Matarese v. Matarese, No. 6036.

CourtRhode Island Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSWEETLAND, C. J.
Citation131 A. 198
Decision Date16 December 1925
Docket NumberNo. 6036.
PartiesMATARESE v. MATARESE.
131 A. 198

MATARESE
v.
MATARESE.

No. 6036.

Supreme Court of Rhode Island.

Dec. 16, 1925.


Exceptions from Superior Court, Washington County; Arthur P. Sumner, Judge.

Action by Lola Matarese, pro ami, against Amiello Matarese. Verdict was directed for defendant, and plaintiff brings exceptions. Exceptions overruled, and case remitted for entry of judgment on verdict as directed.

Benjamin W. Grim, of Providence, for plaintiff.

Henshaw & Sweeney, Benjamin F. Lindemuth and John W. Baker, all of Providence, for defendant.

SWEETLAND, C. J. This is an action of trespass on the case for negligence to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have

131 A. 199

been suffered by the plaintiff by reason of the defendant's negligence in the operation of an automobile. The case was tried before a justice of the superior court sitting with a jury. At the close of the evidence the justice directed the jury to return a verdict for the defendant. The case is before us upon the plaintiff's exception to that direction of the justice.

From the transcript of evidence it appears that the defendant is the father of the plaintiff. At the time of the injury complained of the plaintiff was about five years old, and was a member of her father's household. Just before her injury she was playing on the sidewalk near her home and the defendant was approaching her driving an automobile. The defendant, at the request of the plaintiff, stopped, and then either invited or permitted the plaintiff to sit upon the running board of the machine to ride to their home. While she was in that position the defendant started the machine forward, the plaintiff was thrown to the ground, a rear wheel of the automobile passed over her leg, fracturing the bone and seriously injuring her. The justice directed a verdict for the defendant on the ground that the plaintiff could not maintain an action of this nature against her father.

Immemorially the family has been an important element of our civil society, one of the supports upon which our civilization has developed. Save as modified by the Legislature, in domestic affairs the family has remained in law a self-governing entity, under the discipline and direction of the father as its head. As part of the family order or arrangement are the related obligations and rights of the father and his minor child while the child remains in his household unemancipated. On the part of the father is the right and duty to control, protect, support, and to guide or educate the child. The reciprocal duty of the child is to serve and obey the father. These fundamental principles are traceable to ancient customs and usages, and are fixed by tradition and evidenced by the decisions of the courts. Anything that brings the child into conflict with the father or diminishes the father's authority or hampers him in its exercise is repugnant to the family establishment, and is not to be contenanced save upon positive provisions of the statute law. Any proceeding tending to bring discord into the family and disorganize its government may well be regarded as contrary to the common law, and not to be sanctioned by the courts. Such conflict would arise by recognizing the right of a minor child to bring his personal action against the...

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50 practice notes
  • Barlow v. Iblings, No. 52664
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 6 Febrero 1968
    ...unit and that the head of the family enjoys sort of a primitive sovereign immunity is advanced in Matarese v. Matarese, 47 R.I. 131, 131 A. 198, 42 A.L.R. 1360. It is often stated that in Roman law and in the early common law the family was regarded a unit of government. Although this may b......
  • Downs v. Poulin
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 11 Enero 1966
    ...305 Mass. 297, 298, 25 N.E.2d 766; Norfolk Southern Railroad Co. v. Gretakis, 162 Va. 597, 174 S.E. 841; Matarese v. Matarese, 47 R.I. 131, 131 A. 198; Castellucci v. Castellucci, 188 A.2d 467 (R.I.); Sorrentino v. Sorrentino, 248 N.Y. 626, 162 N.E. 551; Cannon v. Cannon, 287 N.Y. 425, 40 N......
  • J. P., In re, No. 17386
    • United States
    • Utah Supreme Court
    • 9 Junio 1982
    ...civilization is founded." In re Luscier, 84 Wash.2d 135, 136, 524 P.2d 906, 907 (1974). Accord Matarese v. Matarese, 47 R.I. 131, 132-33, 131 A. 198, 199, 42 A.L.R. 1360, 1361 (1925); Gilmore v. Kitson, 165 Ind. 402, 410, 74 N.E. 1083, 1085 (1905). "This primary role of the parents in the u......
  • Wait v. Pierce
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 21 Junio 1926
    ...N. C. 577, 118 S. E. 12, 31 A. L. R. 1135 (with note at page 1157), which case reviews many others. Also in Matarese v. Matarese (R. I.) 131 A. 198. That there can be no logical distinction between a liability for willful or intentional injury, and for that resulting from mere negligence, i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
50 cases
  • Barlow v. Iblings, No. 52664
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 6 Febrero 1968
    ...unit and that the head of the family enjoys sort of a primitive sovereign immunity is advanced in Matarese v. Matarese, 47 R.I. 131, 131 A. 198, 42 A.L.R. 1360. It is often stated that in Roman law and in the early common law the family was regarded a unit of government. Although this may b......
  • Downs v. Poulin
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 11 Enero 1966
    ...305 Mass. 297, 298, 25 N.E.2d 766; Norfolk Southern Railroad Co. v. Gretakis, 162 Va. 597, 174 S.E. 841; Matarese v. Matarese, 47 R.I. 131, 131 A. 198; Castellucci v. Castellucci, 188 A.2d 467 (R.I.); Sorrentino v. Sorrentino, 248 N.Y. 626, 162 N.E. 551; Cannon v. Cannon, 287 N.Y. 425, 40 N......
  • J. P., In re, No. 17386
    • United States
    • Utah Supreme Court
    • 9 Junio 1982
    ...civilization is founded." In re Luscier, 84 Wash.2d 135, 136, 524 P.2d 906, 907 (1974). Accord Matarese v. Matarese, 47 R.I. 131, 132-33, 131 A. 198, 199, 42 A.L.R. 1360, 1361 (1925); Gilmore v. Kitson, 165 Ind. 402, 410, 74 N.E. 1083, 1085 (1905). "This primary role of the parents in the u......
  • Wait v. Pierce
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 21 Junio 1926
    ...N. C. 577, 118 S. E. 12, 31 A. L. R. 1135 (with note at page 1157), which case reviews many others. Also in Matarese v. Matarese (R. I.) 131 A. 198. That there can be no logical distinction between a liability for willful or intentional injury, and for that resulting from mere negligence, i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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