Thursday, May 3, 2012
The South Dakota Supreme Court has reversed and remanded in a matter where the trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant in an alienation of affection suit.
The plaintiff's spouse had become friendly with the defendant. They talked often on the phone and ran together in marathons. He got divorced in 2005.
The spouse told the defendant that she had filed for divorce at some point over the 2009 Labor Day weekend. They had sex that weekend. In fact, the divorce proceedings were not started until October 2009.
The defendant's summary judgment motion "asserted that [the spouse] had no affections for [the husband] that [the defendant] could have alienated."
The court here found sufficient evidence of affection to defeat the motion.
While the spouse testified at deposition that she had stopped loving her husband in the late 1990s, she had sent him a 10th anniversary card that said "These have been the best 10 years of my life. I'm so blessed to have you for my husband. I love you. Love your wife."
She also told a marriage counselor in 2006 that the marriage had "improved greatly," told another therapist in 2008 that she still loved her husband, and underwent breast augmentation surgery because she thought it would make her more attractive to him: "These facts are inconsistent with the loveless relationship [she] depicted in her deposition." (Mike Frisch)