Estin v. Estin

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Estin v. Estin
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Citation
Date decided June 7, 1948
Appealed from New York Court of Appeals

Facts

Mr. Estin (defendant) married Mrs. Estin (plaintiff) in New York in 1937.

In 1942, Mr. leaves Mrs.

Procedural History

In 1943, wife brought separation action against husband in a New York court. New York court award Mrs. $180/month to be paid by the former husband permanently.

In 1944, Mr moved to Nevada. Husband filed for divorce in Nevada in 1945. The Nevada court granted the husband an ex parte divorce in 1945. The Nevada court paid no heed to the New York alimony agreement. Husband stopped making payments after the Nevada divorce.

Wife filed for alimony payments in arrears in New York. New York trial court sides with the wife.

All New York appellate courts favor the wife.

Issues

Does the Full Faith and Credit Clause prevent a state from enforcing an alimony decree after another state [Nevada] grant an ex parte divorce?

Holding

The Full Faith & Credit Clause doesn't prevent a state [New York] from enforcing an alimony decree after another state [Nevada] grants an ex parte [divisible] divorce.

Rule

  • Throughout the 1900s & so far, the state of New York has had courts that are ideal forums for spouses seeking payments from their former spouses (husbands).

New York court have very frequently been favorable towards victims of gender-based claims--way more so that other states.

  • For example, in 2019, Jeffrey Epstein was imprisoned in New York despite his 2008 federal settlement in Florida in violation of double jeopardy.
  • Prince Andrew's judge in New York Lewis Kaplan ignored the 2009 settlement payment to accuser Virginia Giuffre.
  • E. Jean Carroll received a $5 million money damages award in May 2023 despite the passage of about 28 years after the alleged "rape" in 1995 & her own uncertaint recollections about the event.
  • On the other hand, in Virginia, Amber Heard lost to Johnny Depp in 2022 despite having previously won a similar case against Depp in Britain. Heard was told to pay $15 million to Depp.
  • In 1900s, the trend was for Nevada courts to side with the husbands.

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