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In re Marriage of Ramirez

Court of Appeals of California
81 Cal. Rptr. 3d 180 (Cal. App. 2008)


Facts

Jorge Ramirez (plaintiff) and Lilia Llamas (defendant) took part in a Mexican marriage ceremony that was performed in California. However, Ramirez and Llamas never obtained a marriage license. The marriage was later declared void, because Llamas had not obtained a divorce from her previous husband. Ramirez and Llamas remarried and obtained a marriage license. During this time, Ramirez, who was a Mexican immigrant, sought legal residence in the United States. Ramirez’s mother sponsored Ramirez’s application for permanent resident and citizenship status. However, after the death of Ramirez’s mother, Llamas assumed the position of Ramirez’s immigration sponsor. After Llamas completed the necessary paperwork related to Ramirez’s immigration status, Ramirez informed Llamas that he wanted a divorce, because he was in love with another woman. Ramirez filed a petition for divorce from Llamas. Llamas later learned via telephone conversation that Ramirez had been having an affair with her sister since before their second marriage. During the telephone conversation, Llamas heard Ramirez assure her sister that they would be together once he obtained his share of money and property from Llamas and that he had only married Llamas to gain permanent resident status. The trial court found the second marriage to be void due to fraud relating to the fact that Ramirez married Llamas to secure a positive immigration status and that Ramirez had a preexisting affair with Llamas’s sister that he intended to continue. Ramirez appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ramirez, J.)

Concurrence (Gaut, J.)

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