Luick v. Arends

Decision Date08 June 1911
Citation132 N.W. 353,21 N.D. 614
CourtNorth Dakota Supreme Court

Rehearing denied Sept. 12, 1911.

Appeal from District Court, Richland county; Allen, Judge.

Action by Frank E. Luick against John A. Arends. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals.

Reversed and remanded.

Reversed and remanded.

McCumber & Forbes and A. D. Pugh, for appellant.

The evidence is insufficient to justify the verdict. Maloney v. Phillips, 118 Iowa 9, 91 N.W. 757; Bathke v Krassin, 78 Minn. 272, 80 N.W. 950; Sheriff v Sheriff, 8 Okla. 124, 56 P. 960; Stanley v. Stanley, 27 Wash. 570, 68 P. 187; Young v. Young, 8 Wash. 81, 35 P. 592; Hollister v. Valentine, 69 A.D. 582, 75 N.Y.S. 115; Rubenstein v. Rubenstein, 60 A.D. 238, 69 N.Y.S. 1067; Lund v. Spencer, 42 A.D. 543, 59 N.Y.S. 762; White v. Ross, 47 Mich. 172, 10 N.W. 188; Hoyt v. Graham, -- Iowa --, 105 N.W. 456; Park v. Park, 40 Colo. 354, 91 P. 830; Peat v. Chicago, M. & St. P. R. Co. 128 Wis. 86, 107 N.W. 355; Leavell v. Leavell, 122 Mo.App. 654, 99 S.W. 460; Miller v. Miller, 122 Mo.App. 693, 99 S.W. 757; Smith v. Gillapp, 123 Ill.App. 121; White v. White, 76 Kan. 82, 90 P. 1087; Rankin v. Cardillo, 38 Colo. 216, 88 P. 170.

Defendant's acts must alienate or cause the separation. 21 Cyc. 1619, note 99; Prettyman v. Williamson, 1 Penn. (Del.) 224, 39 A. 731; Avery v. Avery, 110 Iowa 741, 81 N.W. 778; Tasker v. Stanley, 153 Mass. 148, 10 L.R.A. 468, 26 N.E. 417; Servis v. Servis, 172 N.Y. 438, 65 N.E. 270; Leavell v. Leavell, 122 Mo.App. 654, 99 S.W. 460; Miller v. Miller, 122 Mo.App. 693, 99 S.W. 757; Hardwick v. Hardwick, 130 Iowa 230, 106 N.W. 639; Smith v. Gillapp, 123 Ill.App. 121; Scott v. O'Brien, 129 Ky. 1, 16 L.R.A. (N.S.) 742, 130 Am. St. Rep. 419, 110 S.W. 260; White v. White, 76 Kan. 82, 90 P. 1087.

Husband's consent to the wife's acts a complete bar. 15 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law, 2d ed. 863; 21 Cyc. 1619; Prettyman v. Williamson, 1 Penn. (Del.) 224, 39 A. 731; Peek v. Traylor, 17 Ky. L. Rep. 1312, 34 S.W. 705; Schorn v. Berry, 63 Hun, 110, 17 N.Y.S. 572; Kohlhoss v. Mobley, 102 Md. 199, 62 A. 236, 5 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 865.

There was no ill-will or improper motive towards plaintiff, or wanton or reckless conduct implying malice, warranting exemplary damages. Rev. Codes 1905, § 6562; Wrege v. Jones, 13 N.D. 267, 112 Am. St. Rep. 679, 100 N.W. 705, 3 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 482; Lindblom v. Sonstelie, 10 N.D. 140, 86 N.W. 357; Beisel v. Gerlack, 221 Pa. 232, 18 L.R.A.(N.S.) 516, 70 A. 721; White v. White, 76 Kan. 82, 90 P. 1087; Avery v. Avery, 110 Iowa 741, 81 N.W. 778; Shoemaker v. Sonju, 15 N.D. 518, 108 N.W. 42, 11 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 1173.

Verdict based on testimony of a discredited or infamous witness will be set aside. State v. Howser, 12 N.D. 495, 98 N.W. 352; State v. Prendible, 165 Mo. 329, 65 S.W. 559; State v. Huff, 161 Mo. 459, 61 S.W. 908, 1104; People v. Baker, 39 Cal. 686; Gibbons v. People, 23 Ill. 518; People v. Lyons, 51 Mich. 215, 16 N.W. 380; Owens v. State, 35 Tex. 361; Peat v. Chicago, M. & St. P. R. Co. 128 Wis. 86, 107 N.W. 355; Fuller v. Northern P. Elevator Co. 2 N.D. 220, 50 N.W. 359.

Judgment in divorce is in rem. 1 Greenl. Ev. 5th ed. § 525; 1 Freeman, Judgm. 4th ed. § 313.

When divorce decree as bar to suit for alienation of affections. Gleason v. Knapp, 56 Mich. 291, 56 Am. Rep. 388, 22 N.W. 865; Prettyman v. Wiliamson, 1 Penn. (Del.) 224, 39 A. 731; Waldron v. Waldron, 45 F. 322; Metcalf v. Tiffany, 106 Mich. 504, 64 N.W. 479; Buckel v. Suss, 2 Misc. 571, 21 N.Y.S. 907, affirming 28 Abb. N.C. 21, 18 N.Y.S. 719.

Identity of issue, although not of parties, warrants plea of res judicata. 2 Jones, Ev. §§ 602-619; Doremus v. Root, 23 Wash. 710, 54 L.R.A. 649, 63 P. 572; Wilson v. Buell, 117 Ind. 315, 20 N.E. 231; Whatley v. Manheim, 2 Esp. 608 (English); O'Brien v. Heeney, 2 Edw. Ch. 246; Sturtevant v. Randall, 53 Me. 149; Mayer v. Foulkrod, 4 Wash. C. C. 503, F. Cas. No. 9,342; Gleason v. Knapp, 56 Mich. 291, 56 Am. Rep. 388, 22 N.W. 865; Hill v. Bain, 15 R. I. 75, 2 Am. St. Rep. 873, 23 A. 44; Glaze v. Citizens' Nat. Bank, 116 Ind. 492, 18 N.E. 450; 1 Van Fleet, Former Adjudication, 461; Patton v. Loughridge, 49 Iowa 218; 2 Van Fleet, Former Adjudication, 912; Van Rensselaer v. Akin, 22 Wend. 549.

Presumption of good faith exists as to relatives of wife whose husband sues for alienation. Powell v. Benthall, 136 N.C. 145, 48 S.E. 598; Trumbull v. Trumbull, 71 Neb. 186, 98 N.W. 683, 8 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 812; Zimmerman v. Whiteley, 134 Mich. 39, 95 N.W. 989; Smith v. Lyke, 13 Hun, 204; 21 Cyc. 1620; Multer v. Knibbs, 193 Mass. 556, 9 L.R.A.(N.S.) 322, 79 N.E. 762, 9 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 958; Leavell v. Leavell, 122 Mo.App. 654, 99 S.W. 460; Miller v. Miller, 122 Mo.App. 693, 99 S.W. 757; Smith v. Gillapp, 123 Ill.App. 121.

Same of brother-in-law. Powell v. Benthall, 136 N.C. 145, 48 S.E. 598.

Record in divorce case admissible in suit for alienation. Gleason v. Knapp, 56 Mich. 291, 56 Am. Rep. 388, 22 N.W. 865; Luick v. Luick, 132 Iowa 302, 109 N.W. 783; 2 Van Fleet, Former Adjudication, 772, 915, § 376; 23 Cyc. 1534-1537.

Wife's declarations inadmissible, except to show effects of defendant's influence upon her. Hillers v. Taylor, 108 Md. 148, 69 A. 715; Westlake v. Westlake, 34 Ohio St. 634, 32 Am. Rep. 397; Smith v. Gillapp, 123 Ill.App. 121; Dodge v. Rush, 28 App. D. C. 149; 8 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 671; Wigmore, Ev. §§ 1730, 1768, and § 1730 of Supplement; 3 Elliott, Ev. § 1648; White v. Ross, 47 Mich. 172, 10 N.W. 188; Boues v. Steffens, 43 N.Y. S. R. 29, 16 N.Y.S. 819; Beach v. Brown, 20 Wash. 266, 43 L.R.A. 114, 72 Am. St. Rep. 98, 55 P. 46; 1 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law, 2d ed. 180; Preston v. Bowers, 13 Ohio St. 1, 82 Am. Dec. 430.

Wife's complaints of husband's ill treatment are admissible. 21 Cyc. 1624; Perry v. Lovejoy, 49 Mich. 529, 14 N.W. 485; Baker v. Baker, 16 Abb. N.C. 293; Gilchrist v. Bale, 8 Watts, 355, 34 Am. Dec. 469; Glass v. Bennett, 89 Tenn. 478, 14 S.W. 1085; 21 Cyc. 1625; Prettyman v. Williamson, 1 Penn. (Del.) 224, 39 A. 731; Bennett v. Smith, 21 Barb. 439; Payne v. Williams, 4 Baxt. 583; Smith v. Lyke, 13 Hun, 204; Holtz v. Dick, 42 Ohio St. 23, 15 Am. Rep. 791; Tasker v. Stanley, 153 Mass. 148, 10 L.R.A. 468, 26 N.E. 417.

Purcell & Divet, for respondent.

Grant of a new trial is in the sound discretion of the court, to be set aside only for abuse. Nilson v. Horton, 19 N.D. 187, 123 N.W. 397; Pengilly v. J. I. Case Mfg. Co. 11 N.D. 249, 91 N.W. 63; Ross v. Robertson, 12 N.D. 27, 94 N.W. 765; State v. Howser, 12 N.D. 495, 98 N.W. 352; Galvin v. Tibbs. H. & Co. 17 N.D. 600, 119 N.W. 39; State v. Foster, 14 N.D. 561, 105 N.W. 938; Libby v. Barry, 15 N.D. 286, 107 N.W. 972; Rath v. Rath, 2 Neb. (Unof.) 600, 89 N.W. 612.

Wife's statements showing her affection, or lack of affection, are admissible. 1 Greenl. Ev. 259; Phillipps, Ev. 147; Fratini v. Caslini, 66 Vt. 273, 44 Am. St. Rep. 843, 29 A. 352; Higham v. Vanosdol, 101 Ind. 160; Horner v. Yance, 93 Wis. 352, 67 N.W. 720; Horton, Ev. § 225; Collins v. Stephenson, 8 Gray, 438; 3 Wigmore, Ev. § 1730; Williams v. Williams, 20 Colo. 51, 37 P. 616; Hardwick v. Hardwick, 130 Iowa 230, 106 N.W. 639.

All communication between parties to marriage when that relation exists are inadmissible. Rev. Codes, § 7253, subdiv. 1; Leppla v. Minnesota Tribune Co. 35 Minn. 310, 29 N.W. 127; Buckingham v. Roar, 45 Neb. 244, 63 N.W. 398; Henderson v. Chaires, 25 Fla. 26, 6 So. 164; Anderson v. Anderson, 9 Kan. 112; Chicago, K. & N. R. Co. v. Ellis, 52 Kan. 41, 33 P. 478; Van Zandt v. Shuyler, 2 Kan.App. 118, 43 P. 295; Sanborn v. Gale, 162 Mass. 412, 26 L.R.A. 864, 38 N.E. 710; Hitchcock v. Moore, 70 Mich. 112, 14 Am. St. Rep. 474, 37 N.W. 914; Newstrom v. St. Paul & D. R. Co. 61 Minn. 78, 63 N.W. 253; Ayers v. Ayers, 28 Mo.App. 97; Warner v. Press Pub. Co. 132 N.Y. 181, 30 N.E. 393; People v. Mullings, 83 Cal. 138, 17 Am. St. Rep. 223, 23 P. 229; Stein v. Bowman, 13 Pet. 220, 10 L.Ed. 134; Emmons v. Barton, 109 Cal. 662, 42 P. 303; Stanley v. Stanley, 27 Wash. 570, 68 P. 187.

A judgment is admissible only where there is mutuality between parties to the action in which it was rendered, and in the one offered. Sickler v. Mannix, 68 Neb. 21, 93 N.W. 1018; Whitcomb v. Hardy, 68 Minn. 265, 71 N.W. 263; Goodnow v. Litchfield, 63 Iowa 275, 19 N.W. 226; Nowak v. Knight, 44 Minn. 241, 46 N.W. 348; Freeman, Judgm. §§ 154-158; Densmore v. Tomer, 14 Neb. 392, 15 N.W. 734; Bell v. Wilson, 52 Ark. 171, 5 L.R.A. 370, 12 S.W. 328; Moore v. Albany, 98 N.Y. 396.

Inharmonious relations do not justify intrusion of a stranger to injury of either husband or wife. These are pertinent to measure of damages only. Higham v. Vanosdol, 101 Ind. 160; Fratini v. Caslini, 66 Vt. 273, 44 Am. St. Rep. 843, 29 A. 352; Nevins v. Nevins, 68 Kan. 410, 75 P. 492; Rath v. Rath, 2 Neb. (Unof.) 600, 89 N.W. 612; Wales v. Minor, 89 Ind. 118; Michael v. Dunkle, 84 Ind. 544, 43 Am. Rep. 100; Modisett v. McPike, 74 Mo. 636.

GOSS, J. MORGAN, Ch. J., not participating. SPALDING, J., concurring.

OPINION

GOSS, J.

This action is for damages for defendant's alienation of the affections of plaintiff's wife. The complaint charges defendant with alienating the wife's affections, and that this resulted in the separation of plaintiff's family. Plaintiff recovered a judgment ordered on a verdict for $ 3,300. More than two weeks were occupied in the trial of the case, and the record is very voluminous, containing nearly four hundred assignments of error. The following statement, with the facts appearing in the opinion, will sufficiently explain the law governing the case:

Plaintiff and wife were married in 1887; have three children living whose ages range from seven to fifteen years. They lived in Iowa until ...

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