IN THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
|DO NOT PUBLISH
This case disposition has no value as precedent and is not intended for publication. Any publication, either in print or electronically, is contrary to the intent and wishes of the court.
BOB and PATRICIA GRIFFIN, No. 95-13222
Memorandum of Decision
About three months before they filed their Chapter 7 petition, debtors Bob and Patricia Griffin
moved from Lakeport, California, to Reno, Nevada, in order to find work. They view this move
as temporary; much of their personal possessions are still in Lakeport, and they return there three
or four times a month. They have not rented the property, and are looking for closer employment
so that they can resume full-time residency there. The trustee's objection to their claim of
exemption is now before the court.
Generally speaking, physical occupancy is required for a valid homestead exemption. In re
, 824 F.2d 754 (9th Cir.1987). However, a temporary absence, with the intent to return,
will not defeat an otherwise valid homestead declaration. In re Pham
, 177 B.R. 914, 919
The Griffins have presented concrete evidence of their intent to return to their Lakeport home.
They have left much of their belongings there, they have not rented it, they return frequently, and
they are looking for work close enough so that they can return permanently. California law does
not require debtors to forfeit their homes if they are forced to take a temporary job in a different
location in order to survive.
For the foregoing reasons, the trustee's objection will be overruled. Counsel for the Griffins
shall submit an appropriate form of order.
Dated: April 29, 1996 _______________________