Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, January 10, 2008

US Supreme Court Refuses to Review Alienation of Affections Case

The United States Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a Mississippi Supreme Court's decision affirming a $750,000 damages award for "alienation of affection."  The plaintiff Johnny Fitch divorced his wife Sandra after she became pregnant and a paternity test confirmed his suspicions the child wasn't his. He then sued the real father under the alienation of affection statute only on the books in Mississippi and six other states.
The other states with similar statutes are Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

Fitch v. Valentine, January 7, 2008
Mississippi Supreme Court opinion (January 25, 2006) online

Supreme court dismissal of writ

News coverage:

The ABC News Report and video interview with the defendant, his wife and their attorney are available online, including some fascinating interviews with members the public about the underlying premise that a wife is the property of her husband. The Today Show also has a report and video interview online.

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