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Sec. 963. PETITION.-All applications for divorce or Sec. 85. for a decree annulling a marriage shall be made by petition to the supreme court of the District, and the proceedings thereupon shall be the same as in equity causes, except so far as otherwise herein provided: Provided, however, That all petitions for divorce pending on the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and one, may be proceeded with and disposed of under the provisions of the statutes in force on said date. (32 Stat., p. 537.)

App., 485.


Sec. 964. PROOF REQUIRED.-No decree for a divorce, Lenoir Le or decree annulling a marriage, shall be rendered on de- App., 161; Micha fault, without proof; nor shall any admission contained lowicz, 25 D. C. in the answer of the defendant be taken as proof of the facts charged as the ground of the application, but the same shall, in all cases, be proved by other evidence.

Sec. 965. DECREE ANNULLING MARRIAGE.-A decree, Mackey v. Pe ters, 22 D. C. annulling the marriage as illegal and void may be rendered App., 341; 24 D. C. on any of the grounds mentioned in chapter forty-three as App., 160. invalidating a marriage.

ters, 22 D. C.

Maschaur v.



Sec. 966. CAUSES FOR DIVORCE A VINCULO AND FOR Mackey v. Pe DIVORCE A MENSA ET THORO.-A divorce from the bond of App., 349. marriage may be granted only where one of the parties has Maschaur, 23 D. committed adultery during the marriage: Provided, That C. App., 87-94. in such case the innocent party only may remarry, but Bernsdorff, 26 D. nothing herein contained shall prevent the remarriage of 964; Dabney v. the divorced parties to each other: And provided, That Dabney, 20 D. C. legal separation from bed and board may be granted for slate v. Feam, drunkenness, cruelty, or desertion: And provided, That 47 Wash., 561. marriage contracts may be declared void in the following


First. Where such marriage was contracted while either of the parties thereto had a former wife or husband living, unless the former marriage had been lawfully dissolved.

Second. Where such marriage was contracted during the lunacy of either party (unless there has been voluntary cohabitation after the lunacy) or was procured by fraud or coercion.

Third. Where either party was matrimonially incapacitated at the time of marriage and has continued so.

Fourth. Where either of the parties had not arrived at the age of legal consent to the contract of marriage (unless there has been voluntary cohabitation after coming to legal age), but in such cases only at the suit of the party not capable of consenting.

App., 440.

Maschaur v. Maschaur, 23 D. C. App., 93.

Dabney v. Dab

ney, 20 D. C.


Sec. 967. FOREGOING SECTION NOT RETROACTIVE.-The provisions of this Act shall not invalidate any marriage heretofore solemnized according to law, or affect the validity of any decree or judgment of divorce heretofore pronounced.

Sec. 968. IN SUITS FOR DIVORCE A VINCULO DIVORCE A MENSA ET THORO MAY BE DECREED.- -Where a divorce from the bond of marriage is prayed for the court shall have authority to decree a divorce from bed and board if the causes proved be sufficient to entitle the party to such relief only.

Sec. 969. REVOCATION OF DIVORCE A MENSA ET App., 440; ib., sec. THORO.-In all cases where a divorce from bed and board is decreed it may at any time thereafter be revoked by the court upon the joint application of the parties to be discharged from the operation of the decree.

R. S. D. C., 749.


Downs, 23 D. C.

C. App., 535; R.
S. D. C., 740.

Sec. 970. CAUSES ARISING AFTER DIVORCE A MENSA ET THORO.-Where a divorce from bed and board has been decreed the court may afterwards decree an absolute divorce between the parties for any cause arising since the first decree and sufficient to entitle the complaining party to such decree.

Sec. 971. ONLY RESIDENTS DIVORCED. -No decree of App., 387; 20 D. nullity of marriage or divorce shall be rendered in favor of anyone not a resident of the District of Columbia, and no divorce shall be decreed in favor of any person who has not been a bona fide resident of said District for at least three years next before the application therefor for any cause which shall have occurred out of said District and prior to residence therein.

R. S. D. C., 741.

Ib., 743.

Ib., sec. 969; 21

D. C. App., 475;

Sec. 972. ISSUE OF A MARRIAGE ANNULLED. In case any marriage shall be declared by decree to have been void on account of either party having a former wife or husband living, if it shall appear that said marriage was contracted in good faith by the other party and in ignorance of said. obstacle to the marriage, that fact shall be found and declared by the decree, and in such case the issue of said marriage shall be deemed to be the legitimate issue of the parent who was capable of contracting.

Sec. 973. ISSUE OF A LUNATIC'S MARRIAGE.-Where a marriage is declared null and void on account of the idiocy or lunacy of either party at the time of the marriage the issue of the marriage shall be deemed legitimate.

Sec. 974. LEGITIMACY OF ISSUE OF A MARRIAGE DISSOLVED. A divorce for any of the causes herein provided for shall not affect the legitimacy of the issue of the marriage dissolved by such divorce, but the legitimacy of such issue, if questioned, shall be tried and determined according to the course of the common law.

Sec. 975. ALIMONY PENDENTE LITE.-During the pend25 D. C. App., 356; ency of a suit for divorce, or a suit by the husband to custody of ch declare the marriage null and void, where the nullity is R. S. D. C., 747; denied by the wife, the court shall have to require power the husband to pay alimony to the wife for the main

11 D. C. App., 392;

38 L. R., 813.

tenance of herself and their minor children committed to her care, and suit money, including counsel fees, to enable her to conduct her case, whether she be plaintiff or defendant, and to enforce obedience to any order in regard thereto by attachment and imprisonment for disobedience. The court may also enjoin any disposition of the husband's property to avoid the collection of said allowances, and may, in case of the husband's failure or refusal to pay such alimony and suit money, sequestrate his property and apply the income thereof to such objects. The court may also determine whether the husband or wife] who shall have the care and custody of infant children pending the proceedings. (32 Stat., p. 537.)

1 D. C. App.,


Sec. 976. PERMANENT ALIMONY.- When a divorce is Ib. granted to the wife, the court shall have authority to decree 299; R. S. D. her permanent alimony sufficient for her support and that of any minor children whom the court may assign to her care, and to secure and enforce the payment of said alimony in the manner before mentioned, and may, if it shall seem fit, retain to the wife, her right of dower in the husband's estate.

Sec. 977. If the divorce is granted on the application of the husband, the court may, nevertheless, require him to pay alimony to the wife, if it shall seem just and proper but in such cases the husband may appeal]. (32 Stat., p. 537.)

Sec. 978. After a decree of divorce in any case granting alimony and providing for the care and custody of children, the case shall still be considered open for any future orders in those respects.

Lesh v. Lesh, 21

L. R., 388; Berns

Sec. 979. MAIDEN NAME OF WIFE RESTORED.- -In R. S. D. C., 748. granting a divorce from the bond of marriage the court may restore to the wife her maiden or other previous name. Sec. 980. MAINTENANCE OF WIFE.-Whenever any D. C. App., 475; husband shall fail or refuse to maintain his wife and Beal v. Beal, 34 minor children, if any, although able to do so, the court, dorff Bernson application of the wife, may decree that he shall pay dorff, 26 D. C. her, periodically, such sums as would be allowed to her as Stat., p. 86, 509. permanent alimony in case of divorce for the maintenance of herself and the minor children committed to her care by the court, and the payment thereof may be enforced in the same manner as directed in regard to such permanent alimony.

Sec. 981. SUIT TO DECLARE A MARRIAGE VALID.When the validity of any alleged marriage shall be denied by either of the parties thereto the other party may institute a suit for affirming the marriage, and upon due proof of the validity thereof it shall be decreed to be valid, and such decree shall be conclusive upon all parties concerned.


Lenoir v. Lenoir, 24 D. C.

Sec. 982. COURT TO ASSIGN ATTORNEY TESTED CASES.-In all uncontested divorce cases, and in App., 160. any other divorce case where the court may deem it necessary or proper, a disinterested attorney shall be as

signed by the court to enter his appearance for the defendant and actively defend the cause, and such attorney shall receive such compensation for his services as the court may determine to be proper, such compensation to be paid by the parties as the court may direct.

Sec. 983. [CORRESPONDENTS CO-RESPONDENTS.—In all divorce cases where adultery is charged the person or persons with whom the adultery is charged to have been committed shall be made defendant or defendants and brought in by personal service of process or by publication as in other cases.



Wilkes v. Wilkes,

Secs. 986, 994. 18 D. C. App., 90 D. C. App., 122; D. C. App., 587 D. C. App., 260.

24 D. C. App., 127;



13 D. C. App., 30;

Sec. 984. PARTIES.-Every action of ejectment shall be brought in the name of the real claimant and may be brought against the person actually occupying the premises claimed, either in person or by tenant, or against both the claimant and his tenant, or other occupant claiming 10 under him, or, if they be not actually occupied, against some person exercising acts of ownership thereon adversely to the plaintiff. If a lessee be made a defendant at the suit of a party claiming against the title of his landlord such landlord may appear and be made a party defendant in the place of his lessee. And any person claiming to be in possession may, on motion, be admitted to defend the action.

Sec. 985. FORM OF DECLARATION. -The plaintiff in his declaration must describe the premises claimed with reasonable certainty, and set forth distinctly the nature and quantity of the estate claimed by him in the same, and it shall be sufficient for him to state in addition thereto that the plaintiff was possessed of the premises, and while he was so possessed the defendant entered wrongfully into possession of the same and withholds the possession thereof from the plaintiff, or wrongfully detains such possession, or that the defendant is wrongfully exercising acts of ownership thereon. Such acts of ownership, however, unaccompanied with possession shall not, except as hereinafter provided, be held to amount to an adversary possession, so as to make it necessary for the plaintiff to sue in order to avoid the bar of the statute of limitations.

Sec. 986. COUNTS.-The declaration may contain several counts and several parties may be named as plaintiffs, jointly in one count and separately in others.

(Repealed-32 Stat., Part I p. 537.)

[Sec. 987. PLEADING.-The defendant may demur or may plead the general issue of "not guilty," which shall put in issue the plaintiff's title and right to the possession and under which all matters of defense may be given in evidence.]

10 D. C. App., 426;

27 D. C. App., 140;

Sec. 988. EVIDENCE.-It shall be sufficient to entitleSec. 999; 30 D. C. App., 597; 32 the plaintiff to a verdict to show that he is entitled, as D. C. App., 231; against the defendant, to the immediate possession of the 24 D. C. APP., 127: premises claimed and that the defendant is in possession 27 D. C. App., 395; thereof, holding adversely to the plaintiff, or is exer- 10 D. C. App., 30; cising acts of ownership over the same adversely to plaintiff; except that in an action by one or more joint tenants or tenants in common against their cotenants, plaintiffs shall be required to prove an actual ouster or 188 U. S., 278.


18 D. C. App., 58;

10 D. C. App., 496; 27 D. C. App., 202; the 27 D. C. App., 401; 30 D. C. App., 122;

23 D. C. App., 587;

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