Heater v. Heater, 2421.

Citation155 A.2d 523
Decision Date10 November 1959
Docket NumberNo. 2421.,2421.
PartiesThelma Ruth HEATER, Appellant, v. Ezra Wayne HEATER, Appellee.
CourtCourt of Appeals of Columbia District

Joseph D. DiLeo, Washington, D. C., for appellant.

No appearance for appellee.

Before ROVER, Chief Judge, and HOOD and QUINN, Associate Judges.

ROVER, Chief Judge.

Appellant wife on December 12, 1958, filed a complaint for absolute divorce on the ground of desertion. At the conclusion of the wife's case the court dismissed her complaint on the ground that she had not resided in the District for the required statutory period. She appeals.

Inasmuch as the claimed desertion occurred in West Virginia, it is requisite that the wife be a "bona fide resident" of the District for at least two years prior to the filing of her complaint. Code 1951, § 16-401.

In our case of Jones v. Jones, D.C.Mun.App., 136 A.2d 580, we discussed various phases of the residence requirement in divorce actions in this District and laid down the following principles: Residence in our statute means "domicile"; a domicile once existing continues until another is acquired; a person cannot be without a legal domicile somewhere. There are two requisites for establishing a domicile here, (1) physical presence, and (2) an intent to abandon the former domicile and remain here for an indefinite period of time; a new domicile comes into being when the two elements coexist. A person may be domiciled here without an affirmative intent to remain here permanently; the test of intent is generally spelled out in terms indicating something less than permanent habitation, i. e., an intent to remain for an indefinite future time.

Testing the court's ruling in the light of these principles it was clearly wrong. The uncontradicted evidence was that the parties were married in Winchester, Virginia, on June 27, 1953; in October 1956 while they were living in Clarksburg, West Virginia, they separated. She remained there until November 1 of that year when she came to this District, having obtained employment here. She has been working and living here continuously ever since. She pays taxes here and regards the District as her home. For a while she was willing to resume marital relations with her husband out of the District, if and when he provided a satisfactory home for her; this he never did.

The record conclusively establishes that the wife came here more than two years prior to the filing of her suit,...

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11 cases
  • Alves v. Alves
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 17 Febrero 1970
    ...4. Gullo v. Gullo, D.C.App., 192 A.2d 126 (1963); Stephenson v. Stephenson, D.C. Mun.App., 134 A.2d 105 (1957). 5. Heater v. Heater, D.C.Mun.App., 155 A. 2d 523 (1959); Jones v. Jones, D.C. Mun.App., 136 A.2d 580 (1957). 6. Dennett v. Dennett, 63 App.D.C. 252, 71 F.2d 975 (1934). 7. 8 U.S.C......
  • Bartholomew v. D.C. Office of Tax & Revenue
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 24 Octubre 2013
    ...the new one] for an indefinite period of time.’ ” District of Columbia v. Woods, 465 A.2d 385, 387 (D.C.1983) (quoting Heater v. Heater, 155 A.2d 523, 524 (D.C.1959)); see generally Sweeney v. District of Columbia, 113 F.2d 25, 28–31 (D.C.Cir.1940) (developing the test for domicile). The bu......
  • Rzeszotarski v. Rzeszotarski, 5901.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 31 Octubre 1972
    ...remain here for an indefinite period of time; a new domicile comes into being when the two elements coexist. . . ." Heater v. Heater, D.C.Mun.App., 155 A.2d 523, 524 (1959) (emphasis in original). The "intent" aspect of domicile has been further described in Jones v. Jones, D.C.Mun. App., 1......
  • Abulqasim v. Mahmoud
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 9 Agosto 2012
    ...[at the new location] for an indefinite period of time; a new domicile comes into being when the two elements coexist.” Heater v. Heater, 155 A.2d 523, 524 (D.C.1959). “The ‘intent’ aspect of domicile .... ‘is generally spelled out in terms indicating ... an intent to remain for an indefini......
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