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Tassi v. Tassi

Court of Appeals of California
160 Cal. App. 2d 680 (1958)


Mr. and Mrs. Tassi were a married couple. During Mr. and Mrs. Tassi’s marriage, Mr. Tassi operated a self-owned, wholesale-meat business. According to Mrs. Tassi, Mr. Tassi gave certain property to his brother and others (defendants) without Mrs. Tassi’s consent during the marriage. Mrs. Tassi asserted that the properties were community property. After Mr. Tassi’s death, Mrs. Tassi filed suit to recover one-half of the properties from the defendants. To determine what portion of the business’s earnings was community property, the trial court first had to determine the value of Mr. Tassi’s work for the business. Evidence at trial indicated that Mr. Tassi was completely committed to the operation of his business. Expert witnesses testified that the reasonable salary for a general manager in the wholesale-meat business was between $10,000 and $15,000 per year. The trial court characterized 73 percent of Mr. Tassi’s earnings from the business as Mr. Tassi’s separate property at the time Mr. Tassi transferred the properties to defendants. The remaining 27 percent was considered community property. The trial court held that Mrs. Tassi was entitled to recover one-half of the 27 percent that was considered community property. Mrs. Tassi appealed the trial court’s judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Dooling, J.)

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