Appeals, Nos. 49 and 50, April T., 1964, from decrees of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1961, Nos. 598 and 1783, in cases of Sylvia Benkowski v. Walter A. Benkowski; and Walter A. Benkowski v. Sylvia Benkowski. Decrees affirmed.
John L. Bailey, with him William J. Graham, for appellant.
No argument was made nor brief submitted for appellee.
Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).
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These are appeals from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County from decrees awarding a divorce a vinculo matrimonii to Walter A. Benkowski, the appellee, and denying a divorce a mensa et thoro to Sylvia Benkowski, the appellant.
The master in this case heard both actions. The wife charged indignities to the person and abandonment of the family. The husband charged cruel and barbarous treatment and indignities to the person. The master found in favor of the husbands and recommended that an absolute divorce be granted on the ground of indignities to the person. He found against the wife and recommended that her complaint be dismissed. The court en banc, in an opinion by Judge WEISS, overruled
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the wife's exceptions to the master's report, entered a decree in favor of the husband and dismissed the complaint of the wife. These appeals followed.
The parties were married on June 24, 1950 at Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The couple resided with the wife's mother and sister at Library, Pennsylvania until December 1959 when the husband after being locked out of the home of his mother-in-law moved into a hotel on the advice of a justice of the Peace. The parties have never lived together since that time. There were no children born of this marriage. The wife, as grounds for her action stated that the husband was an habitual gambler and refused to stop gambling even though she begged him to do so and also that the plaintiff physically abused hor on many occasions. The husband denies these allegations and stated that his wife enjoyed the fruits of his gambling and as a result of his activities they were able to accumulate savings during the period of their marriage in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars. As to the physical abuse, appellee testified that the time his sister-in-law saw him make physical contact with his wife was in self defense and that the one time he did physically abuse his wife in public was because she had withdrawn their life savings from a joint bank account and secreted it somewhere and refused to disclose the location of their money. As to the desertion the appellee testified that in the absence of his wife, his in-laws had locked him from the home and refused to grant him admission to secure his personal belongings and his clothing, after being told to stay out, and not to come back. That he broke the lock from the door, went in and got his belongings and after being taken to a Justice of the Peace was told not to return. At that time he moved into a hotel and has been separated from his wife since that time.
As to the husband's action the master dismissed the charges of cruel and barbarous ...