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J.S. and M.S. v. R.T.H.

New Jersey Supreme Court
714 A.2d 924 (N.J. 1998)



R.T.H. (John) (defendant) was criminally convicted of sexually assaulting his neighbors, C.S. and M.S., ages 12 and 15 (girls) (plaintiffs). The girls had gone to John’s barn almost daily and spent a considerable amount of time alone with him riding and caring for his horses. The girls and their parents, J.S. and M.S. (plaintiffs), brought a civil suit against John and added his wife, R.G.H. (Mary) (defendant), as a defendant, claiming that she was negligent in that she knew or should have known about her husband’s “proclivities/propensities.” Mary conceded that she knew or should have known about her husband’s “proclivities/propensities” and moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted Mary summary judgment. The appellate court reversed and remanded to grant the plaintiffs extended discovery. The Supreme Court of New Jersey granted Mary’s petition for certification.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Handler, J.)

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