Adams v. Griffith, No. 1557.

CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of Missouri
Writing for the CourtJ. B. McFarland, of Kansas City, Mo., for plaintiff
Citation51 F. Supp. 549
PartiesADAMS v. GRIFFITH.
Decision Date20 September 1943
Docket NumberNo. 1557.

51 F. Supp. 549

ADAMS
v.
GRIFFITH.

No. 1557.

District Court, W. D. Missouri, W. D.

September 20, 1943.


J. B. McFarland, of Kansas City, Mo., for plaintiff.

R. R. Brewster and Dean C. Allard, both of Kansas City, Mo., for defendant.

REEVES, District Judge.

The motion to strike is based upon the theory that the complaint violates the provisions of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.A. following section 723c. The charge is that the complaint fails to state concisely the facts showing the complainant entitled to the relief prayed for. It is further charged that the complaint contains "redundant, irrelevant, immaterial and scandalous matter." The motion to strike contains specific reference to claimed objectionable averments.

An examination of the complaint shows that it is a suit for an alleged breach of marriage promise. The complaint details the age of the parties, their first meeting and the circumstances leading to the alleged marriage contract. It is stated, in substance, by the complainant, that the defendant was never sincere in his intentions and deceitfully and insincerely induced her to enter into the marriage contract. Such acts of the defendant were characterized as "willful, wicked, wrongful and malicious." The alleged breach of the marriage promise caused the usual mental suffering and distress. For such alleged breach, the complainant seeks both actual and exemplary damages.

It is emphasized in the motion to strike that in such an action a complainant is not entitled under the laws of Missouri to recover exemplary or punitive damages.

1. In considering a motion to strike it seems proper to examine the law with respect to a suit of this kind. A claim for damages for breach of marriage promise is somewhat different from the ordinary action on single contract. As a rule, in suits for breach of contract it is only necessary to allege the contract and its breach. An action for breach of marriage promise, while in its nature ex contractu and not ex delicto, "although, the wrong that occurs being purely personal, the action partakes somewhat of the characteristics of one for tort so far as damages are concerned." 11 C.J. S., Breach of Marriage Promise, § 15, p. 783; Broyhill v. Norton, 175 Mo. 190, 74 S.W. 1024.

In the case of Broyhill v. Norton, supra, 175 Mo. loc. cit. 203, 74 S.W. loc. cit. 1028, the Supreme Court of Missouri, in defining the action, said: "This is not an action in tort, although it...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 practice notes
  • Suflas v. Cleveland Wrecking Company, Civ. A. No. 27548.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • June 14, 1963
    ...I am convinced that this was error. The law applicable to the recovery of punitive damages is that of Pennsylvania: Adams v. Griffith, 51 F.Supp. 549 (W.D.Mo.1943); Thompson v. Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Association of Omaha, Nebraska, 83 F.Supp. 656 (N.D.Iowa 1949); Kelite Produc......
1 cases
  • Suflas v. Cleveland Wrecking Company, Civ. A. No. 27548.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • June 14, 1963
    ...I am convinced that this was error. The law applicable to the recovery of punitive damages is that of Pennsylvania: Adams v. Griffith, 51 F.Supp. 549 (W.D.Mo.1943); Thompson v. Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Association of Omaha, Nebraska, 83 F.Supp. 656 (N.D.Iowa 1949); Kelite Produc......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT