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Lyman v. Harbaugh

OPINION FILED AUGUST 26, 1983.

BORIS N. LYMAN, D/B/A B & H FURNITURE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

EDWARD HARBAUGH ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Greene County; the Hon. L. Keith Hubbard, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The only issue in this appeal is whether the cost of carpeting is a family expense within the scope of the family expense statute. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 40, par. 1015.

The trial judge, the Honorable L. Keith Hubbard, said it was not.

We disagree.

We reverse and remand.

THE FACTS

Charlotte and Edward Harbaugh were married in the spring of 1970. Along with Charlotte's three children from a previous marriage, they set up housekeeping in a home in Greenfield, Illinois.

On June 19, 1978, Charlotte purchased several rooms of carpeting from Boris Lyman, d/b/a B & H Furniture. Edward never consented to the purchase. The carpeting was delivered and installed in the Harbaugh's home, at a total cost of $696.52.

In the fall of 1979, Charlotte and Edward separated. Edward moved out of the house and the couple's marriage was dissolved on August 12, 1980.

Lyman never received payment for the carpeting and he eventually filed a small-claim complaint against both Charlotte and Edward. After a great deal of procedural maneuvering, a hearing was held and Judge Hubbard ruled that the cost of the carpeting was not a family expense. Nevertheless he ordered Edward to pay Lyman $100 for the use of the carpeting while he lived with Charlotte.

Lyman appeals, arguing that the cost of the carpeting is a family expense within the scope of the family expense statute and that Edward should be liable for the entire cost of the carpeting.

In reply, Edward contends that the cost of the carpeting does not come within the scope of the family expense statute because: (1) the carpeting was a luxury and not a necessity; and (2) he did not consent to the purchase.

We agree with Lyman.

THE FAMILY EXPENSE ...


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