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Family Law
Wayne State University Law School
Faupel, Marian

Family Law Outline –
The outline is heavy on case descriptions because it is a take home exam. 

What is a family? 2-56
·        Matthew M. Kavanaugh – Rewriting the Legal Family, The CARE BASED STANDARD
Essay on the web of care, extended webs of families that are outside of the        neat story.

·        Adult Conjugal relationships
¨      Baker v. State
List of benefits of marriage – Right to inherit from a spouse who died intestate, preference for being appointed heir, right to bring an action for loss of consortium, right to workers comp benefits, etc p 10 text

¨      Smock &Manning Demographics
Unmarried cohabitation has increased, marriage and childbearing has ‘decoupled’.

¨      Braschi v. Stahl -Occupancy rights to a rent controlled apartment. The court considered whether the surviving tenant was a member of the deceased’s family, and whether to use functional or formalistic qualifiers to define family.   The tenants were two gay men in a relationship, only one of whom was on the lease.                           The pertinent NY statute read (d), noneviction protection to those occupants who are either the “surviving spouse of the deceased tenant or some other member of the deceased tenant’s family who has been living with the tenant [of record]                                                                          “The noneviction provision does not concern succession to real property but rather is a means of protecting a certain class of occupants from the sudden loss of their homes”                                                                 “we conclude that HN9the term family, as used in 9 NYCRR 2204.6 (d), should not be rigidly restricted to those people who have formalized their relationship by obtaining, for instance, a marriage certificate or an adoption order. The intended protection against sudden eviction should not rest on fictitious legal distinctions or genetic [***789]  history, but instead should find its foundation in the reality of family life”                                                                                               The court in this instance looked to dictionary definitions and common perceptions of “family” and family bond to interpret the rent-control statute.
·        Adult non-Conjugal relationships
¨      Law Commission of Canada – the diversity of personal adult relationships.



·        Groups
¨      Village of Belle Terre v. Boras – Supreme Court (1974)-  Family as used in ordinance means “one or more persons related by blood, adoption or marriage, living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit, excl

orms instead. Here the court said that definitions of “family” that prevent harmless and reasonable conduct are usually invalid. Single family should/could equal “single housekeeping unit.” These students had formed bonds, ate together, paid bills together, etc. There was a level of stability exhibited, and the court said the city could not prevent the students from living together. Difference btw Glassboro and Belle Terre? It may be the trial level court’s attitude.      In Glassboro, the Students won on trial level, and those who win on at lower court are more likely to win on appeal
Moore v. City of East Cleveland   Supreme Court                                     “Defining families” US Ct said that the Constitution precluded defining families and leaving out Moores. Moore lived with son and two grandsons, the grandsons were cousins. Extended families living together is a long standing, if not majority, accepted practice in US. Forbidding this family type by statute is denying a constitutional right… which right? Substantive due process.. lochner say what?