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Lynde v. Lynde

181 U.S. 183, 21 S. Ct. 555, 45 L. Ed. 810 (1901)

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Lynde v. Lynde

United States Supreme Court

181 U.S. 183, 21 S. Ct. 555, 45 L. Ed. 810 (1901)

Facts

In 1892, through service by publication, Mrs. Lynde (plaintiff) sought a divorce and alimony from her husband Mr. Lynde (defendant) on the grounds of desertion. A divorce decree was granted, but no alimony was granted. Four years later, Mrs. Lynde, citing her attorney’s omission, asked the court to amend the decree to include alimony. In the interim, Mr. Lynde remarried and filed a general appearance in the proceeding and contested Mrs. Lynde’s request for alimony. The court awarded Mrs. Lynde back and future alimony, provided for security that Mr. Lynde never paid, and issued an injunction to prevent disposal of property to avoid the decree. A New Jersey receiver was appointed but failed to find any property of Mr. Lynde’s in New Jersey. Mrs. Lynde then filed suit against Mr. Lynde in New York for her past and future alimony plus attorney’s fees. Mrs. Lynde also asked the New York court to require Mr. Lynde to provide security and for an order of sequestration, receivership, and an injunction. The New York trial court ruled for Mrs. Lynde, and Mr. Lynde appealed. Citing Mr. Lynde’s general appearance in the alimony proceeding, the New York appellate court acknowledged the New Jersey court’s jurisdiction to grant the in personam decree against Mr. Lynde for alimony. The appellate court then affirmed enforcement of the New Jersey judgment for attorney’s fees and past-due alimony but not for future alimony, because that part of the prior judgment was subject to modification by the New Jersey court, so it was not a final judgment entitled to enforcement in New York. The New York appellate court also declined to enforce the security and receivership orders because they, too, were not part of the judgment but merely modes of effectuating the judgment. Both Mrs. and Mr. Lynde appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gray, J.)

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