Williamson v. Osenton - 232 U.S. 619 (1914)
U.S. Supreme Court
Williamson v. Osenton, 232 U.S. 619 (1914)
Williamson v. Osenton
Submitted February 24, 1914
Decided March 9, 1914
232 U.S. 619
The essential fact that raises change of abode to change of domicil is the absence of any intention to live elsewhere.
An ambiguous meaning will not be attributed to a phrase used in an agreed statement of facts on the assumption that the parties were by a quibble trying to get the better of each other, and so held that "an indefinite time," as applied to an intent to reside, referred to in such a statement, meant that no end to such time was then contemplated.
Where one changes his abode with no intention of returning to the former abode, the motive is immaterial so far as change creates a citizenship enabling the party to sue in the federal courts.
One's domicil is the technically preeminent headquarters that every person is compelled to have in order that his rights and duties that have attached to it by the law may be determined.
The identity of husband and wife is a fiction now vanishing.
In this country, a wife who has justifiably left her husband may acquire a different domicil from his not only for the purpose of obtaining a divorce from him, Haddock v. Haddock, 201 U. S. 562, but for other purposes, including that of bringing an action for damages against persons other than her husband.
Quaere whether the same is the law in England.
The facts, which involve the question whether a married woman may,under certain conditions, acquire a domicil different from that of her husband, are stated in the opinion.