Bullard v. Bullard

Decision Date03 March 1967
Docket NumberNo. 7120,7120
Citation195 So.2d 876
PartiesJames BULLARD, Appellant, v. Ruth BULLARD, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

John J. Duffy, Clearwater, for appellant.

No appearance for appellee.

WINGFIELD, ROBT. H., Associate Judge.

The appellant, James Bullard, was the plaintiff below before the chancellor. James Bullard and Ruth Bullard were husband and wife living in a marital home consisting of a small house on lands owned by them as tenants by the entireties. The assessed full cash value was Three Thousand Three Hundred Eighty Dollars ($3,380.00). Living with them was their ten year old son. There was marital discord and the defendant wife, Ruth Bullard, moved out of the marital home. Later, the defendant wife reappeared at the home, uninvited and unannounced. She made an unprovoked assault on the plaintiff husband by shooting him with a pistol which resulted in his total permanent disability. Prior to said shooting, plaintiff was gainfully and continuously employed by one employer for twenty-two consecutive years.

The defendant wife was prosecuted in the criminal court and was convicted and confined on the charge of aggravated assault.

The defendant has resided in Hallandale, Florida, since her release from prison and is able-bodied and gainfully employed.

The plaintiff husband brought suit for divorce, praying for permanent custody of the child and for an award of the wife's equity and title of the marital home (held as a tenancy by the entireties). The able chancellor awarded a divorce to the plaintiff, James Bullard, awarded custody to him of their child, and awarded use and occupancy of the marital home for so long as the marital home was occupied as a home by the father and son, and until the son reached his majority or became self-supporting.

The learned chancellor supplemented his decree by a memorandum opinion stating in substance that he had no choice ('lacked the power') but to determine the title to the marital home passed, upon divorce, to the parties as tenants in common.

The plaintiff husband brings this appeal.

This matter comes on for consideration on appeal on an order of 'Finding of Facts' in lieu of a transcript of testimony.

The following appears on page 2, Brief of Appellant (in this court):

'At the final hearing conducted before the Circuit Court, where both parties appeared with counsel, plaintiff testified in support of the foregoing allegations and his further testimony that defendant departed the marital home, Taking $8,000.00 in savings accumulated by the earnings of both parties, was uncontradicted (TT. 33, 35).' (Emphasis supplied)

In a 'Memorandum of Law' filed before the chancellor, by counsel for the plaintiff husband, appears the following:

'Plaintiff has no savings and relies upon Social Security for his only source of income. His only property interest is his share of the marital home. Plaintiff testified that Defendant had Eight Thousand Dollars ($8,000.00) in a savings account at the time of their separation.'

The '$8,000.00 in savings account accumulated by both parties' (which the defendant wife took) was presented by appellant's counsel in the oral argument before this court. The order of 'Finding of Facts' (filed in lieu of testimony) does not mention this $8,000.00 matter.

At the outset we run head-on with F.S. Sec. 689.15, F.S.A. entitled 'Estate by Survivorship' and the last phrase of which provides 'and in the case of estates by entirety, the tenants, upon divorce, shall become tenants in common.'

In the face of this statute our Appellate Courts have many times considered the 'special equities' and 'the special circumstances' of the case when considering tenancies by the entireties owned by parties in divorce litigation. Cases cited under § 689.15 F.S.A. 1

In Latta v. Latta, 121 So.2d 42 (1960) the Appellate Court, Third District, observed:

'The second financial matter which a chancellor may be called upon to settle in a divorce case, where the support of children is not involved, Is the special interest of one of the parties in property held by either or both of them. * * * If the interest of the party is equitable and the interest is properly pleaded and proved, the chancellor may declare the equity involved and determine its extent and nature.' (Emphasis supplied)

In this same case upon a remand of the case, the Appellate Court observed:

'Section 689.15 Fla.Stat., F.S.A., provides that in every case where husband and wife own property as an estate by...

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6 cases
  • Ramey v. Fassoulas
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • February 23, 1982
    ...v. Bezanilla, 65 So.2d 754, 756 (Fla.1953); State ex rel. Airston v. Bollinger, 88 Fla. 123, 101 So. 282 (1924); Bullard v. Bullard, 195 So.2d 876 (Fla. 2d DCA 1967); 25 Fla.Jur.2d "Family Law" § 98 (1981); see also §§ 61.13(1), 744.301(1), 744.361(1), Fla.Stat. (1979). Parents who fail to ......
  • Vazquez v. State, 76-714
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • September 27, 1977
    ...State v. Herndon, 158 Fla. 115, 27 So.2d 833 (1946); Grantz v. State, 268 So.2d 572 (Fla.4th DCA 1972). See also Bullard v. Bullard, 195 So.2d 876 (Fla.2d DCA 1967). No prior case, however, has ever applied our burglary statute or any of its predecessor statutes to a domestic dispute betwee......
  • Variety Children's Hospital, Inc. v. Vigliotti
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 10, 1980
    ...this obligation. See State v. S.M.G., 313 So.2d 761 (Fla. 1975); Copeland v. Copeland, 65 So.2d 853 (Fla. 1953); and Bullard v. Bullard, 195 So.2d 876 (Fla. 2d DCA 1967). Recently, however, "the unity concept of marriage has in a large part given way to the partner concept whereby a woman s......
  • Frumkes v. Frumkes, s. 76-1150 and 76-1151
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • September 13, 1977
    ...2d DCA 1972); Mazzula v. Mazzula, 256 So.2d 62 (Fla. 4th DCA 1971); Willis v. Willis, 254 So.2d 59 (Fla. 2d DCA 1971); Bullard v. Bullard, 195 So.2d 876 (Fla. 2d DCA 1967). In the instant case, the trial court found no substantial change in circumstances and denied the petition for modifica......
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