Plaintiff wife brought an action against defendant husband for breach of an express oral promise to live with and support her, for fraudulently making promises to live with and support her without intention of fulfilling the promise, and for negligently leaving her without reasonable care as to her support. The Superior Court of Plumas County (California) sustained the husband’s general demurrer, and the wife appealed.
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The husband contended that his wife’s claims were barred under Cal. Civ. Code §§ 43.4, 43.5. The court found that the occurrence of a marriage ceremony did not affect the operation of the §§ 43.4 and 43.5, as the breach occurred whether by postnuptial or antenuptial renunciation. The court found that the legislature’s amendment to the law made the provision of the statutes that barred this sort of action apply to postnuptial breaches. The court found that breach of promise actions were aimed at financial vindication of the entire group of marital expectations and commitments and frustrated economic expectations that did not escape § 43.5. The court found that the wife had available alternative remedies to recoup her loss and to allow recovery could permit her to receive duplicate recoveries. Thus, the wife’s claim of special damages was barred under § 43.5(d). As to the claim of fraud in promising to live with and support the wife, the court found that its objective was an action for damages, not restitution and fell under § 43.4. The negligence claim likewise fell under the statute because it was a transparent pleading device to circumvent a statutory barrier.
The court affirmed the judgment.CACI defamation