Let’s Go to the Court: Pt.3b, Response to Petition, Form FL-120. Children, Cause of Separation, Validity of Marriage, Property, Consequence of Filing
In IRMO CEJA (2013 [S193493, Ct.App. 6 H034826, Super. Ct. Nos. CV112520 & CV115283]), decision filed today, the Court concluded that, “Indeed, a reasonable person test would make it markedly more difficult to extend the civil benefits of marriage to those parties most in need of the putative spouse doctrine and its protection, namely, those innocents whose youth, inexperience, or lack of education or sophistication contributed to an honest belief in the validity of their marriages…”
You may get a copy of the case from http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions-slip.htm.
Abbas Hadjian discusses the California Family Law and issues in 3 Divisions: “Before”, “During” and “After” marriage.
In Division 2 (starting with this program), Mr. Hadjian begins with general premises that the law creates 4 rights (and obligations) among spouses, “Support”, “Intimate Relationship”, “Respect”, and “Loyalty”.
Mr. Hadjian believes that these rights are implied in many parts of the California Family Law including “domestic violence”, “annulment” and “dissolution” of the marriage.
In this program, Mr. Hadjian discusses rights and obligations of spouse that if violated, it will render the marriage as if non-existed, such as fraud in entering the marriage, lack of intent to have intimate relationship, or failure to disclose inability to have a child. These violations bring the validity of marriage into question.
Santa Clara, California, April 19, 2011: In Ceja v. Rudolph & Sletten, Inc., the California Appellate Court for the 6th District held that an innocent party to an invalid marriage would be entitled to marital benefits even if her beliefs were unreasonable.
By this holding, the court disagreed with more than two decades of California law reflected in the case of “In re Marriage of Vryonis”, decided in 1988, which declared that good faith belief in validity of marriage must be reasonable.
In Vryonis the court rejected claim of an Iranian woman who believed her private cultural marriage to her Greek husband was valid, although it was made in her home, without obtaining a marriage license as required by California law.
In Ceja, after death of her Husband at work, Mrs. Ceja brought action for wrongful death, but Husband’s employer moved for summary judgment claiming that as a matter of law, Mrs. Ceja did not qualify as a putative spouse because at the time of marriage knew that her Husband is married.
The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment, applying an objective test for putative status. The court found that it was not objectively reasonable for Mrs. Ceja to have believed that her marriage was valid. The appellate court disagreed. The court believed that good faith belief in validity of marriage asks whether that person actually believed the marriage was valid and whether he or she held that belief honestly, genuinely, and sincerely, without collusion or fraud.
The court disagreed with In re Marriage of Vryonis, which held that the statutory language incorporates an objective test. The court found that: 1. The concept of putative spouse, allowing marital benefits to a spouse even if the marriage is defective is a judicially created relief and the judicial definition of the putative spouse required only a good faith belief in the validity of a marriage. 2. The Legislature codified that definition without intending to change it. 3. The Vryonis court engrafted an objective test to the statutory definition based on the legally unsupported view that “good faith belief” necessarily incorporates an objective standard. 4. The Vryonis court intruded upon the Legislature’s prerogative.
The courts have followed and uncritically accepted Vryonis decision but the policy of stare decisis carries little weight. Despite its widespread acceptance, Vryonis created a conflict with prior cases. The rule of statutory construction is inapplicable, because there is an unresolved conflict in the judicial holdings. https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/5-s193493-app-nancy-ceja-answer-brief-merits-111411.pdf
California(August 4, 2010): Judge Vaughn R. Walker, Chief Judge, the United States District Court for The Northern District Of California, ruled that California Proposition 8, the voter-enacted amendment to the California Constitution in November 2008, is unconstitutional. Proposition 8 provides that: ”Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
In his ruling, Judge Walker found that Proposition 8, violates the due process and equal protection rights of the same-sex couples who wish to get married, including 18, 000 same sex couples who have already obtained their license to get married.
In the ruling, titled: PRETRIAL PROCEEDINGS AND TRIAL EVIDENCE CREDIBILITY DETERMINATIONS FINDINGS OF FACT CONCLUSIONS OF LAW ORDER, Judge Walker made reference to testimony of many witnesses who addressed the issue of same-sex marriage from the cultural point of view.
Here are quotations of the ruling referring to culture. .
A party to an invalid marriage may receive the spousal support and one-half of the community property, if the marriage is “putative”. A “putative marriage” is created when both or either spouses believe in good faith that the marriage is valid.
In “In re the Marriage of GUO and SUN“, filed July 28, 2010, the Appellate Court of California in Los Angeles determined that a “putative marriage” exists when the “innocent spouse” believes in its validity. This decision contradicts the decision of “In re Marriage of Tejeda”, by the California Appellate Court in Santa Cruz, filed November 25, 2009, which determined that if one spouse is found to be putative, the marriage becomes putative.