Burnett v. Burnett, No. 46859

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtRODGERS
Citation271 So.2d 90
Decision Date18 December 1972
Docket NumberNo. 46859
PartiesMary Katherine BURNETT v. Henry BURNETT, Jr.

Page 90

271 So.2d 90
Mary Katherine BURNETT
v.
Henry BURNETT, Jr.
No. 46859.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
Dec. 18, 1972.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 15, 1973.

Page 91

Ramsey, Bodron & Thames, Vicksburg, for appellant.

Prewitt & Braddock, Vicksburg, for appellee.

RODGERS, Presiding Justice.

Henry Burnett, Jr. filed an original bill in the Chancery Court of Warren County, Mississippi, in which he sought a divorce from his wife Mary Katherine Burnett upon the ground of cruel and inhuman treatment. Mrs. Burnett answered the bill and filed a cross-bill in which she sought a

Page 92

divorce from her husband, the appellee. She also based her claim for a divorce upon the alleged cruel and inhuman treatment of her husband.

The chancellor heard the evidence. He dismissed appellant's cross-bill and granted Mr. Burnett a divorce. He refused to allow appellant alimony, but did allow one hundred dollars ($100.00) per month child support and three hundred fifty dollars ($350.00) attorney's fee.

The record shows that the Burnetts had been married twenty-six (26) years at the time of their separation. They had two (2) children born to them: Kate Louise, born July 26, 1950 and Paul Vander, born September 15, 1954. Paul Vander Burnett is living with his mother. He is seventeen (17) years of age and is a senior in high school. Prior to their separation, the appellee had allowed his wife one hundred eighty dollars ($180.00) per month of run the house. He had paid the gas bill, but appellant had paid the rent of thirty-three dollars ($33.00) on their rented apartment. The appellee has an income of ten thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars ($10,950.00) per year. The appellant has an annual income of approximately one thousand three hundred eighty-nine dollars and seventy cents ($1,389.70).

Mr. Burnett testified that he had undergone a gall bladder operation more than twenty (20) years before the separation. At that time, his health was such as to prevent his joining the army reserve corps. Since 1955, however, he has passed several physical examinations by army doctors. The appellee contends that during the time he was sick his wife would not prepare the proper food required by his diet. He contended that it was necessary for him to eat breakfast at his sister's home. He said his wife quarreled and they had 'spats'. He contended that she was trying to get even with him for a disagreement and separation they had while they were teen-age sweethearts.

The appellant denied that she would not prepare appellee's meals, but admitted that he did go by his sister's for breakfast on some occasions. She admitted that she did try to make her husband cry because of the way he had treated her when they were teen-age children. She pointed out that they fussed, but that her husband spent too much time with another woman; that he would stay away from home and would often go to other cities, but would not take her with him. She admitted she refused 'relations' with her husband on several occasions, but that a few nights before he left appellant, they did have 'relations'. After appellee left home, appellant wrote a letter to him asking him to forgive her and give her at least part of his love.

Are these facts sufficient to establish the charge of cruel and inhuman treatment? The chancellor thought they were sufficient to establish the charge and granted a divorce.

The general rule as to what facts are necessary to establish the charge of cruel and inhuman treatment under the statute is clearly announced in a long list of cases in this state. The rule is as follows:

'. . . (T)he necessary implication is that the treatment accorded to the complaining spouse must be something more than mere unkindness or rudeness, something more than mere incompatibility, want of attection, or lack of civil attention. The conduct of the offending spouse must be so unkind as to be cruel, that is, so unreasonably harsh and severe to be inhumane, so lacking in human qualities, so unfeeling or brutal as to endanger, or put one in reasonable apprehension of danger to life, limb, or health. And finally, such conduct must be habitual, that is, done so often, or continued so long, that its recurrence may be reasonably expected whenever occasion or opportunity presents itself.' Bunkley and Morse, Amis on Divorce and Separation

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20 practice notes
  • Brooks v. Brooks, No. 92-CA-01197-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 30, 1995
    ...the granting of a divorce on the ground of "cruel and inhuman treatment." Wires v. Wires, 297 So.2d 900 (Miss.1974); Burnett v. Burnett, 271 So.2d 90 Accordingly, this assignment of error is without merit. It is merely an attempt by Robert to renew his request for a divorce by substantively......
  • Muhammad v. Muhammad, No. 92-CA-470
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • August 5, 1993
    ...or continued so long, that its recurrence may be reasonably expected whenever occasion or opportunity presents itself. Burnett v. Burnett, 271 So.2d 90, 92 (Miss.1972), quoted in Gallaspy v. Gallaspy, 459 So.2d 283, 285 Looking at the chancellor's findings and the testimony, it is clear tha......
  • McKee v. Flynt, No. 91-CA-0987
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • December 23, 1993
    ...nature. Parker v. Parker, 519 So.2d 1232, 1234 (Miss.1988), citing Day v. Day, 501 So.2d 353 (Miss.1987). See also, Burnett v. Burnett, 271 So.2d 90, 92-93 (Miss.1972). While ordinarily one act or an isolated incident will not establish a charge of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, "one......
  • Jones v. Jones, No. 57912
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 5, 1988
    ...Chaffin v. Chaffin, 437 So.2d 384 (Miss.1983), stated: "We take complainant's testimony at its best, as suggested in Burnett v. Burnett, 271 So.2d 90 (Miss.1972), and find that it does establish the grounds set out in the Based upon the uncontested portions of Becky's testimony and that of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Brooks v. Brooks, No. 92-CA-01197-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 30, 1995
    ...the granting of a divorce on the ground of "cruel and inhuman treatment." Wires v. Wires, 297 So.2d 900 (Miss.1974); Burnett v. Burnett, 271 So.2d 90 Accordingly, this assignment of error is without merit. It is merely an attempt by Robert to renew his request for a divorce by substantively......
  • Muhammad v. Muhammad, No. 92-CA-470
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • August 5, 1993
    ...or continued so long, that its recurrence may be reasonably expected whenever occasion or opportunity presents itself. Burnett v. Burnett, 271 So.2d 90, 92 (Miss.1972), quoted in Gallaspy v. Gallaspy, 459 So.2d 283, 285 Looking at the chancellor's findings and the testimony, it is clear tha......
  • McKee v. Flynt, No. 91-CA-0987
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • December 23, 1993
    ...nature. Parker v. Parker, 519 So.2d 1232, 1234 (Miss.1988), citing Day v. Day, 501 So.2d 353 (Miss.1987). See also, Burnett v. Burnett, 271 So.2d 90, 92-93 (Miss.1972). While ordinarily one act or an isolated incident will not establish a charge of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, "one......
  • Jones v. Jones, No. 57912
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 5, 1988
    ...Chaffin v. Chaffin, 437 So.2d 384 (Miss.1983), stated: "We take complainant's testimony at its best, as suggested in Burnett v. Burnett, 271 So.2d 90 (Miss.1972), and find that it does establish the grounds set out in the Based upon the uncontested portions of Becky's testimony and that of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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