Appeals from orders of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Jan. T., 1973, No. 1185, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. Carmella P. Roviello v. Francis Anthony Roviello.
Russell E. Ellis, with him Fox, Differ, Callahan & Ulrich, for relatrix.
Robert E. Gabriel, with him John Rogers Carroll, and Carroll and Gabriel, for defendant.
Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Price, J.
[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 430]
These appeals arise from a sentence of contempt imposed by the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County on September 25, 1973, on the husband, Francis Roviello, and the refusal of the court to reinstate a support order in favor of the wife, Carmella Roviello. Both appeals are a result of a support action instituted by the wife, for herself and minor daughter.
[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 431]
On March 30, 1973, the wife filed an original action for support in Montgomery County at a time when the parties were living together, having been married for 29 years. On May 14, 1973, the court entered a temporary order against the husband, in the amount of $90.00 per week in favor of the minor daughter. On June 29, 1973, a further hearing was held at which time the court entered an additional temporary order against the husband for $60.00 per week and use of an automobile in favor of the wife.
On July 27, 1973, a further hearing was held at which time the husband orally agreed to convey his interests in the premises and an automobile to the wife, and to pay the wife's reasonable counsel fees. The property settlement was to be reduced to writing and be conditioned upon the wife securing an uncontested divorce. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court ordered the continuation of the previous $90.00 per week order for the child, and, in addition, revoked the previous order for $60.00 per week for the wife, and in its place substituted the terms of the proposed property settlement. An undated property settlement agreement encompassing the details of the July 27, 1973, order, including the transfer of additional items of personalty to the wife, all predicated upon the wife seeking a divorce within 6 months, was signed by the parties. Soon thereafter disputes arose between the parties with respect to the rights and obligations under the executed agreement.
On September 25, 1973, a hearing was held pursuant to a petition filed by the wife requesting reinstatement of the June 29, 1973, order and the finding of the husband in contempt for violation of the July 27, 1973, order, because he had not yet completed the property transfer as ordered. The court refused to honor the signed property settlement agreement, and held appellant in contempt for his refusal to comply
[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 432]
with the required property transfer of the July 27, 1973, order. The court did not reinstate the order of June 29, 1973, in favor of the wife. The husband was jailed for seven days at the Montgomery County Prison and released upon the grant of a supersedeas by this court.
In appeal No. 1917, the appellant-husband argues that the lower court erred in sentencing him to jail, because at no time was he in violation of a valid court order because the lower court was without authority to compel him to agree to a property settlement at a support hearing. We agree with the husband's contentions and reverse the contempt order of September 25, 1973.
In appeal No. 1956, the appellant-wife contends that the court abused its discretion by revoking the June 29, 1973, order for $60.00 per week for support of the wife because no facts were alleged by the husband showing a permanent change in circumstances justifying the revocation. We agree with the wife's ...