Alienation of affections in North Carolina

Kyle Graham asks why that variety of “heartbalm” action remains a vital and frequently used tort in the Tarheel State, but not elsewhere, though it remains on the books in ten or so other states. “The popularity of the tort in North Carolina suggests, at least to me, the importance of inertia and claim consciousness in tort law.”

Distantly related: demise of Breach of Promise to Marry laws linked to rise of engagement rings [Margaret Brinig via Matthew O’Brien via Sullivan]


  • Concerning North Carolina, the Supreme Court held, in overturning a state Court of Appeals decision which abolished the torts of alienation of affection and criminal conversation, that it is not the business of appellate courts to overturn outdated or misguided, but constitutional laws. That’s the job of the legislature.

    The legislature won’t act because no one wants to be known as the “pro-adultery” candidate when running for reelection.

  • Somewhere, John Edwards is laying low.

  • I can tell you exactly where he’ll be at 9:30 tomorrow morning Ron.

  • True that.

  • […] a cuckolded spouse to sue the "other woman / man" for money damages), despite the fact these laws make the State a national laughingstock, it is safe to say that there is precisely zero chance of a final judgment in this State ever […]