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Henn v. Henn

Supreme Court of California
605 P.2d 10 (1980)


Facts

Henry Henn (plaintiff) and Helen Henn (defendant) were married from 1945–1971. Henry had a federal military pension that was earned, in part, as a result of military service during the marriage. Henry filed for divorce, and the military pension was neither listed in the pleadings nor considered by the trial court during the determination and allocation of community property. Helen was aware of the military pension at the time of the 1971 divorce proceedings. Several years later, Helen filed a complaint requesting a determination as to the portion of Henry's military pension that was community property, an accounting of Henry's pension payments received since the divorce decree, and Helen’s share of the community-property portion of Henry's pension. The trial court dismissed Helen's claim on the grounds that Helen was precluded from bringing an action by the doctrine of equitable estoppel and res judicata. Helen appealed the trial court's decision.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bird, C.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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