Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Capra v. Capra (Cal. Ct. App. - Dec. 22, 2020)

When I first saw the caption to this case -- Capra v. Capra -- I thought:  "How ironic; it's the holiday season and there's a fight between the Capras in the Court of Appeal.  How funny would it be if it was Frank Capra."  (He was, obviously, the director of the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life.)

But clearly it's going to be a divorce case between two people who coincidentally have the last name Capra.  If only because Frank Capra's been dead for nearly 30 years; plus, the first names on the caption are "Thomas" and "Lucille."  So just a random coincidence.

But when I start reading the opinion, I realize:  "Wait.  This isn't a divorce case.  It's a family fight about the ownership of a cabin on June Lake."  And then I realize:  It's indeed Frank Capra's cabin.  The Frank Capra.  Justice Hull never mentions that the "Frank Capra" discussed in the opinion was famous, but the dates and other details match.  It's a fight between his children and grandchildren about who owns and gets to use the cabin.  A fight that's absurd in its (1) existence, and (2) length and breadth.  (It's been going on for years and years, with multiple trips to the Court of Appeal, and shows no sign of abating; the latest decision largely addresses jurisdiction and remands the case for litigation on the merits.)

Given that Frank gave the cabin equally to his children, you'd think his grandkids could figure out a way to resolve things amicably (or at least reasonably).  I'm quite confident Frank wanted the cabin to result in family togetherness rather than extended and bitter litigation.

Yet here we are.

You'd think that in the holiday season, and given the providence of the cabin, the parties could resolve their differences.

Apparently not.

Still:  It's a great movie.