Weicker v. Weicker

Decision Date18 April 1968
Citation22 N.Y.2d 8,290 N.Y.S.2d 732,237 N.E.2d 876
Parties, 237 N.E.2d 876 Beverly K. WEICKER, Appellant, v. Lowell P. WEICKER et al., Respondents.
CourtNew York Court of Appeals Court of Appeals

Max Freund, Arnold I. Roth and Joseph Zuckerman, New York City, for appellant.

Robert M. Bozeman, New York City, for Lowell P. Weicker, respondent.

Arthur H. Beyer, New York City, for Antoinette F. Littell, Respondent.


In this action, plaintiff appeals from an order of the Appellate Division dismissing so much of her second amended complaint as seeks: (1) compensatory and punitive damages for the intentional or reckless infliction of mental suffering and (2) injunctive relief restraining the defendants from holding themselves out as husband and wife and defendant Littell from assuming or using defendant husband's name. Assuming that New York law now permits 'recovery for the intentional inflicting of mental distress without proof of the breach of any duty other than the duty to refrain from inflicting it' (Halio v. Lurie, 15 A.D.2d 62, 66, 222 N.Y.S.2d 759, 763, see, also, Battalla v. State of New York, 10 N.Y.2d 237, 219 N.Y.S.2d 34, 176 N.E.2d 729; Ferrara v. Galluchio, 5 N.Y.2d 16, 21, 176 N.Y.S.2d 996, 999, 152 N.E.2d 249, 252, 71 A.L.R.2d 331), strong policy considerations militate against judicially applying these recent developments in this area of the law to the factual context of a dispute arising out of matrimonial differences. To sustain the claim for damages would result in a revival of evils not unlike those which prompted the Legislature in 1935 to outlaw actions, for alienation of affections and criminal conversation (L.1935, ch. 263; Civil Rights Laws, Consol.Laws, c. 6, § 80--a, formerly Civil Practice Act, § 61--b).

The same policy reasons, which would deny an action for damages for the conduct complained of by plaintiff, should also operate to bar the request for injunctive relief. Additionally, '(i)t is not the province of courts of equity to administer paternal relief in domestic affairs. As a matter of practical fact, such decrees cannot be enforced' (Baumann v. Baumann, 250 N.Y. 382, 389, 165 N.E. 819, 822).

The order of the Appellate Division should be affirmed, without costs.


Order affirmed.

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43 cases
  • Galella v. Onassis
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of New York
    • July 5, 1972
    ...of relief are available upon proper proof." 56 Misc.2d at 1061, 291 N.Y.S.2d at 192 (emphasis supplied). Cf. Weicker v. Weicker, 22 N.Y.2d 8, 290 N.Y.S.2d 732, 237 N.E.2d 876 (1968). The record demonstrates that Galella's surveillance and harassment of Mrs. Onassis has already gone on for a......
  • Twyman v. Twyman
    • United States
    • Texas Supreme Court
    • May 5, 1993
    ...other hand, at least two high courts have expressly rejected the cause of action as between spouses. Weicker v. Weicker, 22 N.Y.2d 8, 290 N.Y.S.2d 732, 733, 237 N.E.2d 876, 877 (1968); Pickering v. Pickering, 434 N.W.2d 758 (S.D.1988). See also Browning v. Browning, 584 S.W.2d 406 Just as I......
  • Birnbaum v. U.S.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • November 9, 1978
    ...570, 279 N.Y.S.2d 852 (Sup.Ct.), Rev'd on other grounds, 28 A.D.2d 138, 283 N.Y.S.2d 385 (1st Dept. 1967), Aff'd, 22 N.Y.2d 8, 290 N.Y.S.2d 732, 237 N.E.2d 876 (1968), invasion of privacy (by appropriation, See N.Y.Civ. Rights Law §§ 50, 51 (McKinney)), Riddle v. MacFadden, 201 N.Y. 215, 94......
  • Doe v. Doe
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • March 7, 2000
    ...to the legislature's intent in abolishing actions for alienation of affections and criminal conversation. In Weicker v. Weicker, 22 N.Y.2d 8, 290 N.Y.S.2d 732, 237 N.E.2d 876 (1968), a wife sued her husband and his paramour for "intentional infliction of mental distress," alleging that the ......
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