Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Westmoreland County, No. 3076 of 1980.
Steven W. Alm, Greensburg, for appellant.
James E. Kelley, Jr., Latrobe, for appellee.
Rowley, Wieand and Del Sole, JJ.
[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 401]
In this action to partition real estate owned by a divorced husband and wife as tenants in common, the trial court granted partition of the "Blaney Drive" property but held that title to the "Thompson Street" property was not subject to partition because it was being held subject to a constructive trust. It is argued on appeal that the trial
[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 402]
court erred when it constructed a trust for and refused to partition the "Thompson Street" property. We disagree and affirm.
The scope of appellate review of a decree in equity is particularly limited and such a decree will not be disturbed unless it is unsupported by the evidence or demonstrably capricious . . . . The test is not whether we would have reached the same result on the evidence presented, but whether the judge's conclusion can be reasonably drawn from the evidence . . . . Where a reading of the record reasonably can be said to reflect the conclusions reached by the lower court sitting in equity, we cannot substitute our judgment for that of the lower court.
Lombardo v. DeMarco, 350 Pa. Super. 490, 495, 504 A.2d 1256, 1258 (1985) (citations omitted). See: Lynch v. Hook, 298 Pa. Super. 27, 444 A.2d 157 (1982).
Louis Brasile and Katherine Brasile had lived together after 1949 and were married on July 2, 1956. Both had children by prior marriages. Prior to 1949, Katherine owned a dwelling house on Summit Street, Derry Township, Westmoreland County. From the time the parties began living together in 1949 until they were divorced in 1978, they made the Summit Street property their home. In 1954, title was placed in the joint names of Louis and Katherine, but in 1958, title was reconveyed to Katherine. In 1971, title to the Summit Street property was conveyed to Katherine's children.
During their marriage the parties acquired title to the Thompson Street property, also in Derry Township. Louis had inherited an undivided one-fifth interest in this property upon the death of his mother in 1950. In 1953, Louis and Katherine purchased the remaining four-fifths interest from the other heirs. In 1958, however, title to this property was placed in the name of Louis alone, and the property was later conveyed to his sons. Subsequently, the sons ...