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[U] Mason v. Mason

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 21, 2014

MARY ANN MASON, Appellant,
v.
JOHN M. MASON, Appellee

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order entered on December 14, 2012 in the Court of Common Pleas of Cameron County, Civil Division, No. 1996-453.

BEFORE: PANELLA, OLSON and MUSMANNO, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

MUSMANNO, J.:

Mary Ann Mason ("Wife") appeals from the Order setting forth the equitable distribution of Wife's and John M. Mason's ("Husband") marital assets. We affirm.

Wife and Husband were married from 1981 until 1996, when Wife filed a Complaint in divorce. The trial court issued a Divorce Decree in 1997, and bifurcated the equitable distribution of the marital assets. Following a procedural history not relevant to this case, the parties were referred to a master for the equitable distribution. The parties had numerous assets, both marital and non-marital, including real estate, farm implements, equipment, machinery, livestock, a tax refund, an annuity and personalty, and numerous values were attributed to those assets. On April 6, 2012, the findings and recommendations of the master were filed, to which both Wife and Husband filed exceptions. On November 20, 2012, the trial court entered an Order denying Wife's exceptions, and granting in part and denying in part Husband's exceptions. On December 3, 2012, Wife filed an untimely Motion for reconsideration of the November 20, 2012 Order. On December 14, 2012, the trial court entered an Order granting in part and denying in part the relief requested by Wife in her Motion for reconsideration.

On December 19, 2012, Wife filed a Notice of appeal from the November 20, 2012 Order.[1] The trial court ordered Wife to file a Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(b) concise statement of matters complained of on appeal. Wife complied by filing a Concise Statement. The trial court issued an Opinion, stating that Wife's claims, as set forth in her Rule 1925(b) Concise Statement, were so vague as to preclude review of the issues.

On appeal, Wife raises the following issue for our review: "Whether the [t]rial [c]ourt erred in its determination that [Husband] met his burden in proving that certain disputed assets were obtained prior to marriage[?]" Brief for Appellant at 7.

Initially, when an appellant is ordered to file a Rule 1925(b) concise statement of matters complained of on appeal, the appellant must do so, or the issues will be waived on appeal. Commonwealth v. Lord, 719 A.2d 306, 309 (Pa. 1998); see also Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b). "When a court has to guess what issues an appellant is appealing, that is not enough for meaningful review." Commonwealth v. Thompson, 778 A.2d 1215, 1223 (Pa. Super. 2001) (citation omitted). "When an appellant fails adequately to identify in a concise manner the issues sought to be pursued on appeal, the trial court is impeded in its preparation of a legal analysis which is pertinent to those issues." In re Estate of Daubert, 757 A.2d 962, 963 (Pa. Super. 2000).

In her Concise Statement, Wife identified the following issues for our review:

1. Whether the [t]rial [c]ourt erred in its identification of assets as marital or non-marital; and
2. Whether the [t]rial [c]ourt erred in its determination of [the] value of marital or non-marital assets[?]

Wife's Concise Statement, 1/16/13.

Here, the trial court, in its Opinion, noted that Wife's Concise Statement

fails entirely to provide any degree of specificity or particularity in terms of identifying which assets were purportedly misidentified as marital or non-marital and which marital and non-marital assets were valued inappropriately[, leaving the trial] [c]ourt [] with only the ability to engage in conjecture as to what particular error [Wife] has assigned and what issues [Wife] is promoting in her appeal.

Trial Court Opinion, 2/15/13, at 3 (unnumbered).

We agree with the assessment of the trial court. Further, Wife failed to raise the claim that she advances on appeal in her Rule 1925(b) Concise Statement. See Lord, 719 A.2d at 309. Because Wife failed to comply with the mandates of Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b), her issues are waived on appeal.

Order affirmed.


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