Alienation of Affection

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Related to Alienation of Affection: criminal conversation, Parental alienation

Alienation of Affection

The removal of love, companionship, or aid of an individual's spouse.

Historically, alienation of affection furnished grounds for an action against the individual who interloped in a marital relationship. The harm caused was viewed as a deprivation of an individual's rights of consortium.

The elements of the action generally included wrongful conduct by the interfering party with the complainant's spouse, the loss of affection or consortium, and a nexus between the conduct of the defendant and the impairment or loss of consortium, which included a deprivation of such rights as services, assistance, and sexual relations.

Today, the action has fallen into disuse and no longer constitutes a ground for a lawsuit in most states.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
1986) (maintaining that jury consideration of alienation of affections "did not form the basis for a cause of action based solely on alienation of affection").
(18) In one case, the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed damages for alienation of affection and criminal conversation "awarding] $1.00 in compensatory damages for alienation of affection and criminal conversation and $85,000.00 in punitive damages for criminal conversation." (19) The problems of excessive or disproportionate damages in these cases have plagued common-law courts for centuries.
Someone who has wooed away another's spouse would no doubt resent being hit with a judgment for alienation of affection. With regard to the descriptive dimension of legitimacy, I doubt that for most people that the primary or even a significant reaction engendered by such judgment would be decreased allegiance to the state's legal system.
In South Dakota, this cause of action can be brought against one who seduces a spouse by using the alienation of affection tort and when a valuable interest in the marriage is lost due to the adulterous activity.
"Alienation of affection, lack of interest, people stop talking to each other.
As a result, she suffered "severe hunger, starvation, anemia, dehydration, alienation of affection, distress and a lack of the enjoyment of her short life, to her non-economic damage in the amount of $500,000."
Last month's Missouri Supreme Court opinion abolishing the tort of alienation of affection was a good example of the difference between Democrat and Republican judges.
Although some courts have been clarifying a spouse's right to bring various tort claims, including alienation of affection and property-related offenses, the types of cases actually filed may be limited.
A jury in Salt Lake City, Utah, ruled she deliberately enticed father- of-three Gary Vessel, 39, away from wife Candace and they found her guilty of "alienation of affection".
Collopy has also halted his action in which he sought pounds 20,000 damages from Spencer for his public humiliation and the "alienation of affection" from his wife.
Rodriguez sued Lemus for alienation of affection and criminal conversation (essentially claims for home-wrecking and adultery, respectively) under North Carolinas heart balm torts.
The husband sued the policyholder on, among other grounds, "alienation of affections." The policyholder tendered this suit to his insurer but the insurer denied coverage.