signed that lease and they want me to stay there another year and I wouldn't do it. I was there for awhile and I asked her to come with me and she wouldn't come and her mother is always fighting with me".

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 109]

On or about July 1, 1961, Lody left the premises, Violet then went before an alderman and charged Lody with wilful neglect and failure to support. This case was dismissed upon payment of costs, and Lody went back to the apartment upon Violet's promise to go with him at the end of a week. When Violet refused to comply with this promise, Lody left again. Violet then instituted a second action before another alderman, which resulted in an indictment by the grand jury. When the case came on for trial in the quarter sessions court, it was certified to the county court for disposition.

At the hearing in the county court on October 9, 1961, Assistant District Attorney K. Leroy Irvis was present. The following colloquy occurred: "By Mr. Irvis (To Mrs. Podvasnik): Q. If your husband offers to provide you a place to stay, are you willing to move with him, away from your mother that is. It is his obligation to provide a roof over your head and his obligation to provide support for you. This is the law in Pennsylvania, but it is you obligation to go where he wishes you to go and it is not his obligation to remain with your mother. Are you willing to go with your husband if he provides a place for you to stay? A. No".

It is our view that the case should have been terminated then and there. This was apparently the original intention of the hearing judge, who proposed to find Lody not guilty and give him ninety days to pay the costs. However, Lody's attorney stated: "There isn't a possible thing he can do to pay the costs". He also suggested that his client should be protected from further prosecutions. The hearing then continued at some length. The following colloquy eventually occurred between Lody and the hearing judge: "Q. What do you think ...


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