Spurned lover files lawsuit and wins - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Spurned lover files lawsuit and wins

It's called the alienation of affection law. A spurned spouse must prove three things. That love existed, that love was destroyed, and that a third party helped that process. It's an antiquated mostly abolished law still going strong in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Reporter Nick Kenney has the story.

The case started years ago in the Marshall County Courthouse in Mississippi when a husband filed suit against his wife's new lover. When it ended, the husband walked away with hundreds of thousands of dollars.  One resident we talked to said, "that guy is being set up. He's being set up. There's no doubt about it. It's like a Lifetime Movie, and I watch Lifetime. I know. I have seen it man."   His wife left him for his millionaire boss a man named Jerry Fitch. Valentine sued Fitch under Mississippi's alienation of affection law. One of seven states with such a law.    

Valentine won, and was awarded 756-thousand dollars. Fitch appealed, not the actual decision just the 112-thousand dollars worth of  punitive damages. The case spent years in the Mississippi Supreme Court.  His state Supreme court bid failed. Fitch kept chasing his 112-thousand dollars, kept asking for it back, making the request all the way to the US Supreme Court.   

According to Supreme Court internet watchdogs, the US Supreme Court denied to hear the case. The alienation of affection law still in effect enormous fines still possible.    

Residents have their opinions.

"It's a stupid law. People leave people all the time why sue them".  

"We all know what happens to wives who cheat on their husbands. They get found. So at least in this case he can walk away with some money and forget about it."   

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