Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Centre County, No. 82-2798.
Anthony J. Gerace, Jr., State College, for appellant.
Ronald Katzman, Harrisburg, for appellee.
Wieand, Olszewski and Watkins, JJ.
[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 522]
Where a divorce court, pursuant to a husband's request, has ordered a division of marital property owned by husband and wife as tenants by the entireties, and the parties, without appeal, have acted in reliance thereon, what is the effect of the wife's death before a decree in divorce has been entered? The divorce court denied a motion to strike the order of distribution, and also a monetary judgment
[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 523]
which had been entered pursuant thereto, and enjoined the surviving husband from interfering with the disposition of property in the manner directed by the prior court order. The husband appealed.
Chaney R. Reese and Edith F. Reese were married on May 8, 1954. During succeeding years they worked hard and were able to accumulate substantial property to which they took title jointly as tenants by the entireties. Included, among other things, were a dairy farm in Centre County, one hundred acres of land in Blair County, and two citrus groves in Florida. The parties also owned Alva Trucking, Inc., whose corporate shares were owned 51% by Chaney and 49% by Edith. In addition, they owned a substantial amount of farm equipment, livestock and two automobiles. On December 2, 1980, Chaney filed an action in divorce which contained a request for equitable distribution of all marital property. At Chaney's specific request, the trial court agreed to hear the property claims without prior reference to a master. On April 5, 1984, a comprehensive opinion was filed and an order entered as follows:
1. The following property is awarded to Chaney R. Reese, free and clear of any interest or claim on behalf of Edith F. Reese:
(a) The property, located in Alva, Florida, referred to in this Opinion as the Florida Property, complete with all improvements, crops, equipment and personalty presently located thereon.
(b) The stock, and assets, of Alva Trucking, Inc.
(c) The right to receive all income from agreements made with the Brodzina brothers, which has not yet been paid pursuant to the agreements. (This sum is not intended to, and does not include the check for $20,000.00 made payable to both parties, which was received as a result of the sale of some of the subject cattle at auction).
(d) The life insurance policies, with the present cash ...