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Gormley v. Robertson

Court of Appeals of Washington
83 P.3d 1042 (Wash. App. 2004)


Lynn Gormley (plaintiff) and Julia Robertson (defendant) were in a romantic relationship and cohabitated for 10 years. During their time together, Gormley and Robertson purchased a house. They used a joint account to pay for the home, and they used joint funds to improve the home. When Gormley and Robertson separated, they disagreed about how to handle the property. Gormley sued Robertson. Gormley argued that the meretricious-relationship doctrine applied to them as a same-sex couple and should be applied when dividing their assets and liabilities. The trial judge agreed with Gormley’s position. The trial court evaluated the nature and extent of the couple’s joint contributions to the property, applied the meretricious-relationship doctrine, and awarded Gormley 30 percent of the home’s equity. Robertson appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kato, J.)

Concurrence (Brown, C.J.)

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