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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. JEAN R. DIXON v. PAUL W. DIXON (08/01/80)

filed: August 1, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. JEAN R. DIXON
v.
PAUL W. DIXON, APPELLANT



No. 396 October Term, 1979, Criminal Action - Appeal from Orders of the Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery County, Dated January 22, 1979 and February 12, 1979 at No. 4851-1978 Support.

COUNSEL

David L. Ladov, Norristown, for appellant.

John J. Burfete, Assistant District Attorney, Norristown, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge, and Watkins and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Watkins

[ 279 Pa. Super. Page 588]

These are appeals from orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in a support matter by which the appellant-defendant, Paul Dixon, was directed to pay

[ 279 Pa. Super. Page 589]

$55 per week for the support of his 15 year old daughter on January 22, 1979 and from an order dated February 12, 1979 holding the defendant-appellant in willful violation of the order and directing payment of $110 forthwith or in default thereof to be committed to prison for a period not to exceed six (6) months or until payment of the $110.

The parties involved were divorced on February 7, 1969. The appellant had contended that the child, Kelly, was not his child but now has abandoned that claim. Jean Dixon, the appellee-wife, filed her claim in the Family Court of Philadelphia County in which she sought support of $50 weekly. The matter was certified to Montgomery County and the District Attorney of that County lodged the petition for support of the child. The Court below entered an order of $55 weekly based on the income of the appellant of $250 per week.

On January 31, 1979, a petition for rehearing was filed by the appellant stating: That the amount was in excess of the amount requested by the appellee or recommended by the Family Court of Philadelphia; that the court did not consider the expenses and/or the needs of the minor child or appellee; that the court below failed to take into consideration the earnings or earning capacity of the appellee; that evidence had been uncovered as to the employment of the appellee; that the order failed to take into consideration the amount of public assistance the appellee was receiving for the child in the determination of the standard of living to which she was accustomed; and that the court did not determine the needs and expenses of the appellant.

The hearing judge granted the rule to show cause and neither the District Attorney nor the appellee made answer. The court denied the rule on February 12, 1979 and then asked whether any payment had been made on the Order of January 22, 1979. Counsel for the appellant, advised the court that no payment had been made in view of the pending rule. The Court then found the appellant in contempt by willful violation of the order of January 22nd and directed payment of $110 forthwith or in default thereof to

[ 279 Pa. Super. Page 590]

    be committed to prison for a period not to exceed six (6) months or ...


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