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A tort under Common Law that involves the seduction of another person's spouse.
A few states still permit a lawsuit for damages by the injured spouse against the wrongdoer. Many states have abolished this action.
Criminal conversation is not the same as alienation of affection, which does not necessarily involve the commission of Adultery.
criminal conversationformerly, a common law action brought by a husband by which he claimed damages against an adulterer.
CRIMINAL CONVERSATION, crim. law. This phrase is usually employed to denote
the crime of adultery. It is abbreviated crim. con. Bac. Ab. Marriage, E 2;
4 Blackf. R. 157.
2. The remedy for criminal conversation is, by an action on the case for damages. That the plaintiff connived, or assented to, his wife's infidelity, or that he prostituted her for gain, is a complete answer to the action. See Connivance. But the facts that the wife's character for chastity was bad before the plaintiff married her; that he lived with her after he knew of the criminal intimacy with the defendant; that he had connived at her intimacy with other men;, or that the plaintiff had been false to his wife, only go in mitigation of damages. 4 N. Hamp. R. 501.
3. The wife cannot maintain an action for criminal conversation with her husband; and for this, among other reasons, because her husband, who is particeps criminis, must be joined with her as plaintiff.