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CHANIEWICZ v. CHANIEWICZ (06/12/69)

decided: June 12, 1969.

CHANIEWICZ
v.
CHANIEWICZ, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, April T., 1967, No. 259, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Victoria Chaniewicz v. Paul Chaniewicz.

COUNSEL

Donald Laird Hankey, for appellant.

William C. Stillwagon, with him Boyle, Nakles, Reeves & Harwick, for appellee.

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

Author: Jacobs

[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 295]

On June 28, 1957, Paul Chaniewicz was ordered by the Court of Quarter Sessions of Westmoreland County to pay $100 per month for the support and maintenance of his wife, Victoria Chaniewicz. On September 27, 1963, after a hearing on a petition for reduction, the court reaffirmed its previous order for support and vacated the arrearages which had accrued to that

[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 296]

    date. Mr. Chaniewicz died on October 5, 1966, at which time the accumulated arrearages under the 1963 order totaled $3676.00.

On April 25, 1967, a judgment for the arrearages which had accrued during the husband's lifetime was entered in favor of the wife in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County. The wife's counsel filed a praecipe in the prothonotary's office of Westmoreland County directing the entry of judgment. Appended to the praecipe was an exemplified record of both support orders of the court of quarter sessions; a copy of the 1963 order in quarter sessions duly certified by the clerk of that court; an affidavit of default sworn to by Victoria Chaniewicz; and a statement of account certified by the adult probation officer showing the amount of support arrearages as of October 5, 1966, the date of Paul Chaniewicz' death. Authority for this procedure is found in the Act of May 8, 1901, P.L. 143, § 1, 12 P.S. § 1001, which provides: "Where any court of quarter sessions . . . shall hereafter make or enter any order, sentence, decree or judgment for the payment of any moneys whatsoever, in any manner or thing within the jurisdiction of the said court, a copy of the said order . . . may be certified to any court of common pleas of the same county, and be entered and indexed in said court as a judgment with like force and effect as if the same had been recovered therein as a judgment of the latter court." The same day the judgment was entered an attachment execution was issued on the judgment against a redevelopment authority which held funds to which the estate of Paul Chaniewicz was entitled for property taken by the authority under its power of eminent domain.

On February 2, 1968, the executrix of the estate of Paul Chaniewicz filed a petition for a rule to show cause why the judgment and attachment execution should not be stricken from the record. The petition

[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 297]

    alleged that the judgment was improperly entered against the defendant after his death and that it was not regular on its face because an exhibit attached to the judgment contained a notation of the date of his death. A rule was granted and served, and no answer being filed within the return period, an order was entered making the rule absolute and striking the judgment.*fn1

Thereafter plaintiff petitioned for a rule to show cause why the order striking the judgment should not be set aside and the plaintiff be permitted to file an answer. After argument before the court en banc, the court ordered its previous rule striking the judgment stricken from the record and directed the plaintiff to file proper pleadings to bring ...


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