Ford v. Ford

LOCATION: Beaumont Mills

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)

CITATION: 371 US 187 (1962)
ARGUED: Nov 15, 1962
DECIDED: Dec 10, 1962

Facts of the case


Media for Ford v. Ford

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 15, 1962 in Ford v. Ford

Earl Warren:

Number 63, Barbara D. Ford, Petitioner, versus Herman A. Ford.

Would you wait just a moment please, we'll be ready.

Mr. Aronstein, I -- I just overlook the fact that this Court had appointed you to or you were appointed by the Court to defend this --

Joseph Aronstein:

That's right.

Earl Warren:

-- represent this man and I just want to express the appreciation of the Court to you for undertaking this public service.

It's always a comfort to us to know that lawyers are willing to give their time and their energy in the case of poor defendants and we appreciate it very much.

And of course Mr. Malchman, we appreciated the earnest and helpful manner in which you have presented your public agency too.

Thank you both gentlemen.

Irving Malchman:

I consider it a privilege that the Court has appointed me, Your Honor.

Thank you.

Earl Warren:

Now, Mr. Marion, you may proceed with your case.

W. Francis Marion:

May it please the Court.

This matter comes before the Court upon a writ of certiorari from the South Carolina Supreme Court.

The question involved is whether in an order of dismissal in a Virginia Court on a custody matter, full faith and credit should have been given.

Our State Supreme Court gave full faith and credit to an order of dismissal that recited in effect that upon representation of counsel the farthest have reached an agreement and that the case is therefore dismissed.

So briefly and factually, the petitioner and Herman Ford or husband and wife got into marital difficulties in 1959.

They resided in Sanford, North Carolina at the time.

Both of their homes were in Richmond, Virginia.

They went to Richmond, Virginia for purposes of seeing a marriage counsel or psychiatrist.

Is Richmond the marriage domicile?

W. Francis Marion:

No sir.

Actually, North Carolina was -- I believe they were originally married perhaps in Virginia, Your Honor, in 1952 but they had moved to Sanford, North Carolina after living in various places around the world actually.

But when they came to Richmond, Virginia for the purposes of seeing the marriage counselor, the respondent, Ford, announced that his wife that he was not going to take her back.

He left three small children at that time, age three, five and seven in Sanford, North Carolina.

As a result of it, she went back by herself to North Carolina and tried to locate the children and did locate the children and they go to court in the companionship of a German nurse who lived there.

She brought them back to Richmond, Virginia to the home of her mother in Richmond, Virginia and Ford thereupon instituted a habeas corpus proceeding in the City and County Civil Court of Richmond.

An exchange between counsel followed -- Richmond counsel followed, and as a result of exchange of correspondence, a -- this order of dismissal that was not displayed to the Court, there was no hearing upon the order whatsoever.

Just merely that counsel had said to the Court that an agreement had been reached; therefore, the matter is dismissed.

It was thereupon dismissed.

Barbara Ford that was in August of 1959, she subsequently came to Greenville, South Carolina, went to business school, obtained a job in Greenville and in January of 1960, her youngest child was brought to live with her.