Godwin v. Godwin, 18310

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Citation245 S.C. 370,140 S.E.2d 593
Decision Date25 February 1965
Docket NumberNo. 18310,18310
PartiesAnnie Margaret C. GODWIN, Appellant, v. H. L. GODWIN, Respondent.

Page 593

140 S.E.2d 593
245 S.C. 370
Annie Margaret C. GODWIN, Appellant,
H. L. GODWIN, Respondent.
No. 18310.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Feb. 25, 1965.

[245 S.C. 371]

Page 594

John M. Mills, Bennettsville, for appellant.

Charles G. Vaughan, Jr., Bennettsville, for respondent.

MOSS, Justice.

Annie Margaret C. Godwin, the appellant herein, instituted this action against her husband, H. L. Godwin, for a divorce a vinculo matrimonii on the ground of physical cruelty. Section 20-101(3) of the 1962 Code. The respondent denied that he was guilty of physical cruelty.

[245 S.C. 372] This case was tried before the Honorable W. F. Stevenson, Judge of the County Court of Marlboro County. After hearing the testimony, the trial Judge filed his order denying to the appellant a divorce on the ground of physical cruelty. This is an appeal from such order.

The record shows that the parties to this action were married in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 16, 1960. Two children were born of this marriage. There is no issue here as to the custody and support of these children, such having been determined in another action.

Immediately following their marriage, the parties resided in Columbia, South Carolina, for a period of time. Thereafter, they moved to Marlboro County and lived with the parents of the appellant. Thereafter, they lived in the City of Bennettsville for about one and one-half years, and then moved back to the home of the parents of the appellant because of her pregnancy, and this child was born on March 30, 1963. In May, 1963, the respondent moved back to Bennettsville and requested the appellant to go with him but she refused upon the ground that she was not well and the child was too young to be moved. They have lived separate and apart since the respondent moved back to Bennettsville. The two acts relied upon by the appellant as constituting physical cruelty occurred after the aforesaid separation.

It appears that the husband and wife were employed at the Delta Finishing Company in Wallace, South Carolina. In June, 1963, the respondent stopped the appellant in the plant to talk with her. After a very short conversation, the appellant turned to leave and, as she did, according to her testimony, the respondent caught her by the arm and 'pinched her arm hard enough to cause a large black and blue bruise'. She said that her arm was sore for two or three days and was discolored for several more days. The respondent testified, with reference to this incident, that he was talking to his wife about a reconciliation and as she turned to leave he caught her by the arm and the pinch occurred when he [245 S.C. 373] either failed to catch all of her arm or when her arm slipped from his grasp.

The second incident upon which the appellant relies to show physical cruelty occurred on November 12, 1963. She testified that on this date she left the home of her parents to visit in the home of her uncle and aunt. After she had been there for a few minutes, a car stopped outside and her husband came in without knocking on the door; that he said he wanted to talk to her and for her to come outside, which she refused to do because she said she was scared.

Page 595

She testified that the respondent picked her up bodily and took her out of the house and, was, she thought, taking her to the car to take her away as there was someone in the car and the motor was running. She said that she struggled to get loose and was screaming 'put me down' or 'let me go' and in trying to get loose from her husband she slapped him once. She further testified that when she broke loose from his grasp she sprained her ankle as she fell to the ground, and such later pained her and swelled up. She testified that her husband then slapped her hard enough to show the print on her face which hurt and was very painful. He then took her by the hands and led her back into the house, put her in a chair, and stood over her holding her by her hands while they talked, and after talking for a while he left. She testified that following this incident she returned to the home of her parents and, thereafter, her husband came to the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
7 cases
  • Rabon v. Rabon, 0713
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 21, 1986
    ...defeat a claim of physical cruelty, but only if the retaliatory cruelty is not out of all proportion to the provocation. Godwin v. Godwin, 245 S.C. 370, 140 S.E.2d 593 (1965); Gibson v. Gibson, [289 S.C. 52] Here, the alleged provocation for the husband's grabbing and pushing of his estrang......
  • Graham v. Graham
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • March 9, 1970
    ...were out of proportion to her provoking conduct. See Wimbrow v. Wimbrow, 208 Va. 141, 156 S.E.2d 598 (1967) quoting from Godwin v. Godwin, 245 S.C. 370, 376, 140 S.E.2d 593, 596 It is apparent there has been no collusion between the parties here. The evidence as a whole, and the circumstanc......
  • Wimbrow v. Wimbrow
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • September 8, 1967
    ...disentitle a spouse to relief if the retaliatory cruelty complained of was out of proportion to the provoking conduct.' Godwin v. Godwin, 245 S.C. 370, 376, 140 S.E.2d 593, 596 Mr. Wimbrow testified that Mrs. Wimbrow had taken his money on occasions before July 7, 1965, and that he had warn......
  • Brown v. Brown, 18693
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 22, 1967
    ...the other, even in anger, which will authorize a divorce.' See also Barstow v. Barstow, 223 S.C. 136, 74 S.E.2d 541 and Godwin v. Godwin, 245 S.C. 370, 140 S.E.2d The courts seem to be particularly skeptical of the existence of fear or danger where a husky husband, in good health, is compla......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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