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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. ROTHMAN v. ROTHMAN (11/17/66)

decided: November 17, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. ROTHMAN
v.
ROTHMAN, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Montgomery County, April T., 1965, No. 133, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Doris Rothman v. Michael Rothman.

COUNSEL

Daniel L. Quinlan, Jr., for appellant.

Morris Passon, for appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Hoffman

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 181]

On May 23, 1965, Doris Rothman filed a petition for support of herself and two children against her husband, Michael Rothman, in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Montgomery County under the Act of June 24, 1939, P. L. 872, § 733, 18 P.S. § 4733.*fn1 The husband did not join in or consent to this petition when it was filed, nor was a warrant for his arrest ever issued.*fn2

Shortly thereafter, the husband entered into a separation agreement with his wife. This agreement provided

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 182]

    for (1) a property settlement with the wife and (2) support for their two children. Paragraph ten of the agreement relates to the support of their son Paul. Paragraph eleven relates to the support of their son Matthew. Both of these paragraphs provide: "It is understood and agreed that the foregoing support agreement shall be made into an Order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania immediately following the execution hereof, and that the sums herein called for shall be payable through the Probation Office of said Court."

In compliance with the agreement, the husband signed a consent to the entry of a support order of $200 a week for the two children in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Montgomery County. He also signed a compliance bond in the amount of $500. Both the consent and the compliance bond were prepared on forms supplied by the Montgomery County court and were witnessed by the husband's attorneys.

Soon thereafter, the wife charged that the husband had breached his obligations under the separation agreement. Consequently, a hearing on the wife's earlier petition for support was set for February 17, 1966.

The husband filed objections to these proceedings on the ground that: "[T]he person of the defendant is not subject to the jurisdiction of your Honorable Court, because he has neither joined in nor consented to the Petition nor has a warrant for his arrest been issued or served upon him nor has he been bound over in surety to appear before your Honorable Court."

After several hearings, the lower court held that the husband had consented to jurisdiction and, therefore, dismissed his ...


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