SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff common-law wife appealed an order from the Supreme Court, New York County (New York), which denied her motion for leave to amend her complaint and found that she was not the common-law wife of defendant common-law husband.
-The common-law wife commenced an action against the common-law husband, arguing that they had entered into a common-law marriage by holding themselves out as husband and wife in South Carolina.
-The trial court denied the common-law wife's motion for leave to amend her complaint and found, after a non-jury trial, that she was not the common-law wife of the common-law husband.
-The trial court's order was affirmed.
-The court held that the evidence demonstrated that the parties never held themselves out as being married nor were they perceived as husband and wife.
-There was not a mutual intent nor an agreement to enter into a marriage contract.
-Thus, the record failed to support the common-law wife's claim that she was the common-law husband's common-law wife.
-The trial court also properly denied her motion for leave to amend her complaint to allege new causes of action as those causes of action were insufficient as a matter of law.
-The court also found that she failed to establish the necessary elements for a constructive trust and the law did not recognize a cause of action for sacrificing career opportunities in order to act as a wife.
OUTCOME: The court affirmed the trial court's order, which denied the common-law wife's motion for leave to amend her complaint, and order of the same court, which, after a non-jury trial, found that she was not the common-law wife of the common-law husband.
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