Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,300+ case briefs...

Betts v. Betts

Washington Court of Appeals
473 P.2d 403 (1970)


After Michael Betts (plaintiff) and Rita Betts (defendant) divorced in California, Rita moved with the couple’s two children, James and Tracey Lynn, to Washington where she began living with Raymond Caporale. James died from injuries to his head and body two weeks later, after which Tracey Lynn was placed in protective custody. Caporale was charged with James’ murder but was acquitted for lack of evidence and Rita and Caporale later married while Tracey Lynn remained in foster care. Michael commenced an action against Rita for custody of Tracey Lynn. At trial, the court allowed Tracey Lynn’s foster mother to testify as to statements made by Tracey Lynn in reference to Caporale, including “He’s mean,” and “He killed my brother and he’ll kill my mommie too.” The trial court found that Tracey Lynn’s statements would tend to create “a strained relationship” between Tracey Lynn and Caporale if custody was awarded to Rita and granted custody to Michael. Rita appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals, asserting that the trial court erred by allowing Tracey Lynn’s foster mother to give testimony containing statements made by Tracey Lynn, which Rita claimed was hearsay. Rita further argued that Tracey Lynn’s statements were not admissible under an exception to the hearsay rule because Tracey Lynn would not have been competent to testify due to her young age.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Armstrong, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 486,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 486,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,300 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial