Commonwealth v. Rosenblatt

Decision Date07 November 1914
Citation106 N.E. 852,219 Mass. 197
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH v. ROSENBLATT.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
COUNSEL

John J. Burke, Asst. Dist. Atty., of Gloucester, for the commonwealth.

A. B. Tolman, of Lynn, for defendant.

OPINION

RUGG, C.J.

At the trial of the defendant, upon this complaint which charged him with failing to contribute reasonably to the support of an illegitimate child, the mother, a married woman, was allowed to testify that her husband had deserted her more than three years before the child was begotten, that she had not seen him since and that the defendant was the father of the child. There was also some evidence tending to show that the husband was in Europe. It has been said that apart from statute parents are not permitted to give testimony to make spurious the issue of the mother born in lawful wedlock. Abington v. Duxbury, 105 Mass. 287, 290; Koffman v. Koffman, 193 Mass. 593, 79 N.E. 780. But St. 1913, c. 563, upon which this complaint is founded, by section 6 adopts the 'practice' established by St. 1911, c. 456. Section 7 of the latter act provides that:

'Both husband and wife shall be competent witnesses to testify against each other to any and all relevant matters, including the fact of their marriage and the parentgae of the child or children.'
'Practice,' as thus used, is broad enough to include special rules as to evidence. Therefore the statute permits a mother, although married, to testify in a proceeding under St. 1913, c. 563, to which the husband is not a party, that some other man is the father of her child.

Exceptions overruled.

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17 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Rilly
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 28 Febrero 1924
    ...v. Callaghan, 223 Mass. 150, 111 N. E. 773, ceptiorari denied 241 U. S. 667, 36 Sup. Ct. 551, 60 L. Ed. 1229;Commonwealth v. Rosenblatt, 219 Mass. 197, 106 N. E. 852. See Commonwealth v. Cassidy, 209 Mass. 24, 95 N. E. 214. In all the decisions just cited it was assumed without discussion t......
  • Commonwealth v. Reilly
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 25 Febrero 1924
    ...273, Section 15, Commonwealth v. Callaghan, 223 Mass. 150 , certiorari denied, Callaghan v. Massachusetts, 241 U.S. 667, Commonwealth v. Rosenblatt, 219 Mass. 197 . Commonwealth v. Cassidy, 209 Mass. 24 . In all the decisions just cited it was assumed without discussion that the statute was......
  • Sayles v. Sayles
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 9 Junio 1948
    ...that the husband is not a party, that some other man is the father of her child. G.L.(Ter.Ed.) c. 273, § 16; Commonwealth v. Rosenblatt, 219 Mass. 197, 198, 106 N.E. 852;Commonwealth v. Circo, 293 Mass. 361, 362, 199 N.E. 896;Commonwealth v. Kitchen, 299 Mass. 7, 10, 11, 11 N.E.2d 482. Ther......
  • Symonds v. Symonds
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 10 Marzo 1982
    ...an illegitimacy proceeding that a man other than her husband is the father of her child (G.L. c. 273, § 16). See Commonwealth v. Rosenblatt, 219 Mass. 197, 106 N.E. 852 (1914). If, as a matter of policy, such testimony from a husband or wife casting doubt on the legitimacy of a child born d......
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