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Nelson v. Marshall

869 S.W.2d 132 (1993)

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Nelson v. Marshall

Missouri Court of Appeals

869 S.W.2d 132 (1993)

Facts

Linda Nelson (plaintiff) was in a romantic relationship with Samuel Marshall for over 12 years. In February 1992, Marshall was hospitalized. While hospitalized, Marshall told Nelson that he wanted to get married. On February 12, Nelson spoke to the hospital chaplain about the steps the couple would need to take to marry. After the chaplain spoke with the county recorder, he informed Nelson that she would have to pursue a waiver to skip the typical three-day waiting period between applying for the marriage license and the issuance of the license. However, because the court observed former president Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 as a holiday, the waiver and the license were not obtained. That same day, the chaplain conducted a marriage ceremony for Marshall and Nelson. On February 13, the chaplain reminded Nelson about the need to obtain the marriage license and informed her of the papers she and Marshall needed to sign. However, the condition for which Marshall was hospitalized worsened and he died the evening of February 13, before signing any papers. Both Nelson and Marshall’s siblings (defendants) sought to be appointed as the legal representative of Marshall’s estate, and the siblings questioned the validity of Nelson’s marriage to Marshall in the probate court proceedings. In response, Nelson filed an action in the trial court to declare her marriage valid. The trial court held that the marriage was not valid.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lowenstein, J.)

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