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In re Marriage of Imperato

Court of Appeal of California
45 Cal. App. 3d 432 (1975)


Facts

Louis (defendant) and Diana (plaintiff) Imperato were married in 1959. Louis was involved with his father in a business partnership called Personalized Data Delivery Service (PDD). In 1969, PDD was incorporated, and Louis became the sole shareholder, president, and manager of PDD. On December 30, 1971, Louis and Diana separated. At that time, PDD was worth $1,665.85. Louis continued to operate PDD during the period of separation. On June 30, 1973, PDD was worth $17,614.26. The trial concerning Louis and Diana’s marital dissolution took place on August 22, 1973. The trial court used the value of the community property on June 30, 1973, as close to the date of trial as possible, in dividing the Imperatos’ community property. Louis appealed the trial court’s decision, contending that the property should have been valued based on its worth on the date of separation. Alternatively, Louis petitioned the appellate court to treat PDD as a sole proprietorship, because PDD was an alter ego for Louis and Diana, and to award him PDD’s increase in value as his separate-property earnings.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hastings, 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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