No. 00043 PITTSBURGH, 1983, Appeal from an Order dated December 28, 1982, in the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Fayette County, No. 1604 of 1981 GD.
Bernard S. Shire, Monessen, for appellant.
Ernest P. Dehaas, III, Uniontown, for appellee.
Rowley, Hester and Roberts, JJ.
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On October 14, 1981, appellant's decedent, Anna M. Sadowski, filed a Complaint in Equity against appellee, William D. Sadowski, in the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. In September, 1980, following forty-four years of marriage, the decedent and appellee separated. During their years together, Mr. and Mrs. Sadowski had accumulated considerable wealth generated by several successful business ventures. Mrs. Sadowski's equity action was instituted for the preservation and equal division of all assets held as entireties' property.
First, Mrs. Sadowski complained that appellee removed $326,000.00 from their joint account at Gallatin National Bank and placed the money with an unknown financial institution in an account registered in his name alone. Thereafter, appellee allegedly made substantial withdrawals, using the funds exclusively for his benefit. According to Mrs. Sadowski, this was done without her knowledge.
Secondly, Mrs. Sadowski averred that appellee had liquidated most of their model train collection having an approximate value of $500,000.00. The funds realized from the sale had been allegedly secreted into a private account for appellee's sole use and benefit while the whereabouts of the unsold trains had been withheld from Mrs. Sadowski.
As a result, Mrs. Sadowski requested the lower court to order appellee to account for all funds transferred from joint bank accounts or certificates of deposit, funds realized
[ 335 Pa. Super. Page 518]
from the sale of their model trains, unsold trains removed from the marital residence, and any and all cash, coins, art, furniture and furnishings which had been removed from the home. Additionally, Mrs. Sadowski sought a permanent injunction to restrain appellee from further dissipation of joint assets. Finally, she sought an equal division of all funds transferred, used or converted by appellee along with all other jointly-owned property.
Anna M. Sadowski died on May 16, 1982, thereby precipitating the appointment of her daughter, Jacqueline Victoria Clingerman, the executrix of her estate, as party plaintiff below and appellant herein. Appellee filed an answer, new matter, and counterclaim to appellant's complaint. In new matter, appellee requested a dismissal of the complaint on grounds that Mrs. Sadowski's death resulted in the passing of all disputed property to him as surviving spouse. Appellee's counterclaim concerned Mrs. Sadowski's alleged refusal to timely approve the sale of their lumber company and realty company to Tri-State Pallet and Repair, Inc. Mrs. Sadowski's delay in approving the sale allegedly resulted in a loss of $500,000.00 in sale proceeds.
Appellant filed preliminary objections to appellee's answer, new matter and counterclaim in the nature of a motion to strike off the pleading. Pursuant to said preliminary objections, a hearing was conducted ...