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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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My wife works for a major hotel chain. In 2006 while I was

Customer Question

My wife works for a major hotel chain. In 2006 while I was deployed with the military my wife was having an affair with the vice president of the hotel chain. He is also married.

Question: Can I sue him for Alienation of affection since it was his actions that cause the end of my marriage?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

What state did this occur in? What state are you in now? What state is your ex in now?

Customer :

affair occurred everywhere during business trips to include South Dakota.

Customer :

myself and my ex live here in Virginia.

TMcJD :

Okay. Thanks for the information. Unfortunately I do not have good news. I don't like this part of my job -- giving bad news. However, please keep in mind that I'm only telling you what the law is, not what it should be. Please don't shoot the messenger.

TMcJD :

Here is the law in Virginia that prevents you from bringing a suit for alienation of affection:

TMcJD :

§ 8.01-220. Action for alienation of affection, breach of promise, criminal conversation and seduction abolished.


A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no civil action shall lie or be maintained in this Commonwealth for alienation of affection, breach of promise to marry, or criminal conversation upon which a cause of action arose or occurred on or after June 28, 1968.


B. No civil action for seduction shall lie or be maintained where the cause of action arose or accrued on or after July 1, 1974.

TMcJD :

DANGEROUS URL REMOVED?000+cod+8.01-220

TMcJD :

Most states have abolished the right to bring such a suit.

TMcJD :

Please let me know if you need additional information. Thanks.

Customer :

but South Dakota still recognizes this law and since the man lives in SD and the affair also occurred there, why wouldn't this apply? The man works for a major hotel chain and im sure the suit itself would be worth it.

TMcJD :

The hotel chain unfortunately wouldn't have any liability because he was not acting within the scope of his employment when engaging in the affair, so the hotel wouldn't have any liability.

Customer :

He is the VP and also married. I believe he would settle to avoid court and the end of his own marriage.

Customer :

the affair happened only during business trips completely work related. How could the hotel not be liable?

TMcJD :

Yes, SD does still allow such suits, and you could attempt to bring such a suit if you were willing to go there to prosecute the action. This does assume that part of the conduct occurred there and that he lives there. Sorry I missed those facts in your original question.

TMcJD :

Oh, I see now where you stated part occurred in SD.

TMcJD :

One thing to keep in mind is that when you look for an attorney to assist you, it will be very unlikely to find an attorney that will accept the case on a contingency basis because these suits are so difficult to win. That means you would likely need to pay for all expenses and costs out of pocket.

Customer :

the hotel Headquarters is in that state. Eastern Hospitality something. My ex wife work for Holiday Inn.

TMcJD :

So the last date of any affair was 2006 -- correct?

Customer :

affair started in 2006 while I was in Iraq and continued thru at least 2008.

TMcJD :

Okay, unfortunately that means that the statute of limitations started running in 2008 (at the latest; it could have been as early as 2006 when affection was alienated -- depending on what you could prove). There is a 3-year statute of limitations period. That means the limitations period expired in 2011 at the latest, barring your ability to bring and successfully prosecute such a civil action.

Customer :

I thought SOL would be 7 yrs. and seems it would be worth an attorney's time just to reach a settlement and never going to court. The guy has a lot to lose.

TMcJD :

No, the limitations period is 3 years based on my review of the law. Where are you seeing 7 years?

TMcJD :

However, assuming the limitations period has expired, you could still threaten to sue him. The suit would still have nuisance value. I'm just saying that if the limitations period has expired you wouldn't be able to actually proceed with a viable suit. You could file it, yes, and he may very well want to prevent that -- but it would quickly get dismissed.

Customer :

thought I read it and was the norm.

TMcJD :

No, only 3 years:

TMcJD :

http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/DisplayStatute.aspx?Statute=15-2-14&Type=Statute

Customer :

the man will not want to set foot in a court. I have witnesses and im sure he doesn't want to lose his marriage.

TMcJD :

Then I say go for it. There's nothing illegal about pursuing a suit that's doomed because the limitations period has expired. You can still file the lawsuit -- it's just not a legally viable claim any longer. It does happen quite often though.

Customer :

I have emails, phone records, and 2 witnesses that would help.

TMcJD :

Since you would never need valid proof in court -- because the suit would be dismissed if it goes that far, then having witnesses, etc. doesn't really strengthen your case any. What is going to make or break your ability to receive anything is whether he wants this to remain quiet and go away before suit is filed. You don't need witnesses for that.

TMcJD :

Or any other proof. You only need the threat of a lawsuit.

Customer :

I am active duty military and when a woman cheats on his husband while putting his life on the line, all parties should pay a price.

Customer :

I cant go and kill the guy or even beat his brains out. So should he just screw my life and not pay. I lost my 3 kids and wife. He lost nothing.

Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.

I'm very sorry to hear all that has happened to you. But as we've discussed, the limitations period has expired. Although this man should surely pay for the disgusting things he's done, there's no way to legally force any payment from him. Your only hope is that he is willing to make this go away quietly on the threat of filing suit and making this public record.

 

Again, I don't like giving bad news. I'm only telling you what the law is -- and you need to know the law so you can proceed accordingly. Please don't shoot the messenger. I wish I could have told you that the law would let you go forward.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Lawyers are always filing frivolous lawsuits but believe this one is worth the pain it will cause the accused. The guy could lose his wife, kids, and high income/high profile job.

Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I agree. That's what I mean when I said it has nuisance value. It's not a viable lawsuit from a legal perspective. it might force a settlement, which means it still has practical value. I just wanted you to be clear on the difference.

I would be grateful if you would please leave me a positive rating for my time assisting you. Thanks!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I would like other opinions.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.


A different Professional here.


Unfortunately and regrettably, you do not have a case because the Statute of Limitations has run in your case. No Attorney who values his license to practice law would threaten to file a lawsuit knowing that the Statute of Limitations has run on the case. It would be unethical and unprofessional to do so and more importantly it would be in violation of Rule 11 of Professional Code of Conduct.



The hotel chain is not liable for the affairs conducted by its Vice President eventhough the affairs happened while he was on business trips. It is like saying your employer is responsible for you going out to drink in a bar while you are on a business trip and afterwards hitting a pedestrian while you are going back to your hotel room driving drunk. What your ex-spouse was unconscionable. However, there is no legal remedy available to you. The clock has run out in your case.

I am truly sorry that I do not have better news for you. I understand that it can be quite frustrating to learn that there is no legal remedy for your issue. However, as a licensed Attorney and an Officer of the Court, I am legally obligated to provide you with accurate, legally sound, and ethical information eventhough that information may not be what you want to hear.

Let me know if you need further clarification.



Thank you for your cooperation.






Customer: replied 1 year ago.


ok. What would you do if you were me?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


not the answer I wanted. sorry.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

ok. What would you do if you were me?

not the answer I wanted. sorry.


Response: I quite understand your frustrations. However, I do not deal in hypothetical. I gave you the correct information based on the facts as you posted on the site. I do not make the laws. I can only provide you information based on the current state of the law. However, it is quite unfair for you to rate my answer "Poor Service" when I did not provide you "Poor Service" just because you did not like the answer that you were given. Your negative rating reflects very poorly on me and I do take it personally. Eventhough this is Internet and people do and say a lot of things that they would not dare do or say face to face, you need to remember that there is a human being at the other end of the computer doing his/her best to provide you the information that you need and not what you want to hear.

While I sympathize with you, I cannot ethically and professionally give you the wrong information and false hope so that you can feel better and give me positive rating in return. That would not be fair to you. In any event, I do thank you for the service to our country and I wish you the very best.

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Phillips Esq.
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