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Carnes v. Sheldon

Michigan Court of Appeals
311 N.W.2d 747 (1981)


Facts

Bonnie Lee Carnes (plaintiff) and her two children moved in with Charles D. Sheldon (defendant) and his four children in May 1967. Carnes performed the household chores and took care of the children while Sheldon worked. In 1970, the parties moved into a larger home and Carnes began working to help pay the bills. In 1977, after Sheldon refused to marry Carnes, the parties split up. Carnes sued Sheldon for an equitable division of the property arguing that the parties had an express agreement to divide the property based on Sheldon’s promise to marry Carnes or, in the alternative, the parties had an implied contract that necessitates a division of the property based on the principles of equity. The trial court denied relief for Carnes stating that there is no evidence to suggest Sheldon promised to marry Carnes and implied contracts are not recognized in the context of meretricious relationships. Carnes appealed. 

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Holding and Reasoning (Riley, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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