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MARGARET NUTTALL v. ROBERT NUTTALL (03/06/87)

filed: March 6, 1987.

MARGARET NUTTALL
v.
ROBERT NUTTALL, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Montgomery County at No. 81-21089.

COUNSEL

Francis X. Nolan, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Neil Hurowitz, King of Prussia, for appellee.

Wickersham, McEwen and Beck, JJ.

Author: Wickersham

[ 361 Pa. Super. Page 321]

This is an appeal from an order entered August 26, 1986, by the Honorable Albert R. Subers of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, dismissing appellant's exceptions to the decree nisi. We reverse.

On November 30, 1981, appellee, Margaret Nuttall, filed a complaint seeking a divorce, equitable distribution, alimony, alimony pendente lite, custody, child support, counsel fees, costs and expenses. A bifurcated divorce decree was entered by stipulation on November 5, 1982. A master was appointed to hear the economic claims and, on January 31, 1985, the master's report and recommendation were filed. Appellant, Robert Nuttall, and appellee both filed timely exceptions to the master's report. Hearings de novo were conducted and the lower court thereafter issued a decree nisi determining the parties' economic issues.*fn1 Appellant

[ 361 Pa. Super. Page 322]

    thereafter filed exceptions to the decree nisi seeking further relief.

On August 5, 1986, appellee filed a motion to dismiss appellant's exceptions for violation of Montgomery County Local Rule 252 (failure to pay estimated costs of transcript within thirty (30) days of receipt of Court Reporter's estimate may be a basis for dismissal of exceptions) due to appellant's delay in procuring the transcripts of the de novo hearings. The lower court promptly dismissed appellant's exceptions by order for failure to comply with the local rule regarding transcription of notes of testimony. This order adopted the decree nisi of May 20, 1986, as the court's final decree. Appellant filed this timely appeal to our court.

On appeal appellant raises the following issue for our review:

1. Did the Lower Court abuse its discretion in dismissing Defendant's Exceptions to the Decree Nisi for the sole reason of a twenty (20) day delay in the payment of the stenographer's fee which was a violation of ...


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