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Law School Case Brief

Stephen K. v. Roni L - 105 Cal. App. 3d 640, 164 Cal. Rptr. 618 (1980)


Courts have long recognized a right of privacy in matters relating to marriage, family, and sex.


Cross-defendant mother, her minor child, and a guardian ad litem brought a paternity suit against cross-plaintiff father. After admitting paternity, cross-plaintiff filed a cross-complaint for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and negligence, alleging that cross-defendant had falsely represented that she was taking birth control pills, and that in reliance upon such representation, he engaged in sexual intercourse with her. The trial court dismissed the cross-complaint.


Does the false representation by a mother, who reported that she was taking birth control pills, amount to fraud and negligence as alleged by the father of the child?




The court held that as between two consenting sexual partners, cross-plaintiff could not hold cross-defendant liable in tort for the birth of a child conceived in an act of intercourse where he relied on cross-defendant's false representation that contraceptive measures had been taken. The court affirmed the judgment dismissing cross-plaintiff father's cross-complaint and held that for public policy reason, it will not interfere.

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