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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. DOROTHY MCCLELLAND v. WILLIAM J. MCCLELLAND (04/26/82)

submitted: April 26, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. DOROTHY MCCLELLAND, APPELLANT,
v.
WILLIAM J. MCCLELLAND



COUNSEL

Mark Stephen Sedley, Butler, for appellant.

Christopher J. Coyle, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Beck, Montemuro and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 542]

This is an appeal from an order of the court below which denied a petition, filed by appellant-mother, for a "REHEARING AND FOR DISQUALIFICATION OF TRIAL JUDGE" in a support matter. Because the record is

[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 543]

    incomplete, we must remand the matter for further proceedings.*fn1

The facts are undisputed.

On February 24, 1979, appellee-father was ordered to pay the sum of $50.00 per week for the support of his wife and two minor children. On December 6, 1979, the court entertained appellant's modification motion and on that date "determine[d] there [was] a basis for modification." Record # 2. The court then forwarded the petition to the Domestic Relations Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County for further consideration. On January 18, 1980, appellee filed a petition to suspend support for the reason that he was unemployed and was without a source of income. After a hearing, the hearing officer reaffirmed the initial support order and also recommended that appellee maintain hospitalization coverage and also provide $125.00 per year per person for any uninsured medical, dental, or other such related expenses. Appellant then requested that the court direct the sheriff to arrest appellee pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S.A. ยง 6707 because she believed that appellee was about to leave the Commonwealth.*fn2

[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 544]

On January 30, 1980, appellee appeared before the court and stated that he and his wife intended to relocate to Jacksonville, Florida. As a result, the court ordered appellee to post bond in the amount of $450.00.

Subsequently, appellant served subpoenas on appellee's employer in order to produce appellee's employment records and also served the Bureau of Employment Security in order to document the unemployment benefits appellee was receiving. Appellee filed a motion to quash the subpoena. Both appellee's employer and the Bureau appeared at the hearing to oppose the subpoenas. Argument was entertained on the subpoena issue at which time the following occurred:

[Attorney for Appellant]

"MR. SEDLEY: Your Honor, our position, I can state hopefully shortly, Mr. McClelland has told Mrs. McDonald Mr. Skander [appellee's employer] has minimized his wages and has laid him off in contemplation of a support hearing occurring. We subpoenaed Mr. Skander to attempt to get to the bottom of that, and we subpoenaed the Bureau of Employment Security in the hope of either, in the hope of substantiating what Mr. Skander has to tell us, or contradicting what Mr. Skander has to tell us, as the case may be. We feel that the information from both parties is necessary to get to the bottom of the matter.

THE COURT: Is this a welfare case?

MR. SEDLEY: It's partly a welfare case, yes.

THE COURT: What are you wasting these people's valuable time for then?

MR. SEDLEY: Again, Your Honor, I feel that Mrs. McClelland is deserving of support. We can get Mrs. McClelland off of welfare.

THE COURT: Your motion is granted, sir. We'll hear no -- you're not subpoening the Unemployment Compensation officer in a civilized proceeding to ascertain what the ...


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