Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,600+ case briefs...

Williams v. State of North Carolina [I]

United States Supreme Court
317 U.S. 287 (1942)


Mr. Williams (defendant) married Carrie Wyke in 1916 in North Carolina, where they continued to reside. Ms. Hendrix (defendant) married Thomas Hendrix in 1920 in North Carolina, where they continued to reside. In May 1940, Mr. Williams and Ms. Hendrix traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada. On June 26, they each filed for divorce from their respective spouses. Neither spouse received service of process in Nevada. Substituted service was provided to Mr. Hendrix by publication and by mail. Substituted service was provided to Ms. Wyke through personal delivery. In neither case did the North Carolina spouses enter an appearance. The Nevada court, having determined that Mr. Williams and Ms. Hendrix met the state’s bona fide residency requirement of six weeks, issued divorce decrees: on August 26 as to Mr. Williams and on October 4 as to Ms. Hendrix. Mr. Williams and Ms. Hendrix married each other in Nevada on October 4 then returned to North Carolina. The State of North Carolina (plaintiff), refusing to recognize the Nevada decrees, brought a bigamy action against them. They were convicted after a jury trial and sentenced to prison terms. The Supreme Court of North Carolina affirmed, citing Haddock v. Haddock, 201 U.S. 562 (1906). Mr. Williams and Ms. Hendrix petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

Concurrence (Frankfurter, J.)

Dissent (Jackson, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 427,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,600 briefs, keyed to 223 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial