1. PANEL CANCELS DIVORCE; CRUELTY ALLEGATIONS ARE FOUND VAGUE
1. An Appellate Division’s reversal isn’t uncommon on divorces granted by juries under the “cruel and inhuman treatment” standard. A wife on the stand would be expected to bring up cold shoulders in the bedroom and withering sarcasm to constraints on personal allowances or cutting remarks and public embarrassment. The more titillating topics might entail extramarital affairs or simply call girls and whores, or orgies, beatings, wild living, financial extravagances, drugs, booze, gambling--the list is endless as are the possibilites.
Then again, recounting allegations of near-rapehave to rivet twelve peers by sheer drama alone. Not that lurid descriptions such as “ramming me up against the wall in the bathroom…” and the many occasions in which he’d “physically grabbed her,” and the times he’d “grab me, pull me down the hall, block me so I can’t leave the room, throw me on the bed and push me against the wall,” aren't adequate to express the horror that conjugal relations might descend. However, it can be as much a description of assault and unlawful restraint as it is a jolly good time—in some minds.
But when Domestic Relations Law section 170 is brought into the mix, the plaintiff offers only vague references to the subjects under text and no evidence of injury. That leaves it to uncorroborated testimony and no demonstrable affect on her mental well-being, meaning that the defendant’s conduct is not much of a fact-finding mission for a jury as possible material for Jerry Springer.
Oh, except for one material fact: they are still living in the same Upper West Side apartment.
Make of that what you will. The AppDiv did as well.