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EDNA SMITH v. HAROLD GIBBS (03/11/83)

March 11, 1983

EDNA SMITH
v.
HAROLD GIBBS, APPELLANT



No. 32 Pittsburgh, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Family Division, at No. 1142 of 1956, G65230

Before Cavanaugh, Brosky and Montgomery, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

This appeal is form that portion of a support order which directed appellant to pay monies to appellee's assignee, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. Appellant argues that he had no knowledge of, and was not a party to, the assignment; and that he should not be liable for the failure of the assignor to transmit payments. We affirm.

In 1966, appellant entered into an agreement obligating him to pay $12/month child support to appellee via the Domestic Relations Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Three years later, Ms. Smith, appellee, assigned her rights to these payments to the Department of Public Welfare as a condition of becoming a welfare recipient. In 1979, appellee requested and received an increase in the amount of the child support payments. At the same time, the court directed appellant to pay the arrears in support payments. It is that last portion of the order that is appealed from here.

The trial court opinion adequately disposes of the issues raised on appeal. The order directing that arrears in payments be made on a specified schedule is affirmed.

EDNA SMITH, Plaintiff vs. HAROLD GIBBS, Defendant

No. 1142 of 1966

Defendant has appealed from that portion of an Order of this Court setting the amount of his arrearages in this child support action at $1,422.00, and ordering him to pay said amount to the Department of Public Welfare in monthly installments of $25.00. This Court also increased the amount of Defendant's current support obligation from $12.00 to $75.00 per month; however this part of the Order has not been appealed.

Defendant has filed a Statement of Matters to be Considered on Appeal. The issues Defendant raises are:

1) no evidence was introduced to support and justify the Order of Court as promulgated;

2) no claim was filed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania demanding payment of the arrearages, nor could it be a proper party to proceed against the Defendant; and

3) the claim of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, if one is indeed made, should be directed against the Plaintiff who admitted receiving funds from both the Defendant and the Commonwealth at the same time.

As a result of the above, Defendant claims his rights under the Constitutions of both the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been violated in that he is deprived of property without due process.

Underlying the issues directly raised by Defendant is his contention that he should be credited with direct payments made to Plaintiff despite the fact that he had been ordered to pay support to the Domestic Relations Division which was then to turn over these sums of money to the Commonwealth's Department of Public Welfare. In this case Plaintiff had assigned her right to collect child support from Defendant to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth, in turn, had assumed Defendant's obligation to support his child by Plaintiff. Assuming the Defendant had in fact paid all the outstanding arrearages to Plaintiff, and ...


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