Arno v. Arno

Decision Date30 November 1928
Citation265 Mass. 282,163 N.E. 861
PartiesARNO v. ARNO.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Report from Probate Court, Dukes County; Everett Allen Davis, Judge.

Libel for nullity of a marriage by Raymond S. Arno against Lillian R. Arno. The bill was dismissed. On report. Affirmed.

Arthur W. Davis, of Edgartown, for libelant.

WAIT, J.

This is a libel for nullity of marriage. The libellant met the libellee for the first time about September 1, 1925, and had illicit relations with her then or shortly after. About the end of September she told him she was pregnant by him and that he must marry her. In consequence he asked his mother and his sister-in-law, with whom the libellee was living, to inquire into the facts. They were told by her that menstruation had stopped for the first time at her September period as a result of intercourse with the libellant about September 1, and that she had had no intercourse with any other man. An examination of her body was made by the sister-in-law. As a result of their investigation, both mother and sister-in-law advised the libellant to marry the libellee. They married November 28, 1925, and cohabited until February 23, 1926, when she gave birth to a child of normal full period growth showing no signs of premature delivery. Thereafter the libellant refused to cohabit further and a separation followed. The libellee has admitted to the sister-in-law that the child was conceived by intercourse with another man before her meeting with the libellant.

These false and fraudulent representations with regard to a matter going to the essentials of the marriage relation would establish a right to a decree of nullity of the marriage had there been no illicit relations between the parties prior to the marriage. So much is established by the decisions in Reynolds v. Reynolds, 3 Allen, 605;Donovan v. Donovan, 9 Allen, 140; and Anders v. Anders, 224 Mass. 438, 113 N. E. 203, L. R. A. 1916E, 1273. $The question here presented is whether one who before marriage has had illicit relation with the spouse can maintain a petition for nullity. In Foss v. Foss, 12 Allen, 26, and Safford v. Safford, 224 Mass. 392, 113 N. E. 181, L. R. A. 1916F, 526, petitions by such a libellant were denied, but, apparently, in part at least, on the ground that no inquiry adequate to get at the truth had been made after notice of the pregnancy. In Crehore v. Crehore, 97 Mass. 330, 93 Am. Dec. 98, the court, per curiam, held that one who has had intercourse before the marriage cannot allege that he was induced to contract the marriage by such fraud and deceit as will permit him to avoid the marriage, and in a dictum in Smith v. Smith, 171 Mass. 404, 50 N. E. 933,41 L. R. A. 800, 68 Am. St. Rep. 440, Knowlton, J., stated that ‘a petition cannot be granted if it appears that the petitioner had himself been guilty of criminal intercourse with the woman before the marriage.’

In the case before us careful examination in an attempt to get at the truth was made by the libellant. He has not been slack in his effort to understand the situation. He has been grossly deceived by deliberate false representations, and there is nothing to indicate that he would have married but for his...

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14 cases
  • Arndt v. Arndt
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • December 13, 1948
    ...as to the duty of investigation, if any, cited the Foss case and denied relief. The Crehore decision was construed in Arno v. Arno, 1928, 265 Mass. 282, 163 N.E. 861, as denying relief under any circumstances. The court said: ‘* * * careful examination in an attempt to get at the truth was ......
  • Pretlow v. Pretlow
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court
    • April 21, 1941
    ...404, 50 N.E. 933, 41 L. R.A. 800, 68 Am.St.Rep. 440; Richardson v. Richardson, 246 Mass. 353, 140 N.E. 73, 31 A.L.R. 146; Arno v. Arno, 265 Mass. 282, 163 N.E. 861." Hanson v. Hanson, 287 Mass. 154, 191 N.E. 673, 675, 93 A.L.R. 701. See, also, Cox v. Cox, N.J.Ch., 1909, 110 A. 924. "Marriag......
  • Pretlow v. Pretlow
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court
    • April 21, 1941
    ...Mass. 404, 50 N.E. 933, 41 L.R.A. 800, 68 Am.St.Rep. 440; Richardson Richardson, 246 Mass. 353, 140 N.E. 73, 31 A.L.R. 146; Arno Arno, 265 Mass. 282, 163 N.E. 861." Hanson Hanson, 287 Mass. 154, 191 N.E. 673. See also, Cox Cox (N.J. Ch. 1909), 110 Atl. "Marriage before consummation will be ......
  • Hanson v. Hanson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • June 29, 1934
    ...50 N. E. 933,41 L. R. A. 800, 68 Am. St. Rep. 440;Richardson v. Richardson, 246 Mass. 353, 140 N. E. 73, 31 A. L. R. 146;Arno v. Arno, 265 Mass. 282, 163 N. E. 861. Fraud of such nature as to invalidate a marriage must go to its very essence. Our decisions are perhaps somewhat more strict i......
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