Roller v. Roller

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the Court[37 Wash. 243] DUNBAR, J.
Citation79 P. 788,37 Wash. 242
Decision Date27 February 1905
PartiesROLLER v. ROLLER.

79 P. 788

37 Wash. 242

ROLLER
v.
ROLLER.

Supreme Court of Washington

February 27, 1905


Appeal from Superior Court, Skagit County; George A. Joiner, Judge.

Action by Lulu Roller, by E. C. Million, her guardian ad litem, against E. W. Roller. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals. Reversed.

Henry McLean, for appellant.

Gable & Seabury and Million & Houser, for respondent.

[37 Wash. 243] DUNBAR, J.

The defendant was convicted of the crime of rape, committed upon his minor daughter, Lulu Roller, and was sentenced to a term in the penitentiary at Walla Walla. This action was commenced by the said Lulu Roller for the purpose of recovering from said defendant damages for said rape in the sum of $2,000, and the homestead of the defendant, upon which the minor children of the defendant were residing, was attached. The said Lulu Roller at the time of the commencement of this action was 15 years old. The homestead in dispute was the community property of Roller and his deceased wife, Emma Roller. The defendant interposed a demurrer to the complaint of the plaintiff, on the ground that it did not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action, in that the plaintiff, being the minor child of defendant, living with him and unemancipated, had no right to sue for a tort committed by the parent upon the child. Motion was made to discharge the attachment (1) because the land was the homestead, exempt under the state law, and (2) because the land was exempt under the federal statute which exempts such property from debts contracted before the issuance of the patent. The motion to discharge the attachment was overruled. Upon the trial of the cause, judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of $2,000.

It is assigned that the court erred in overruling the demurrer of the appellant to the amended complaint of the respondent, and in overruling the motion to dissolve the attachment. It is the contention of the appellant that a minor child cannot sue a parent for damages arising upon tort; that such actions are against public policy, and not permitted by the law. The rule of law prohibiting suits between parent and child is based upon the interest that society has in preserving harmony in the domestic relations, an interest which has been manifested since the earliest organization[37 Wash. 244] of civilized government, an interest inspired by the universally recognized fact that the maintenance of harmonious and proper family relations is conducive to good citizenship, and therefore works to the welfare of the state. This view, in effect, is not disputed by the respondent, who admits the general proposition that the domestic relations of the home and family fireside cannot be disturbed by the members thereof by litigation prosecuted against each...

To continue reading

Request your trial
102 practice notes
  • Rousey v. Rousey, No. 84-669.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • June 23, 1987
    ...parent. See PROSSER, supra at 905. The absurdity of this reasoning, however, becomes plain when the case involves rape, Roller v. Roller, 37 Wash. 242, 79 P. 788 (1905), or a brutal beating, Cook v. Cook, 232 Mo.App. 994, 124 S.W.2d 675 (1939); McKelvey v. McKelvey, 111 Tenn. 388, 77 S.W. 6......
  • Barlow v. Iblings, No. 52664
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 6, 1968
    ...This decision was followed in 1903 by McKelvey v. McKelvey, 111 Tenn. 388, 77 S.W. 664, 64 L.R.A. 991, and later by Roller v. Roller, 37 Wash. 242, 79 P. 788, 68 L.R.A. 893, 107 Am.St.Rep. 805. All of these were extreme cases and the rule propounded therein has been modified by recent cases......
  • Zellmer v. Zellmer, No. 78852-9.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 24, 2008
    ...bar to suit by a child for personal injuries caused by a parent, no matter how wrongful the parent's conduct. See, e.g., Roller v. Roller, 37 Wash. 242, 79 P. 788 (1905) (father raped daughter); McKelvey v. McKelvey, 111 Tenn. 388, 77 S.W. 664 (1903) (stepmother inflicted cruel and inhumane......
  • Downs v. Poulin
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • January 11, 1966
    ...269 P.2d 302; Villaret v. Villaret, 83 U.S.App.D.C. 311, 169 F.2d 677; Schneider v. Schneider, 160 Md. 18, 152 A. 498; Roller v. Roller, 37 Wash. 242, 79 P. 788, 68 L.R.A. 893; Smith v. Smith, 81 Ind.App. 566, 142 N.E. 128; Taubert v. Taubert, 103 Minn. 247, 114 N.W. 763; Turner v. Carter, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
102 cases
  • Rousey v. Rousey, No. 84-669.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • June 23, 1987
    ...parent. See PROSSER, supra at 905. The absurdity of this reasoning, however, becomes plain when the case involves rape, Roller v. Roller, 37 Wash. 242, 79 P. 788 (1905), or a brutal beating, Cook v. Cook, 232 Mo.App. 994, 124 S.W.2d 675 (1939); McKelvey v. McKelvey, 111 Tenn. 388, 77 S.W. 6......
  • Barlow v. Iblings, No. 52664
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 6, 1968
    ...This decision was followed in 1903 by McKelvey v. McKelvey, 111 Tenn. 388, 77 S.W. 664, 64 L.R.A. 991, and later by Roller v. Roller, 37 Wash. 242, 79 P. 788, 68 L.R.A. 893, 107 Am.St.Rep. 805. All of these were extreme cases and the rule propounded therein has been modified by recent cases......
  • Zellmer v. Zellmer, No. 78852-9.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 24, 2008
    ...bar to suit by a child for personal injuries caused by a parent, no matter how wrongful the parent's conduct. See, e.g., Roller v. Roller, 37 Wash. 242, 79 P. 788 (1905) (father raped daughter); McKelvey v. McKelvey, 111 Tenn. 388, 77 S.W. 664 (1903) (stepmother inflicted cruel and inhumane......
  • Downs v. Poulin
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • January 11, 1966
    ...269 P.2d 302; Villaret v. Villaret, 83 U.S.App.D.C. 311, 169 F.2d 677; Schneider v. Schneider, 160 Md. 18, 152 A. 498; Roller v. Roller, 37 Wash. 242, 79 P. 788, 68 L.R.A. 893; Smith v. Smith, 81 Ind.App. 566, 142 N.E. 128; Taubert v. Taubert, 103 Minn. 247, 114 N.W. 763; Turner v. Carter, ......
  • 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