Thursday, November 14, 2013

Orr v. Orr case brief

Orr v. Orr case brief summary
440 U.S. 268 (1979)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant husband sought review of the decision from the Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama denying his motion requesting that Alabama's alimony statutes be declared unconstitutional because they authorized courts to place an obligation of alimony upon husbands but never upon wives.

CASE FACTS
The husband and appellee wife were divorced in Alabama state court. The husband was ordered to pay alimony to the wife. Upon the husband's failure to pay alimony, the wife initiated contempt proceedings. The husband submitted in his defense a motion requesting that Alabama's alimony statutes be declared unconstitutional because they authorized courts to obligate husbands to pay alimony, but not wives. The trial court denied the husband's motion and entered judgment against him. Relying solely upon his federal constitutional claim, the husband appealed the judgment. The Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama sustained the constitutionality of the statutes.


DISCUSSION

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama granted the husband's petition for a writ of certiorari, but then quashed the writ as improvidently granted. 
  • On review, the Court found the challenged Alabama statutes unconstitutional and reversed the lower court's decision. 
  • The Court noted that to withstand scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause, classifications by gender had to serve important governmental objectives and be substantially related to the achievement of those objectives. 
  • The gender-based distinction in these statutes were gratuitous.
CONCLUSION
The Court found Alabama's alimony statutes unconstitutional, reversed the judgment below, and remanded the cause for further proceedings. The Court noted that its disposition left the state courts free to decide any questions of substantive state law not passed upon in the instant litigation.


Suggested Study Aids and Books

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Ins and Outs of Class Action Lawsuits: A Comprehensive Guide

Sometimes, you may buy a product only to find it defective. To make it worse, your search for the product reveals mass complaints. You can ...