Sunday, December 8, 2013

Aflalo v. Aflalo case brief

Aflalo v. Aflalo case brief summary
685 A.2d 523 (1996)


CASE SYNOPSIS
In the divorce proceeding between plaintiff wife and defendant husband, defendant's counsel sought a motion to be relieved from representation because, as an Orthodox Jew, he had a religious problem representing defendant as defendant refused to give plaintiff a "get," a Jewish bill of divorce. Additionally, plaintiff moved to compel defendant to provide her with a "get."

CASE FACTS
Defendant husband's attorney asked the court to remove him as counsel because he had a religious problem representing a man who, at the conclusion of a divorce proceeding, refused, without reason, to give his wife a "get," a Jewish bill of divorce. Defendant testified that he would follow the recommendations of the rabbinical tribunal and would give the "get" if that was the end result of those proceedings.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that defendant's position clearly eliminated his counsel's concerns. 
  • Plaintiff wife asked the court to require that defendant provide her with a "get." 
  • The court held that the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of U.S. Constitutional Amendment I, prohibited it from interfering. 
  • Therefore, the court held that while it might have seemed "unfair" that defendant could have ultimately refused to provide a "get," unfairness came from plaintiff's own sincerely-held religious beliefs because, when she entered into the "ketubah," she agreed to be obligated to the laws of Moses and Israel. 
  • The court held that this choice could not have been remedied by the court.

CONCLUSION
The court denied defendant husband's counsel's motion for removal for religious reasons because the defendant's position regarding his willingness to provide a "get," a Jewish bill of divorce, eliminated counsel's concerns. The court denied plaintiff's wife request that the court require defendant to provide her with a "get" because plaintiff's choice to be bound by the religious tenets of Judaism could not have been remedied by the court.

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