Yarborough v. Yarborough

290 U.S. 202 (1933)


Prior to June 1927, D, his wife, and P had lived together at Atlanta, Georgia, where he then was, and ever since has been, domiciled. That summer, D's wife left Atlanta for Hendersonville, N. C., where she remained during the summer. P joined her there, after a short stay at a camp. D brought suit against his wife for a total divorce on the ground of mental and physical cruelty. An order, several times modified, awarded to the wife the custody of P and, as temporary alimony, sums 'for the support and maintenance of herself and her minor daughter P.' Hearings were held from time to time in Atlanta. At some of these, P (and also her grandfather) was personally present. But she was not formally made a party to the litigation; she was not served with process; and no guardian ad litem was appointed for her therein. In the final order was the provision for the maintenance and education of P. D assigned to P mortgages worth $1,750.00. The decrees stated that upon compliance with this order D shall be relieved of all payments of alimony and counsel fees, in said case. On August 10, 1930, P, then sixteen years of age, was living with her maternal grandfather, R. D. Blowers, at Spartanburg, South Carolina. Suing by him as guardian ad litem, P brought this action in a court of that State to require her father, D, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, to make provision for her education and maintenance. P alleged 'that she is now ready for college and is without funds and, unless D makes provision for her, will be denied the necessities of life and an education, and will be dependent upon the charity of others.' D had property in the state and jurisdiction was achieved by attachment of D's property. D's primary defense was that a judgment had been entered in 1929 in Georgia, in a suit for divorce brought by him against P's mother. The judgment amount had been paid by him for P's education and maintenance. D claimed that in Georgia the judgment was conclusive and that the full faith and credit clause of the Federal Constitution (Art. IV, § 1) required the South Carolina court to give to that judgment the same effect in this proceeding which it has, and would have, in Georgia. The trial court denied the claim and ordered D to pay to the grandfather, as trustee, fifty dollars monthly for P's education and support; and to pay $300 as fees of her counsel. The judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court of South Carolina. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.