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Kozel v. Kozel

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

July 29, 2014

DEBORAH L. KOZEL, Appellee
v.
DAVID F. KOZEL, Appellant

Argued January 7, 2014.

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Family Court Division, No(s): FD 98-00761-004. Before HENS-GRECO, J.

Frederick N. Frank, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Margaret P. Joy, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., LAZARUS, J., and MUNDY, J. OPINION BY LAZARUS, J.

OPINION

Page 768

LAZARUS, J.

David F. Kozel (Husband) appeals from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County denying his motion for summary judgment, which permitted Deborah L. Kozel (Wife) to go forward with her petition for special relief seeking imposition of a constructive trust. After careful review, we affirm.

The trial court summarized the underlying facts and procedural history of the case as follows:

The parties were married on July 30, 1994, separated on September 9, 1998 and were divorced by final decree on April 4, 2002. Master Gary Gilman held a nine-day hearing on the issues of equitable distribution, alimony, counsel fees and contempt in late 2004 and early 2005. Master Gilman issued Findings of Fact Regarding Equitable Distribution, Alimony, Counsel Fees and Contempt on May 2, 2005 (" Findings" ). Wife's exceptions and Husband's cross-exceptions were dismissed and Husband's exceptions were granted in part. Wife then appealed and Husband cross-appealed to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
The Superior Court affirmed the court's ruling on November 15, 2007.
On November 16, 2012, Wife presented a Petition asserting section 3505(d) of the Divorce Code, 23 Pa.C.S. § 3505(d), which requires that if, " a party fails to disclose information required by general rule of the Supreme Court and in consequence thereof an asset or assets with a fair market value of $1,000 or more is omitted from the final distribution of property . . . [t]he Court shall grant the petition [for imposition of a constructive trust] upon a finding of a failure to disclose the assets as required by general rule of the Supreme Court." Wife's Petition claims that Husband failed to disclose his legal or equitable ownership in certain assets, and the Husband's alleged non-disclosures necessitate the imposition of a constructive trust as to the following assets:
a. Falcon Partners;
b. Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd., GPK, LLC, Gulf Keystone, and related entities;
c. Other gas interests/wells and partnerships; and

Page 769

d. Other assets of which Wife has at this time no knowledge, but as to which she will conduct discovery in this matter. See Wife's Petition paragraph 8.
Husband filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, dated December 7, 2012, claiming that Wife's action is barred by the statute of limitations of Section 3332 of the Divorce Code, 23 Pa.C.S. ยง 3332, Opening or Vacating Decrees, which requires that any action claiming intrinsic fraud be filed within 30 days of the divorce decree ...

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