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Porter v. Zuromski

6 A.3d 372 (2010)

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Porter v. Zuromski

Maryland Court of Special Appeals

6 A.3d 372 (2010)

Facts

Donna Zuromski (defendant) and Sean Porter (plaintiff) dated from 1993 through 2007. Zuromski and Porter were formally engaged in 1995 but never married. In 1997, the parties agreed to purchase a home together. Because of Zuromski’s finances, she did not qualify for a mortgage and the mortgage and title to the home were taken in Porter’s name alone on the assurance that Porter would add Zuromski to the title in the future. The parties each substantially contributed to the down payment from their joint account, made significant improvements to the home, and cohabitated there until their breakup in 2007. Zuromski paid one-half of all household expenses, including the mortgage, construction loans, and utilities. After the breakup, Porter refused Zuromski’s request to divide the equity in the home. Zuromski sued Porter, seeking a declaration she was entitled to one-half of the ownership interest in the home and the imposition of a constructive trust based on unjust enrichment. The circuit court ruled in favor of Zuromski, established a constructive trust, and appointed a trustee to transfer title to the house into the parties’ joint name. Porter appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Zarnoch, J.)

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