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August 01, 1980 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-08-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 8-Friday, August 1 1980-The Michigan Dc
Court says
spouse can
sue spouse

ihy From UPI and AP
BOSTON - Construction worker William Brown
stepped outside about 7 a.m. on the morning of Dec.
21 in that dreadful winter of 1978. It was snowing hard
and he went directly off to work, not stopping to
shovel snow and ice from the sidewalk.
Shirley Brown, his wife, walked outside of the
house on Elm Street in Wakefield, Mass., a short time
later. She slipped and fell, breaking two bones in her
pelvis.
ALTHOUGH THE couple, parents of five children,
remains "happily married," Shirley has hit William
with a $35,000 damage suit for failing to keep the
sidewalk clear. Brown vs. Brown could become a
legal landmark.
"I think this has got to be the most profound change
in matters involving husband and wife relationships
that the court has ever adopted," Anil Madan, the

husband's attorney, said yesterday.
"He owed a particular duty to her," said Charles
Blumsack, Shirley Brown's attorney. "He knew she
had a heart problem and a back problem." He said
the husband was "careless and negligent" for not
leaving the walks safe.
ONE YEAR AGO, a Superior Court judge threw out
the case. But the state Supreme Court overturned
that ruling and the case now goes back to the lower
court for trial.
The high court said it was time to change the "an-
tediluvian assumptions concerning the role and
status of women in marriage" that led to the
development of the principle of "interspousal im-
munity." This is the common law idea that a husband
and wife are legally one person.
More than 18 months after the accident, Blumsack
described the Browns as "happily married."
San Diego
residents
obtaining
divorces

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d

Once they said
God himself couldn't sink her.
Then they said
no man on earth could reach her.
Now-you will be there
when wee..

4

en masse
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Judge Raul
Rosado has given new meaning to the
term "quickie divorce" by summoning
large groups of people into his cour-
troom where they answer three
questions in unison and promptly get
their decrees.
Since he began the experiment last
year in an effort to unclog the crowded
Superior Court calendar, more than
3,000 people have gotten default divor-
ces - an uncontested divorce in which
only one partner goes to court - in a
fraction of the time it used to take.
THE AMERICAN Judges Association
and the Association of Trial Lawyers of
America, however, both expressed
concern about the practice.
"In a sense, it could make a sham of
marriage by making it too easy to
divorce," said Judge Allan Markert of
St. Paul, Minn., president of the judges'
association.
Benjamin Glosband, chairman of the
Family Law Section of the lawyers'
association, said "marital cases should
be treated on an individual basis."
AN AVERAGE of 35 people show up
daily in Rosado's courtroom. A clerk
swears them to tell the truth. They
stand when the judge walksinkto read
their names aloud and ask three
questions:
" Have you resided in San Diego
County at least six months?
* Do you have irreconcilable dif-
ferences with your spouse?
" Might the Conciliation Court help
save the marriage?
The replies "Yes," "Yes," and "No,"
in unison, bring instant interlocutory
decrees.
UNCONTESTED divorces used to
occupy two courts for an hour or more
daily. Last year, Rosado went to his
presiding judge, William Yale, for
permission to speed them up.
Yale describes the step as "'outstan-
ding, perfectly legal in every sense."
A law signed July 8 by Gov. Edmund
Brown Jr., effective next Jan. 1,
eliminates a court appearance from
many default proceedings unless the
judge sees a-reason for it. Rosado's ex-
perime t has shown that will work,
sValesajd.

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LORD GRADE Presents
A MARTIN STARGER PRODUCTION
"RAISE THE TITANIC"
STARRING JASON ROBARDS RICHARD JORDAN - DAVID SELBY -ANNE ARCHER AND ALEC tUINNESS
Executive Producer MARTIN STARGER Produced By WILLIAM FRYE Directed by JERRY JAMESON Screenplay By ADAM KENNEDY
PGPRENTAL GUIDANCE SUGESTEl@ Adaptation By ERIC HUGHES Based On The Novel By CLVE CUSSLER Music By JOHN BARRY jlI73
SOME MATERIAL MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILOREK 7EADTTM 8" fM 00MM O f"ED L3s W QA - "an
.':. NOW SHOWING
MON, TUE, THUR, FRI 7:05-9:35
SAT,-SUN, WED05 4:05- 0,5-9:S5

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