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Esteves v. Esteves

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
775 A.2d 163 (2001)


Facts

In 1980, Manuel and Flora Esteves (plaintiffs) purchased a home with their son, Joao Esteves (defendant). Manuel and Flora took a one-half interest in the home and Joao took the other one-half interest. All three moved into the home and resided there together for about three to eighteen months. During this time, Joao expended considerable labor for repairs and improvements to the home. Joao then moved out, but Manuel and Flora continued to occupy the home for eighteen years. The parties sold the home in 1998. Manuel and Flora brought suit to determine how the proceeds should be divided. The trial court found that Manuel and Flora had paid a total of $61,892 for operating and maintenance expenses and required Joao to pay half that amount. The trial court also found that Joao had expended more labor than Manuel or Flora on the home, and that the value of this excess labor was $2,000. The trial court allowed Joao to take a $2,000 credit against his reimbursement to Manuel and Flora for the operating and maintenance expenses. Finally, the court ruled that Joao had no right to demand a credit for the rental value of Manuel and Flora’s sole occupancy of the home.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lesemann, J.)

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