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Estin v. Estin

United States Supreme Court
334 U.S. 541 (1948)


In 1942, Mr. Estin (defendant) left Mrs. Estin (plaintiff). The couple had been living together in New York since their marriage in 1937. In 1943, Mrs. Estin filed a separation action against Mr. Estin, who entered an appearance in the suit. The court found that Mr. Estin had abandoned his wife, granted a separation, and awarded her $180 per month in permanent alimony. In 1944, Mr. Estin moved to Nevada where he filed for divorce from Mrs. Estin in 1945. Mrs. Estin received notice of the action only through constructive service. She did not enter an appearance. In May 1945, a Nevada court found that Mr. Estin had satisfied Nevada’s residency requirement and granted a divorce. The Nevada court, which had been notified of the New York alimony award, did not provide for alimony in its decree. Mr. Estin had been making alimony payments to Mrs. Estin since the issuance of the New York award. He stopped when the divorce was granted. Mrs. Estin sued him in a New York court for payment in arrears. Mr. Estin moved to have the alimony award stricken from the New York separation decree on account of the Nevada divorce decree. The New York court denied his motion and awarded payment to Mrs. Estin. The Court of Appeals of New York affirmed. Mr. Estin petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

Dissent (Frankfurter, J.)

Dissent (Jackson, J.)

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