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[U] Alberti v. Yurko

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 7, 2014

RONALD J. ALBERTI, JR. Appellant
v.
CHARLENE M. YURKO, Appellee

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the ORDER July 9, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County Civil Division at No(s): C-48-CV-2011-9228

BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., PANELLA and LAZARUS, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

PANELLA, J.

Appellant, Ronald J. Alberti, Jr., appeals from the final order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County in the above captioned matter. After careful review, we affirm.

Alberti and Appellee, Charlene M. Yurko, were involved in a relationship from 1994 to 2011 and are the biological parents of two minor children. In 1999, the parties jointly purchased a single family residence. The parties separated in 2001, at which time Yurko conveyed her interest in the property to Alberti. However, the parties reconciled in 2002 and, on October 18, 2006, the property was deeded back to Alberti and Yurko as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. At the time of the conveyance, the property was encumbered by a first mortgage with a principal balance of $115, 897.00 and a home equity line of credit with a principal balance of $21, 653.33, both from Sovereign Bank. While the parties resided together on the property, Yurko was a stay-at-home mother and, as such, Alberti was responsible for the payments on the mortgage and home equity line of credit.

On December 24, 2007, Alberti presented Yurko with a 1.51 carat diamond ring. There is a disagreement between the parties' designation of the diamond ring as an engagement ring or Christmas present.

In the summer of 2011, the parties separated permanently. Yurko enjoyed exclusive possession of the property until she vacated it following its sale on March 23, 2012. During the period of Yurko's exclusive possession (August 2011- February 2012), she paid the mortgage payments.

At the time of settlement on the property, the mortgage was $102, 650.22 and the payoff on the home equity line of credit was $24, 060.78. The net proceeds from the sale were $50, 378.39. Pursuant to an order entered on March 22, 2012, $10, 000.00 was paid to Yurko's counsel; $10, 000.00 was paid to Alberti's counsel; and the balance of $30, 378.39 was placed in escrow.

On September 26, 2011, Alberti commenced a partition and replevin action against Yurko. A non-jury trial was held before the Honorable Emil Giordano on December 18, 2012. On March 7, 2013, the trial court issued an order denying Alberti's claims for a credit for his payments toward the mortgage and home equity line of credit and his request for the return of the diamond ring. Alberti filed post-trial motions and after argument the trial court issued an order and accompanying opinion denying Alberti's requested relief. This timely appeal followed.

Alberti raises the following issues for our review:

I. In the partition action before the trial court, Appellant was entitled to receive credit for mortgage, home equity line of credit, hazard insurance and real estate tax payments made by him.
The trial court disagreed.
II. In the partition action before the trial court, Appellant was entitled to receive credit for his proportionate share of the fair rental value of the real property during ...

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