Saturday, January 4, 2014

Barrow v. Barrow case brief

Barrow v. Barrow case brief summary
527 So. 2d 1373 (1988)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner husband challenged an order of the Second District Court of Appeals (Florida) that affirmed a lower court ruling that respondent wife was entitled to one-half of the fair market rental value of property that was the former marital estate.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner husband owned property and built a home on it prior to marrying respondent wife. As a result of their divorce, respondent was awarded an undivided one-half interest in the property as alimony. Several years later, respondent filed a complaint seeking a partition of the property. Petitioner filed a counterclaim for one-half of the expenses expended in maintaining the property. Respondent then sought one-half of the fair rental value from the date of the entry of the divorce judgment to the date of the present proceeding.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The trial court ruled that respondent was entitled to one-half of the fair rental value and that petitioner was entitled to one-half of the taxes and insurance premiums paid for the same time period. The appellate court affirmed, but acknowledged a conflict and certified the case for review.

DISCUSSION

  • The court quashed the decision of the appellate court and held that respondent's recovery was limited to the reasonable rental value solely as an offset against the claim of petitioner for the costs of maintaining the property. 
  • The amount of recovery was limited to the amount of petitioner's claim because the rental value exceeded his claim.

CONCLUSION
The court quashed the decision of the appellate court and held that respondent wife was entitled to recover the amount of the fair rental value only to the extent of an offset for the cost of maintenance. The amount was limited to the value of petitioner husband's claim because the fair rental value exceeded the amount of his claim for maintenance expenses.

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