Sunday, April 28, 2013

Marvin v. Marvin case brief

Marvin v. Marvin case brief
557 P.2d 106

CASE SYNOPSIS:
-After hearing the arguments, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) granted (D's) motion to dismiss (P's) complaint.
-The complaint sought declaratory relief and the imposition of a constructive trust upon half the property acquired during parties' relationship.
The complaint also denied (P's) motions to set aside the judgment and denied the (P) leave to amend his complaint.

FACTS:
-After party cohabitants ended relationship, (P) averred an oral agreement to combine efforts and earnings and share equally any and all property accumulated as result.
-The parties held themselves out as husband and wife, with (P) giving up her career to render services as companion, homemaker, housekeeper, and cook in exchange for defendant's financial promise to support her for life.
-The trial court granted judgment on the pleadings to (D).

HOLDING:
The court reversed and remanded, holding (P's) complaint properly stated a breach of express contract claim, and could be amended to assert an implied contract or equity rights.

ANALYSIS:
-Essentially, the court held that the Family Law Act did not govern non-marital distribution of property.
-Express contracts between non-marital partners should be enforced except to extent they were explicitly founded on meretricious sexual services.
-Courts should examine parties' conduct to determine whether an implied contract existed.
-And, quantum meruit or equitable remedies were available.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed the judgment and the court remanded.

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