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Peter v Beblow, [1993] 1 SCR 980 (Link)

Facts:

Ms. Peter and Mr. Beblow were in an intimate relationship. Lived in Beblow’s house. Peter acted as stepmother, took care of children, domestic chores. (Beblow used to have maid).

Issue(s):

Can we impose a constructive trust?

Ratio:

There are no obligations for services between common law spouses.

Analysis:

Peter’s services were not a gift - court says it’s unreasonable to presume that love implies a gift.

Quote: “The cock bird can feather his nest precisely because he is not required to spend most of his time sitting on it.”

Holding:

Yes - court says Beblow has attained unjust enrichment from Peter’s services.


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