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In Re Fazzio

Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California
180 B.R. 263 (1995)


Facts

Walter Fazzio (plaintiff), Ivan Rarick, and six others owned property known as Rice Ranch. The owners agreed that each would be responsible for maintenance expenses and loan obligations associated with the property in proportion to their respective interests. The owners further agreed that Fazzio would oversee the farming of rice in order to generate income that could be allocated to property expenses. Rarick died in 1977, leaving his wife (defendant) his one-eighth interest in the property. Thereafter, Fazzio purchased the interests of the other six owners, obtaining a seven-eighths interest in the property. At this time, Fazzio and Rarick’s widow had some disagreement about the allocation of property expenses. Fazzio decided to farm on the property for his own account. Between 1979 and 1989, Fazzio used farming income to pay the expenses, which amounted to approximately $2,100 annually. After the ranch was sold, Fazzio brought suit against Rarick’s widow seeking reimbursement for her share of the maintenance expenses. Rarick argued that she was entitled to a share of the income generated by Fazzio’s rice farming.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Russell, C.J.)

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