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Back v. Back

Supreme Court of Iowa
125 N.W. 1009 (1910)


William Back (Back) married Mrs. Dirke, who had a daughter, Reacke Back (Reacke) (plaintiff), by her late husband. Reacke was thus Back’s stepdaughter during the Back-Dirke marriage. Back and Dirke later divorced. Subsequently, Back married Reacke. Back died, and Reacke brought suit against the executor of Back’s estate (defendant), seeking a declaratory judgment that Reacke was entitled to a share of Back’s estate as his widow. The executor responded that Reacke’s marriage with Back was void because the marriage was incestuous under an Iowa statute that listed the daughter of a man’s wife as one of the people that a man could not marry. The statute stated that such a marriage was void. The trial court held that the marriage between Reacke and Back was void. Reacke appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (McClain, J.)

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