CASE BRIEF 1
I. CASE ASSIGNMENT
Group No: 4 Brief No: 1 Due Date: 9/23/10
II. CASE CITATION
Case Name: People v. Pierce
Citation: 61 Cal 2nd 879
III. CASE FACTS
a. Oct 29, 1964
b. California ( jurisdiction not specified )
c. On or about October 29, 1964 Mr. and Mrs. Pierce were accused of conspiracy where not one spouse who has conspired with third persons against the other spouse, but a husband and wife who together have conspired against others. Thusly they cannot be tried as a unity of husband and wife, but both charged separately.
d. Both Mr. and Mrs. Pierce were charged with conspiracy. Counts 2 and 3 charged Mr. and Mrs. Pierce with violations of Corporations Code section 26104, subdivision (a), and Penal Code section 487, subdivision 1.
e. The rule that a husband and a wife cannot be prosecuted for conspiracy was questioned early in this century and was first judicially rejected in 1920 since then; two other states and the Supreme Court of the United States have rejected it.
IV. LEGAL ISSUES
The People appeal from an order of the trial court dismissing count 1 of an information charging defendants, husband and wife, with conspiracy to violate Corporations Code section 26104, subdivision (a), and to commit grand theft.
The court found that Mr. and Mrs. Pierce had committed conspiracy and Grand theft. However the fictional unity of husband and wife has been substantially vitiated by the overwhelming evidence that one plus one adds up to two, even in togetherness. Thus, one spouse may recover against another in tort the reasoning is that if he tortuously injures her, or vice versa, he or she does so independently of her or him. The tortfeasor, though perhaps not quite himself or herself at the time of the tort, is clearly not one with the injured spouse. Indeed, the latter emerges more separate than ever, now that injury has been...