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Justice Stack

DEFENDANT SOUGHT dismissal of plaintiff’s divorce action for failure to state a cause of action. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged conduct creating a common law marriage in Pennsylvania. She claimed that between June 1996 and December 2002 the parties cohabited at the same residence and held themselves out as husband and wife. Citing the Pennsylvania case of Staudenmayer v. Staudenmayer, defendant argued that plaintiff did not meet the requirements of a common law marriage. The court dismissed plaintiff’s complaint. Citing Carpenter v. Carpenter, it held that plaintiff failed to present evidence of a common law marriage entitled to recognition, under principles of comity, in New York. Plaintiff fatally failed to assert that the parties made any statement to each other that they would, then and there, become husband and wife. The court also noted that plaintiff failed to provide telephone bills, credit cards, bank accounts or leases in the parties’ joint names or any of the usual indicia of marriage.

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