Melton v. Jenkins
March 16, 2012
COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS REVERSES PROBATE COURT’S DETERMINATION THAT PARTIES WERE COMMON LAW MARRIED; PURPORTED HUSBAND FAILED TO SHOW THERE WAS PUBLIC RECOGNITION OF RELATIONSHIP.Following the 2007 death of Mary Melton, her daughter, Melissa Melton, was appointed personal representative of the estate. At this time, Thomas Jenkins filed exemptions and claimed to be the surviving spouse of Mary by common law. Melissa appealed and argued that because of violation to statutory prohibition, her mother and Jenkins could not legally be married. However, once this violation status is removed and if the parties continue to live with one another, common law is plausible. The appeal dealt with whether Melton and Jenkins publicly acknowledged their questioned marital status.
Decision: Probate court is due to reverse the prior judgment. The party of Jenkins provided evidence that failed to establish he and the party of Melton had entered into a common law marriage.