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PATRICIA C. BRUZZI v. JAMES A. BRUZZI (03/23/84)

submitted: March 23, 1984.

PATRICIA C. BRUZZI
v.
JAMES A. BRUZZI, APPELLANT



No. 1101 Pittsburgh, 1982, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Potter County, Civil No. 96 of 1981.

COUNSEL

George Stenhach, Coudersport, for appellant.

Jeffrey E. Leber, Coudersport, for appellee.

Popovich, Hoffman and Lipez, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 332 Pa. Super. Page 349]

This is an appeal from a judgment of sentence*fn1 entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Potter County,

[ 332 Pa. Super. Page 350]

Pennsylvania, on August 10, 1982, which found appellant, James A. Bruzzi, defendant therein, in criminal contempt of court and sentenced him to incarceration for a period of fourteen days.*fn2 We vacate judgment of sentence and remand.

The procedural background of this case is as follows. On February 6, 1981, Patricia C. Bruzzi filed a complaint in divorce against appellant which was granted on October 16, 1981. The instant appeal arises from an order of court dated August 24, 1981, in which custody of the parties' three children was awarded to their mother, Patricia C. Bruzzi, allowing for appellant's visitation rights set forth specifically in the order.

He [appellant] shall take all three children every other weekend commencing August 28, 1981, from Friday at six p.m. until Sunday at six p.m. Further, the defendant shall have off premises visitation throughout the weekdays, each and every week, as to one or more of the children, for no longer than twenty-four hours at a time. The defendant shall not exercise a weekday overnight visitation as to any one child more often than once every two weeks.

The defendant shall give the plaintiff twenty-four hours notice concerning the exercise of any weekday visitation before exercising same, wherein he shall inform the plaintiff as to the child or children that he is to visit, together with the length of anticipated time of such visitation.

On July 16, 1982, in accord with his weekend visitation rights, appellant picked up his children; however, instead of

[ 332 Pa. Super. Page 351]

    returning them to their mother at the time specified in the order, he transported them to another state where they were to remain for approximately one week, at which time appellant returned them to their mother. During this time, Mrs. Bruzzi had no knowledge of their whereabouts.

A petition was filed by Mrs. Bruzzi on July 26, 1982, with a Rule directed against the appellant to show cause why appellant should not be held in contempt of the aforementioned court order. A hearing was held on the return day of the rule, viz., August 9, 1982, in which the court found appellant guilty of criminal contempt and sentenced him. The court, pursuant to a request for bail thereafter filed by appellant, set bail in the amount of $2,500.00 pending appeal. Thereafter, appellant filed an ...


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