Appeal from the order of August 19, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division of Greene County, A.D. No. 163 of 1984.
James T. Carney, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
J. Marie Webb, Waynesburg, Assistant Public Defender, for appellee.
Rowley, Del Sole and Tamilia, JJ.
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 462]
This appeal presents the issue of whether an employer may collect, by means of a wage attachment, a judgment obtained by it against its employee as restitution for the employer's satisfaction of a judgment against the employee and in favor of the employee's former wife for debts unrelated to the employee's support obligations. We hold that the employer's judgment cannot be satisfied by a wage attachment order because it does not fall within one of the three exceptions to the statute exempting wages from attachment. 42 Pa.C.S. § 8127.
In February, 1985, following a lengthy history of proceedings in both Pennsylvania and Ohio commencing in the early 1980's, U.S. Steel Mining Co., Inc. presented a motion to the Greene County Court of Common Pleas to allow it to attach
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 463]
the wages of its employee, Robert Ankrom, appellee, and to hold such payments in escrow in order to create a fund from which it could obtain restitution for an Ohio judgment paid by USX, the Mining Company's parent corporation, and appellant herein. The judgment which USX paid was a judgment obtained by appellee's former wife, Patricia Ankrom, against USX in an amount equal to an Ohio judgment which Patricia Ankrom had against appellee.*fn1 Part of the judgment which Patricia Ankrom had against appellee was for child support, and part of it, as found by the trial court, represented appellee's obligation "for settlement of marital property" to his former wife. USX contends that by its payment of the judgment against it, it has also satisfied the Ohio judgment in favor of Patricia Ankrom against Robert Ankrom.*fn2
Within a few weeks of Judge Grimes being elected and sworn in as President Judge of Greene County, in January, 1986, he ordered a hearing on the pending motion of U.S. Steel Mining Co., Inc. for February 17, 1986. That hearing was continued. On or about March 18, 1986, USX presented a motion to Judge Grimes requesting that two of the trial court's earlier orders that prohibited the attachment of appellee's wages be dissolved. An evidentiary hearing was
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 464]
ultimately held on August 14, 1986, following which the trial court entered the following order on August 19, 1986:
AND NOW, this 19th day of August, 1986, the U.S. Steel Mining Company, Inc., a subsidiary of USX, formerly United States Steel Corporation, is authorized to attach the sum of $2,811.21 from the wages of Robert W. Ankrom at a rate of no greater than $400.00 per month with the balance of $12,848.43 ...