No. 4 Philadelphia 1982, Appeal from the Order of December 23, 1981, Court of Common Pleas, Northampton County, Civil, No. 7699-C-1980.
Richard J. Shiroff, Easton, for appellant.
Nicholas Noel, III, Bethlehem, for appellees.
Hester, Johnson and Popovich, JJ. Popovich, J., files a dissenting opinion.
[ 320 Pa. Super. Page 271]
Pursuant to an order of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Warren County, New Jersey, John and Patricia Young were divorced on July 13, 1977. Subsequently, that
[ 320 Pa. Super. Page 272]
court entered an order distributing the assets of the marriage. Included in such distribution was a provision for Patricia Young to receive one half of the pension payments received by John Young from the Police Pension Fund of the City of Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. John refused to pay over to Patricia her share of the pension payments and he was adjudged to be in contempt by the New Jersey court.*fn1 He has since married Julie Young and has taken up residence in Florida.
Patricia instituted proceedings in Northampton County. After a hearing, the New Jersey orders were registered and adopted by the Court of Common Pleas. John was allowed leave to petition for a modification of such orders. His petition to modify was dismissed. After further legal maneuvering, appellant filed a petition under 23 P.S. 403*fn2 seeking, among other relief, to attach the pension payments. The court denied the petition finding such payments were exempt from attachment. Appellant perfected this appeal.
The sole issue before this court is whether appellee's vested pension, which is currently being paid, from the police department of Easton, may be subjected to attachment pursuant to, or as a result of, an order of equitable distribution.*fn3 At issue is the interaction between the Divorce
[ 320 Pa. Super. Page 273]
Code of 1980, 23 P.S. § 101 et seq. and the Judiciary Act of 1976, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
The City of Easton, by ordinance, established a police pension fund pursuant to the Third Class City Code, 53 P.S. § 39301. Ordinance 1402, section 147.10 of the City code provides:
Manner of benefit payments: Non-transferability.
No pension or relief or any portion thereof granted under this article, or by the bylaws of the Police Association as a consequence thereof, shall be subject to any attachment or execution, but shall be payable only to the person specified or the dependents in the manner and form as provided in the bylaws of the association. Nor shall such ...