West v. Druff

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtBECK
Citation7 N.W. 636,55 Iowa 335
Decision Date16 December 1880
PartiesWEST v. DRUFF.

55 Iowa 335
7 N.W. 636

WEST
v.
DRUFF.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Filed December 16, 1880.


Appeal from Washington district court.

Action by plaintiff to recover for her own seduction. There was a verdict and judgment for plaintiff in the sum of $2,500. Defendant appeals.

[7 N.W. 636]

J. F. McJunkin and Bonorden & Ranck, for appellant.

No appearance for appellee.


BECK, J.

1. The petition alleges that plaintiff is “an unmarried female of previous chaste character,” and that defendant did “seduce, debauch, and carnally know her,” whereby she “became sick and pregnant therefrom,” suffering great bodily pain and mental anguish, anxiety, shame, and disgrace; “that such seduction was brought about by reason of false promises and pretension of love and affection, kisses, caresses, and devoted attention for many months prior to the seduction, by which false promises and pretensions and tokens plaintiff was persuaded to and did yield up her virtue to defendant.” Defendant in his answer denies all the allegations of the petition, and avers that plaintiff was at and prior to this time of the injuries alleged in her petition a woman of unchaste character.

2. In the progress of the trial plaintiff was permitted to show, against defendant's objection, that she was a poor girl, and had no means of support; that her father was poor, and what little he earned was not sufficient for the support of himself and daughter. The evidence was erroneously admitted. The right of a plaintiff to recover does not depend upon her condition in life, neither is the amount of damages to which she is entitled dependent thereon.

[7 N.W. 637]

The plaintiff does not claim, nor did she attempt to show, that defendant availed himself of her poverty to effect her seduction. We know of no rule of law or reason which supports the admissibility of the evidence.

3. The plaintiff, upon cross-examination, was asked if she had not, in conversation or correspondence with a certain man, used profane language, and had not met him at a certain time in a grave-yard. Objections to the evidence sought to be elicited were sustained. We think the evidence was competent. It would have tended to disclose the true character of plaintiff, which was in issue in the case.

4. A witness testified to a conversation had with plaintiff, wherein she related that a certain man had taken improper liberties with her person, and had improper conversation with her. This evidence was afterwards stricken out. We think it was...

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6 practice notes
  • Bosler v. Coble
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • April 2, 1906
    ...in the opinions of many courts. (Page v. Clark, 51 Conn. 200; McLeod v. Sharp, 53 Ill.App. 406; Hall v. Wolf, 61 Iowa 559; West v. Druff, 55 Iowa 335; Evans v. Montgomery, 95 Mich. 497; Bauchwitz v. Tyman, 11 Ill.App. 186; Swinney v. Both, 28 Tex. 113; Ins. Co. v. Dill, 91 Ill. 174; Van Dev......
  • Kralick v. Shuttleworth, 5421
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 4, 1930
    ...in issue, and vulgar language, if used by the plaintiff, being the best index to her heart, was evidence of unchastity. (West v. Druff, 55 Iowa 335, 7 N.W. 636; Schultz v. Schultz, 203 Iowa 910, 210 N.W. 94; State v. Wilcoxen, 200 Iowa 1250, 206 N.W. 260.) [49 Idaho 428] B. H. Miller for Re......
  • State v. Wilcoxen, No. 36817.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 15, 1925
    ...telling of obscene stories. The court held that this testimony was not admissible. We have held otherwise in West v. Druff, 55 Iowa, 335, 7 N. W. 636;Boak v. State, 5 Iowa, 430;Andre v. State, 5 Iowa, 389, 68 Am. Dec. 708; 35 Cyc. 1331, II. This would also go to the question of whether or n......
  • Watson v. Watson
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • March 6, 1884
    ...etc., R. Co. 26 Iowa, 364; Guengereah v. Smith, 34 Iowa, 348;) and also in suits for seduction,--West v. Druff, 55 Iowa, 335; [S.C. 7 N.W. 636.] In Dain v. Wycoff, 7 N.Y. 191, 193, GARDNER, J., in an action for seduction, condemns such evidence in very pointed language. The suit in that cas......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Bosler v. Coble
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • April 2, 1906
    ...in the opinions of many courts. (Page v. Clark, 51 Conn. 200; McLeod v. Sharp, 53 Ill.App. 406; Hall v. Wolf, 61 Iowa 559; West v. Druff, 55 Iowa 335; Evans v. Montgomery, 95 Mich. 497; Bauchwitz v. Tyman, 11 Ill.App. 186; Swinney v. Both, 28 Tex. 113; Ins. Co. v. Dill, 91 Ill. 174; Van Dev......
  • Kralick v. Shuttleworth, 5421
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 4, 1930
    ...in issue, and vulgar language, if used by the plaintiff, being the best index to her heart, was evidence of unchastity. (West v. Druff, 55 Iowa 335, 7 N.W. 636; Schultz v. Schultz, 203 Iowa 910, 210 N.W. 94; State v. Wilcoxen, 200 Iowa 1250, 206 N.W. 260.) [49 Idaho 428] B. H. Miller for Re......
  • State v. Wilcoxen, No. 36817.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 15, 1925
    ...telling of obscene stories. The court held that this testimony was not admissible. We have held otherwise in West v. Druff, 55 Iowa, 335, 7 N. W. 636;Boak v. State, 5 Iowa, 430;Andre v. State, 5 Iowa, 389, 68 Am. Dec. 708; 35 Cyc. 1331, II. This would also go to the question of whether or n......
  • Watson v. Watson
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • March 6, 1884
    ...etc., R. Co. 26 Iowa, 364; Guengereah v. Smith, 34 Iowa, 348;) and also in suits for seduction,--West v. Druff, 55 Iowa, 335; [S.C. 7 N.W. 636.] In Dain v. Wycoff, 7 N.Y. 191, 193, GARDNER, J., in an action for seduction, condemns such evidence in very pointed language. The suit in that cas......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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