Wednesday, September 25, 2019

In re Marriage of Mitchell (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 25, 2019)

I don't think I've ever seen an opinion with an "analysis" section that's shorter than this one.  And I certainly haven't seen such brevity in the midst of a ten-page opinion.

Justice Siggins' analysis of the case is contained in a single paragraph.  Indeed, it basically consists of four sentences.  He says:  "The couple continued to cohabit long after [Wife] discovered [Husband's] infidelity. . . . Carolyn discovered Michael’s communications with DeAndra in February or March of 2017. She taped Michael’s sexual encounter with Kim in March. Nonetheless, the parties continued to live together and to have sexual relations for another eight months.  On this record, the court could not issue a judgment of nullity under section 2210, subdivision (d)."

Not that Justice Siggins is wrong.  He's exactly right.  You can't get an annulment based on fraud (e.g., that the guy always intended to sleep with other people) if you subsequently learn about that fraud and continue to live with him.  So the trial court erred in granting the annulment.

Was it the greatest marriage in the world?  Nope.  Far from it.

But it was a marriage.  Not a nullity.