Baugh v. Maddox

Decision Date09 May 1957
Docket Number8 Div. 902
Citation95 So.2d 268,266 Ala. 175
PartiesAnthony Eugene BAUGH, pro aml., Rosie Baugh, v. Daniel T. MADDOX.
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

Clark E. Johnson, Jr., Albertville, for appellant.

Scruggs & Scruggs, Guntersville, for appellee.

MERRILL, Justice.

Appeal from a decree sustaining a demurrer to the original bill of complaint, as amended, for lack of equity, and dismissing the bill because it could not be amended so as to contain equity.

The complainant, suing by his mother as next friend, alleges that he is a minor, born out of wedlock, and that the respondent had been judicially adjudged and ascertained to be his father in a bastardy proceeding in the Circuit Court of Marshall County, and that the sum of $100 per year for ten years, commencing January, 1957, which was adjudged against respondent as a result of the bastardy proceedings, will be totally inadequate for complainant's support, maintenance and education. The bill alleges the inability of the mother and the ability of the respondent to support and maintain the complainant.

The question presented is--can an illegitimate minor child, where his father has been convicted and so adjudged in a bastardy proceeding, require support of his father by proceedings in equity? The trial court answered in the negative and we are compelled to affirm such a result.

There is no legal duty on the part of the father to support a bastard child except as expressly provided by statute. Simmons v. Bull, 21 Ala. 501, 56 Am.Dec. 257; Lewis v. Crowell, 210 Ala. 199, 97 So. 691; Law v. State, 238 Ala. 428, 191 So. 803; Davis v. Davis, 255 Ala. 488, 51 So.2d 876; Upton v. State, 255 Ala. 594, 52 So.2d 824.

Under the bastardy statutes, it is the duty of such a father, when so adjudged, to pay up to a maximum of $100 per year for ten years, as was done in the case of respondent. Tit. 6, § 12, Code 1940.

The only other statutes applicable are our desertion and non-support statutes, Tit. 34, §§ 89-104. Under those statutes, § 94, exclusive and original jurisdiction is in the probate courts, except in counties having statutory juvenile or domestic relations courts.

There is no statute which gives equity jurisdiction of matters and as are sought to be here enforced. Davis v. Davis, 255 Ala. 488, 51 So.2d 876; Simmons v. Bull, 21 Ala. 501, 56 Am.Dec. 257. We might wish that the equity court did have jurisdiction of such matters, but this is a sociological problem which addresses itself to the legislature. We note that the appellant, in the case of Simmons v. Bull, supra, urged much the same argument that is presented by appellant in the instant case. The opinion in that case is applicable here. The court said:

'This was a bill filed by an infant by its next friend, charging that it was a bastard, begotten by the defendant, who, to avoid the statutory liability for its support, has removed beyond the jurisdiction of this State, leaving property...

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2 cases
  • Baston v. Sears
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • July 10, 1968
    ...of legal liability for the support of illegitimate children can be undertaken only in the manner specified by law. Baugh v. Maddox, 266 Ala. 175, 95 So.2d 268; 10 C.J.S. Bastards § 20a, p. 92. Since Section 2151.42, Revised Code, makes no provision for a civil action and gives no substantiv......
  • Bagwell v. Powell, 4 Div. 943
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • December 19, 1957
    ...relating to the welfare of said infants as the circumstances may require.' Reliance is had by appellants on the case of Baugh v. Maddox, Ala., 95 So.2d 268, which was a suit in equity brought in the name of a bastard child by his next friend against the putative father seeking provision for......

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