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PERATE v. PERATE (04/18/63)

April 18, 1963

PERATE
v.
PERATE, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 38. Oct. T., 1963, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1960, No. 2114, in case of William M. Perate v. Santa Perate. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Louis S. Cali, for appellant.

I. S. Bernstein, for appellee.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 580]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is an appeal from the decree of the Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County, granting a divorce a.v.m. to the plaintiff-appellee, William M. Perate, from the defendant-appellant, Santa Perate, on the ground of indignities to the person.

As the court below points out, this case largely turns on the sharp issue of credibility in favor of the husband, that the wife was guilty of indignities and that the husband was the injured and innocent spouse.

The master recommended the divorce and made a 44-page report which indicated a careful and painstaking review of the testimony, consisting of 736 pages, which testimony was taken at six hearings before the

[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 581]

    master. He had the advantage of personal observation of the parties and their witnesses, found that the evidence offered by the plaintiff more worthy of belief than that offered by the defendant. After a careful study of this record we are in accord with the conclusions of Judge WATERS, the opinion writer for the court en banc below, where he said: "We concluded that the master properly weighed the evidence and, aided by his observation of the witnesses, found the evidence offered by the plaintiff more worthy of belief than that offered by the defendant. The master in this case is an experienced attorney in whose ability and impartiality we repose every confidence. To justify ignoring the master's evaluation of credibility there should appear from a detailed analysis of the record inconsistencies of fact, act, time of space which weaken his findings or a strain of consistency of such matters which impel the conclusion that the master improperly resolved the issue of credibility. However, from our independent analysis of the evidence we are in accord with his findings." Bailey v. Bailey, 199 Pa. Superior Ct. 534, 185 A.2d 632 (1962).

The parties were married on November 15, 1947; the plaintiff is 39 years of age, the defendant 37; there are two children of this marriage, Michael, age 14, and Mary, age 5, and they are in the custody of the wife. The allegations of indignities began from the outset of their marriage and are summarized by the court below as follows:

"The testimony of the plaintiff and his witnesses established the fact that one of the basic causes of the parties' difficulties lay in the defendant's refusal to live away from or to leave her parents. Another basic cause was the defendant's rejection and disdain for the plaintiff - socially, physically and in virtually all areas of their ...


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