No. 134 Harrisburg, 1982, Appeal from the Order of MARCH 12, 1982, in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Civil, at No. 3534 S 1980.
Ronald Katzman, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Timothy J. O'Connell, Harrisburg, for appellee.
McEwen, Johnson and Hester, JJ.
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Appellant has appealed from an order entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County which awarded to appellee the sum of $1,000.00 for interim counsel fees and expenses and $1,250.00 for payment of master's fees and stenographic costs incurred in this action in divorce. Appellant contends the trial court erred in making an interim award of counsel fees and expenses as well as in providing for an interim award of monies for stenographic costs and master's fees. While we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the court in the award of counsel fees and expenses, we are constrained to vacate that part of the
[ 326 Pa. Super. Page 273]
order which provided an interim award for stenographic costs and master's fees.
Appellee filed a complaint in divorce in July of 1980, pursuant to the Divorce Code of 1980,*fn1 alleging that her husband, the appellant herein, wilfully and maliciously deserted and was absent from the marital home, without reasonable cause, for a period of more than one year.*fn2 In this complaint appellee requested that the court award "reasonable child support, alimony, alimony pendente lite, counsel fees, and equitable distribution of the marital property and payment of costs and expenses." A special master was appointed pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1920.51, who, after a hearing, recommended that the court issue a rule to show cause why appellant should not deposit $1,250.00 with the Prothonotary as payment for the master's fee and stenographic costs and $1,000.00 as an interim award of counsel fees and expenses.*fn3 The Court of Common Pleas issued a rule upon appellant on October 14, 1981, and thereafter issued an order directing appellant to pay the above amounts. Appellant undertook the present appeal from that order.
Appellee has challenged the jurisdiction of this court to entertain the present appeal, contending that the order appealed from is not a final, appealable order. This court has, however, held in Sutliff v. Sutliff, 326 Pa. Super. 496, 474 A.2d 599 (1984) that an order denying alimony pendente lite and interim counsel fees is a final appealable order. We are, therefore, contrary to appellee's contention, possessed of jurisdiction to entertain the instant appeal.
Appellant argues that the trial court erred when it ordered him to pay interim counsel fees and expenses incurred by appellee and contends not only that the amount
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of the award was incorrect but also that the court is without authority to enter an interim award of this nature. ...