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Thread: Alienation of Affection Laws (HI, NC, MS, NM, SD, UT)

  1. #1
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    Alienation of Affection Laws (HI, NC, MS, NM, SD, UT)

    Five states have alienation of affection laws on the books, and North Carolina has been the locale for a couple of cases which resulted in significant punitive damages.

    The laws enable a married person to sue an individual who had an extramarital affair with their spouse, resulting in the loss of their spouse's affections. Punitive damages can be awarded, if the plaintiff can convince the judge that the defendant acted with malice to contribute to the loss of affection in marriage.

    Recently a NC judge awarded $8.8 million judgment against a man, Francisco Huizar III, a resident of TX, following his 16-month-long affair with a North Carolina woman. Huizar is ordered to pay the woman's estranged husband.

    In 2011 Carol Puryear obtained a $30 million judgment in a NC court against her ex-husband's new wife, Betty Devin.


    … your cheatin' heart will pine some day,
    and crave the love you threw away.
    The time will come when you'll be blue.
    Your cheatin' heart will tell on you.


    - Hank Williams, Sr.

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I knew someone who sued another woman for stealing her husband. The plantiff is combative, always stirring things up in the club we were in. Later, many hears later, I saw that she was always in court dor one thing or another, initiated by her. Kinda silly, making lawyers rich. The cases I knew, she lost.

    dado, yours is a random post. What is up?

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Alienation of affection suits are ridiculous--no one is holding a gun to an estranged spouse's head to convince them to stray.
    At best, they're a quaint anachronism; at worst a sinecure for attorneys, as IL has pointed out.
    And i don't say this as a potential defendant...

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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post

    dado, yours is a random post. What is up?

    I have no worries! The news about the Huizar judgment caught my eye.


    I suppose lawyers for the plaintiff would keep about one-third of a judgement, if they are victorious in court, right?

  5. #5
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Does the alienation of affection not assume some degree of imbecility on the part of the spouse who was involved in the extramarital affair. I did read the court decision and thought the judge is assuming that it does not take two to tango. How did such a crazy law ever get passed? When? Was this law passed during the stage of history when women were still possessions?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    I think a broken heart is one of the hardest things to bear - much more painful than, say, a stolen car. When someone purposefully takes advantage of someone else's love, that is despicable. It's nice to thing that at some time there will be retribution.

    But you can't legislate everything.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I believe it was that incurable romantic Woody Allen who once said "The heart wants what it wants." OK--maybe it was Emily Dickinson. At any rate, I doubt any law is going to keep someone from falling out of love with a partner or spouse. Nor should it.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    I believe it was that incurable romantic Woody Allen who once said "The heart wants what it wants." OK--maybe it was Emily Dickinson. At any rate, I doubt any law is going to keep someone from falling out of love with a partner or spouse. Nor should it.
    +1
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    I am wondering where these gigantic settlements came from. Do the adulterous parties have this kind of money? Or is it like a wrongful death suit? Why would these amounts be so large? I can't imagine any kind of spousal consortium worth 30 million dollars. . .
    True story: when I got divorced, my ex husband wanted me to sign a document which stated, "I left the marital bed on x date."
    This is the guy who is now dead, and I can't say I miss him.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I've always considered alienation of affection to be an inside job.

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