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KAREN M. ALBERTSON WIEGAND v. RAYMOND A. WIEGAND (05/11/87)

filed: May 11, 1987.

KAREN M. ALBERTSON WIEGAND
v.
RAYMOND A. WIEGAND, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Delaware County, No. 80-11016.

COUNSEL

Scott D. Galloway, Springfield, for appellant.

Charles F. Mayer, Media, for appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Rowley and Beck, JJ.

Author: Rowley

[ 363 Pa. Super. Page 170]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is an appeal from an order entered upon the recommendations of a Master for equitable distribution. Appellant raises two issues: 1) whether he has waived all issues on appeal for failure to file exceptions to the Master's Report pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1920.55(a); and 2) whether the trial court lacked jurisdiction because the property to be equitably distributed had been the subject of a prior discharge in bankruptcy. We affirm.

On August 14, 1980, appellee filed a complaint in divorce and requested equitable distribution, counsel fees, and alimony. On April 21, 1983, a divorce decree was entered, but the court retained jurisdiction to consider the economic claims. Thereafter, a Master was appointed and a hearing was held on January 23, 1986. On January 28, 1986, the Master filed his report which included a cover page stating:

[ 363 Pa. Super. Page 171]

You are hereby notified that a Notice of Demand for Hearing may be filed with the Office of Judicial Support not later than the 18th day of February, 1986 unless the Court of Common Pleas, upon cause shown, shall extend the time for filing such Notice of Demand for Hearing . . . . If no written appeal to the Court is filed within the time permitted, as above set forth, the Court, without further notice to you, shall enter an appropriate final order.

On February 6, 1986, appellant claims to have written to the Master, individually, requesting a 60 day extension to file the Notice of Demand for Hearing due to certain enumerated reasons. Because no exceptions had been filed to the Master's Report, on February 19, 1986, the trial court entered an order upon the Master's recommendations. Appellant has appealed from the order of February 19, 1986.

Appellee argues that the appeal should be dismissed because appellant failed to file exceptions to the Master's Report as required by Pa.R.C.P. 1920.55. Appellant, however, contends that his letter of February 6, 1986 to the Master should be considered as both a request for extension of time to file a Notice of Demand for Hearing and as exceptions to the Master's Report. Appellant also argues that the Master had a duty to advise him of his erroneous filing or, alternatively, forward it to the trial judge. And finally, appellant asserts that he, acting pro se, should not be penalized for his lack of legal knowledge.*fn1

Pa.R.A.P. 1921 states that the record on appeal shall consist of the original papers and exhibits filed in the trial court. The letter of February 6, 1986 which appellant argues we should consider as exceptions to the Master's Report was never filed in the trial court and is not included in the original record certified to us. Although appellant includes a copy of this letter in his reproduced record, simply reproducing the letter does not make it part of ...


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