The abrogation of inter spousal immunity in Bozman vs. Bozman, has opened up a new set of issues for Maryland Divorce Lawyers and their clients.
A party to a divorce, who is also the victim of tortious conduct, may be unable to obtain an adequate remedy under Maryland’s laws governing the dispensation of justice in divorce proceedings. Such a party may consider seeking a remedy based on a civil cause of action. In such a dispute, either party would have the right to a trial by jury. A spouse who is the victim of a tort would seek both equitable relief within the context of laws regulating divorce and a judgment in a civil cause of action.
“ As tort lawyers know, not every cause of action is worth pursuing.
A prior posting discusses claims brought by a pro se lawyer that were soundly rebuffed in Lasater v. Guttman. This is not an invitation to the establishment of new causes of action peculiar to the institution of marriage. However, some well established torts need to be on the check list of Maryland Divorce Lawyers and their clients. Much but not all of the conduct under the definition of domestic violence would form the basis for a civil cause of action. A cause of action for negligent transmission of a sexually transmitted disease was recognized by the Maryland Court of Appeals in B.K. v. N.N.
As tort lawyers know, not every cause of action is worth pursuing. Maryland Divorce Lawyers and their clients will have to run a cost benefit analysis in such circumstances and keep an eye on the limitations period.