California Court of Appeal
122 Cal. App. 3d 871 (1981)
Michelle Marvin (plaintiff) and Lee Marvin
(defendant) met in June 1964 and began living together in October 1964. The
parties lived together until mid-1970 when Lee ended the relationship and
living arrangement. The parties had agreed to live together unmarried as long
as they each enjoyed the other’s company and affection. Upon the termination of
their relationship and living arrangement, Michelle filed an action against Lee
for property and support. Michelle alleged that the parties had an express
agreement that she would give up her career in order to become a companion and
homemaker for Lee and that Lee agreed to care for her financially for the rest
of her life. Michelle also alleged that the parties had an implied agreement
for Lee to support her and that Michelle had given up her career as a dancer,
which she could not easily reenter years later, in reliance on that agreement.
On a prior appeal, it was determined that Michelle could proceed against Lee on
her claims of breach of an express contract and implied contract. Lee denied
the existence of an express contract and denied that he had any understanding
of an implied agreement. The matter was remanded to the trial court to hear
evidence. The trial court found that Michelle had benefitted financially from
being in the relationship by receiving more funds and assets as gifts from Lee
than she would have been able to earn on her own. However, the trial court also
determined that Michelle was entitled to $104,000 from Lee for economic
rehabilitation, as she could no longer work as a dancer and entertainer. Lee
appealed the trial court’s decision.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cobey, J.)
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