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May v. Anderson

United States Supreme Court
345 U.S. 528 (1953)


Facts

The marriage between Leona May (defendant) and Owen Anderson (plaintiff) deteriorated. May took their three children from their home in Wisconsin to Ohio. Anderson filed a petition in Wisconsin court seeking a divorce from May and custody of the three children. The Wisconsin court lacked personal jurisdiction over May but awarded Anderson the divorce and custody of the three children. Anderson then traveled to Ohio and picked up the children. When the children later visited May in Ohio, May refused to return them to Anderson. Anderson filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in an Ohio court, seeking return of the children. Under Ohio procedure, the writ only addressed whether May had an immediate right to retain custody of the children. The Ohio court held that the Full Faith and Credit Clause required the court to accept the Wisconsin custody order as binding on May. May appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of Ohio dismissed the appeal because no constitutional question was involved. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Burton, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Jackson, J.)

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