Blumenthal v. Brewer

69 N.E.3d 834 (2016)


P and D had been her domestic partner since approximately 1981. Blumenthal (P) brought an action for partition of the family home she shared and jointly owned with Brewer (D). The couple had maintained a long-term, domestic relationship and raised a family together but had never married. P sought partition of the residence when the relationship ended, and she moved out. D counterclaimed for various common-law remedies, including sole title to the home as well as an interest in P's ownership share in a medical group so that the couple's overall assets would be equalized now that the couple had ended their relationship. D's counterclaim was premised on the couple's domestic relationship, which D characterized as 'identical in every essential way to that of a married couple.' P moved to dismiss, asserting that the various counts of the counterclaim should fail as a matter of law because the parties had never married. The circuit court agreed, and the counterclaim was dismissed in full. D appealed. The appellate court agreed with D and undertook its own public policy analysis, and held that the public policy of prohibiting unmarried domestic partners from bringing common-law claims against one another no longer exists in current law. It vacated the circuit court's dismissal and remanded the matter to the circuit court. P appealed.