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Procedural Posture

by May 10, 2021 Business

Appellant sought review of a judgment of the Superior Court of Santa Barbara County (California). The appeal was presented by a bill of exceptions and concerned contractual arrangements made as a result of a divorce of appellant’s parents.

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Appellant daughter, considered deaf and mute, had sought to recover certain payments owing by reason of a breach of contract by defendant’s intestate. The trial court concluded the decedent intended to waive the statute of limitation concerning a support agreement but also had a duty to do those things in the agreement as a parent. The trial court also found evidence appellant had been guilty of laches and that judgment should go against her. No ruling was made concerning the bar of the statute of limitations. Appellant filed for review of the trial court decision. The court applied case law stating that mere delay in commencing an equitable proceeding without a showing of inequitable conduct or prejudice suffered was not sufficient to bar the action. The court also applied case law stating that in an action at law, the statute of limitations, rather than the doctrine of laches, furnished the rule of decision. The trial court’s judgment was reversed. The court concluded that appellant had relied on the promises of her father and that the bar of statute could not be pleaded against his obligations to her.


Judgment of the trial court was reversed. The court concluded that appellant daughter forbore to sue her father, or harass him with legal process, and that considering the relationship existing between them, that should not be urged against her as she relied upon his promise that the bar of the statute would never be pleaded against his obligations to her.