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In re Marriage of Brown

Supreme Court of California
544 P.2d 561 (1976)


Facts

Gloria Brown (plaintiff) and Robert Brown (defendant) were a married couple who separated in 1973. Mr. Brown currently has a nonvested pension from his employer to which Ms. Brown claimed a portion during their divorce proceeding in superior court. The superior court determined that the rule regarding pensions as stated in French v. French, 112 P.2d 235, applied, and thus Mr. Brown’s pension should only be considered as an expectancy, not a property interest. Accordingly, the court ruled that Mr. Brown’s nonvested pension did not qualify as a property interest, therefore, it was not community property that could be distributed upon the parties’ divorce. Ms. Brown petitioned for certiorari to the Supreme Court of California.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Tobriner, 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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