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Coats v. Coats

Supreme Court of California
160 Cal. 671 (1911)


Facts

Ida (plaintiff) and Lee (defendant) Coats married in 1887. Ida believed she had the physical capacity to enter into a marriage with Lee. During the marriage, Lee was a farmer, and Ida assisted with the farm operations and maintained the family home. Lee entered into a partnership in 1897 to buy and sell horses. In 1900, Lee lost all of his money, except for a $2,500 interest in the partnership. From 1901 to 1906, Lee and Ida moved between hotels and apartments. Ida continued to act and serve as Lee’s wife during this time period. In January 1906, Lee obtained a judgment annulling his marriage to Ida based on Ida’s physical incapacity. At the time of the annulment, Lee had approximately $70,000 worth of assets. After the annulment was entered, the court divided the marital property between Ida and Lee. The trial court awarded Ida $10,000, and Lee appealed the trial court’s ruling.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sloss, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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