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HENRY C. LIVINGSTON v. GRACE E. LIVINGSTON (02/27/80)

filed: February 27, 1980.

HENRY C. LIVINGSTON, JR.
v.
GRACE E. LIVINGSTON, APPELLANT



No. 1581 April Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Civil Action-Equity at No. 966 of 1978.

COUNSEL

Gary P. Caruso, Belle Vernon, for appellant.

Donald J. McCue, Connellsville, for appellee.

Price, Hester and Cavanaugh, JJ.

Author: Cavanaugh

[ 275 Pa. Super. Page 287]

At issue is the ownership of a $40,000 certificate of deposit. The certificate in dispute is registered in the name of Henry C. Livingston, Jr., appellee. The appellant, Grace E. Livingston, is appellee's wife, and claims a tenancy by the entireties interest because either: (1) appellee intended to create an estate by the entireties when he purchased the certificate in 1976 or, (2) appellee by his conduct should now be estopped from denying the existence of a tenancy by the entireties in the certificate.

Henry and Grace Livingston were married in 1941. Henry later became an employee of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad and so continued until he suffered serious personal injuries including an amputation of his arm above the elbow. As a result of his employment accident in 1970, he received a substantial cash settlement from the railroad. The proceeds were payable to him individually and a major portion of the fund was invested in certificates of deposit.

Appellee separated from appellant in the spring of 1978. At that time, there were two certificates of deposit: the one at issue herein, and another in the joint names of the parties. They were, until the time of trial, in the possession

[ 275 Pa. Super. Page 288]

    of appellant who refused to surrender them to her husband. Appellee brought suit to gain possession of the certificates as well as several passbooks for jointly held savings accounts.

After hearing testimony, the court issued a decree nisi which, inter alia, awarded the $40,000 certificate to appellee. Exceptions thereto were dismissed by the court en banc and this appeal followed.

The original deposits were made in 1972 and the evidence indicated that the amounts in various accounts were determined at least in part by the limits of federal savings insurance. These certificates were in a number of individual, joint, and trust accounts of appellant and appellee and also in the name of their daughter, Janet. Several certificates were later redeemed in order to purchase a house and in February, 1976, two new certificates were purchased with money from the balance including the $40,000 certificate at issue in this appeal.

Our scope of review is limited. The findings of a chancellor, affirmed by the Court en banc have the effect of a jury verdict and may not be reversed unless a review of the record reveals that they are unsupported by the evidence or predicated upon erroneous inferences and deductions or errors of law. Payne v. Kassab, 468 ...


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