Alienation of affections in North Carolina

by Walter Olson on April 17, 2012

Kyle Graham asks why that variety of “heartbalm” action remains a vital and frequently used tort in the Tarheel State, but not elsewhere, though it remains on the books in ten or so other states. “The popularity of the tort in North Carolina suggests, at least to me, the importance of inertia and claim consciousness in tort law.”

Distantly related: demise of Breach of Promise to Marry laws linked to rise of engagement rings [Margaret Brinig via Matthew O'Brien via Sullivan]

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Against North Carolina Amendment One: The Law Of Unintended Consequences | Popehat
04.19.12 at 12:36 pm


1 Patrick 04.17.12 at 11:18 am

Concerning North Carolina, the Supreme Court held, in overturning a state Court of Appeals decision which abolished the torts of alienation of affection and criminal conversation, that it is not the business of appellate courts to overturn outdated or misguided, but constitutional laws. That’s the job of the legislature.

The legislature won’t act because no one wants to be known as the “pro-adultery” candidate when running for reelection.

2 Ron Miler 04.17.12 at 3:49 pm

Somewhere, John Edwards is laying low.

3 Patrick 04.17.12 at 6:34 pm

I can tell you exactly where he’ll be at 9:30 tomorrow morning Ron.

4 Ron Miler 04.18.12 at 4:21 pm

True that.

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