181 U.S. 183 (1900), Lynde v. Lynde

Citation:181 U.S. 183, 21 S.Ct. 555, 45 L.Ed. 810
Party Name:Lynde v. Lynde
Case Date:April 15, 1901
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 183

181 U.S. 183 (1900)

21 S.Ct. 555, 45 L.Ed. 810




United States Supreme Court

April 15, 1901




A decree of the highest court of a state, giving full faith and credit to a decree in another state for alimony, cannot be reviewed by this Court on writ of error sued out by the defendant.

The refusal of the highest court of a state to give effect to so much of a decree in another state, as awards alimony in the future, and requires a bond, sequestration, a receiver and injunction to secure payment of past and future alimony, presents no federal question for the review of this Court.

This was an action brought May 26, 1898, in the Supreme Court for the County and State of New York on a decree of the Court of Chancery of New Jersey, of December 28, 1897, by which it was ordered that the plaintiff was entitled to recover of the defendant the sum of $7,840 for alimony at the rate of $80 per week from February 11, 1896, to the date of the decree, and the further sum of $80 per week permanent alimony from the date of the decree, the said weekly payments to be valid liens on the defendant's real estate; that the defendant give bond to the plaintiff in the sum of $100,000 to secure the

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payment of the sums of money directed to be paid, and to pay costs, taxed at $136.07, and a counsel fee of $1,000, and that, on his default to pay any of the "foregoing sums of money" or to give bond, application might be made for the issue of a writ of sequestration against him, or for an order appointing a receiver of his property, and enjoining his transfer thereof. The record showed the following material facts:

On November 18, 1892, the plaintiff in this action filed her bill for a divorce in the Court of Chancery of New Jersey, setting forth her marriage with the present defendant on March 25, 1884, in New Jersey, where she has since resided, and praying for a divorce from the bond of matrimony for desertion for two years, and for reasonable alimony. The defendant was not served with process other than by publication, and did not appear or answer the bill. On August 7, 1893, a decree of divorce was entered not mentioning alimony.

On February 10, 1896, the plaintiff, alleging that this decree was incomplete through the neglect of her counsel, filed a petition in that court, praying for an opening and amendment of the decree by allowing reasonable alimony. Upon this petition a rule to show cause was entered, and it was ordered that copies of the petition and affidavits accompanying it be served on the defendant.

In answer to the rule, the defendant appeared generally and filed an affidavit declaring that he was a resident of New York; "that this defendant was by the decree of this Court divorced from said petitioner" on August 7, 1893, "and since that time has been married again to another woman," "that the decree for divorce in said cause was purposely drawn without providing for or reserving any alimony," and "that he is financially unable to pay alimony."

On October 26, 1896, the Court of Chancery of New Jersey amended the decree of August 7, 1893, by ordering that the petitioner

have the right to apply to this Court [21 S.Ct. 556] at any time hereafter at the foot of this decree, for reasonable alimony, and for such other relief in the premises touching alimony as may be equitable and just, and this Court reserves the power to make such order or decree as may be necessary to allow and

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compel the payment of alimony to the petitioner by defendant, or to refuse to allow alimony.

54 N.J.Eq. 473. On appeal, this order was affirmed by the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals. 55 N.J.Eq. 591. Thereupon an order of reference, based on all prior proceedings and on notice to the...

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