This evil saga began in 1965 when H filed for separation on grounds of mental cruelty. The complaint was dismissed and eventually it was overturned, and a new trial was ordered. At the new trial, H wanted an absolute divorce which was granted in 1970 and affirmed in 1972. Two years later, Mrs. Lacks (W) made the contention that a New York court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over her because her husband (H) failed to meet the residency requirements and thus she moved to vacate the judgment. W contends that the final divorce decree that was issued by the court was not valid because the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The lower courts held the judgment invalid. H appealed.