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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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How do I find a copy of California Civil Code Section 79 that

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How do I find a copy of California Civil Code Section 79 that would have been in effect in 1969?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

To clarify, do you need a physical copy, or do you simply need me to paste the law here?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I need to be able to support the certificate I have to demostrate my marriage to Social Security. If you are able to paste the law with reference that would allow a physical copy if necessary, then paste should suffice. Thank you.
Hi again.

Civil Code Section 79 stated:

"When unmarried persons, not minors, have been living together as man and wife, they may, without a license, be married by any clergyman. A certificate of such marriage must, by the clergyman, be made and delivered to the parties, and recorded upon the records of the church of which the clergyman is a representative. No other record need be made."

Also, here is a relevant part of a treatise on marriage in California that explains Section 79:

Former C.C. 79 (later former C.C. 4213 et seq.), dispensed with the requirement of a license where unmarried persons, not minors, had been living together as husband and wife; they could be married by a member of the clergy, without a license or health certificate. The purpose “is to shield the parties and their children, if any, from the publicity of a marriage recorded in the ordinary manner, and thereby to encourage unmarried persons who have been living together as man and wife to legalize their relationship.” (Encinas v. Lowthian Freight Lines (1945) 69 C.A.2d 156, 163, 158 P.2d 575 [privileges of statute extended “to all persons who are capable of contracting marriage without parental consent”]; see 18 So. Cal. L. Rev. 297.) The original statute provided that a marriage certificate issued by the member of the clergy and recorded on the records of the church was the only record required. And even this was held not to be indispensable to proof of marriage. (See Estate of Cesare (1955) 130 C.A.2d 557, 561, 563, 279 P.2d 607 [in action by surviving husband in support of claim to family allowance, probate homestead, and community property, trial court was entitled to believe testimony of husband and his sister that marriage to decedent occurred].)
The statute was amended in 1977 to enlarge the group of persons authorized to solemnize marriages of unmarried cohabitants, and a major revision in 1981 substantially altered the procedures. (See 13 Pacific L. J. 679; 15 Pacific L. J. 622.) Effective January 1, 1994, C.C. 4213 et seq. were repealed and replaced by Family C. 500 et seq.
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