promise, but on injury resulting from change of status, and said: "Accordingly there has been no resort to the form of action in deceit as a subterfuge and attempt to circumvent the statutory prohibition." It was further stated that, as an action to recover damages for a change of status, it was not subject to abuse by unscrupulous persons, and hence not within the letter or intendment of a statute abolishing civil actions for breach of promise.
It seems to me that there is a policy enunciated by these enactments abolishing breach of promise actions which is broader than their letter. The legislatures evidently have been prompted by concern for the public morals and for the frequently innocent victims of breach of promise actions to preclude resort to the courts for relief from injury consequent to breached promises of marriage. This is true whether the acceptance was made as a result of succumbing to the deceitful wiles of a gay Lothario or as a result of the worshipful wooing of an ardent yet sincere swain. The legislatures did not intend that courts should explore the minds of suitors and determine their sincerity at the moment of proposal of marriage but rather declared it to be the policy of the state that in the event a breach of the promise occurs relief will be denied in the courts.
The evil sought to be overcome was reasonably deemed serious enough to justify a denial of the judicial process to those asking relief from real as well as fictitious wrongs. Case based on averments similar to those here alleged had in many instances been supported by perjured testimony and consequently brought discredit on the courts. Further, actions of this sort have been declared a menace to the marriage institution, which is a vital concern of the various states. See the declaration of policy prefacing the above-cited New York enactment.
The suit here involved is essentially a sort in which the service of the summons or merely the threat to do so is often sufficient to cause a settlement even when there is not any merit to the alleged cause of action. Thus, it is made clear that, as the above-cited cases indicate, to effect the prohibition enacted by the legislatures it will prove necessary to bar actions which though tortious in form are contractual in essence. That is, it will prove necessary to guard against resort to the action of deceit as a "subterfuge and attempt to circumvent the statutory prohibition." See Snyder v. Snyder, supra.
The breach of promise occurred in New York, and under the New York Statute no cause of action arose "either within or without" New York. The Pennsylvania Statute is similar. Furthermore, Pennsylvania has declared that no suits for breach of promise shall be begun or prosecuted in this state. 48 P.S. § 173. I deem the instant action to be essentially one for a breach of promise to marry and within the prohibition of the Pennsylvania Statute. It is clear that such a cause of action, even if it arose in a state other than New York or Pennsylvania, and even if it were valid where it arose, would not be enforced by the Pennsylvania courts.
It would seem proper for a federal court to follow the rules of the state courts of their district on a question of conflict of laws. Waggaman v. General Finance Company of Philadelphia, 3 Cir., 116 F.2d 254, decided November 27, 1940; Goodrich, Conflict of Laws, 2d Ed., § 12. It is the Pennsylvania rule not to enforce, through any consideration of comity, a right of action given by another state, if to do so would be against a declared policy of the situs of the forum. McCurdy's Estate, 303 Pa. 453, 154 A. 707; Sutterly v. Fleshman, 41 Pa.Super. 131. This is the rule by which I shall be guided. Since the situs of this forum lies within the territorial limits of Pennsylvania, it is proper to enforce the policy of Pennsylvania. The propriety of this conclusion may appear doubtful, in light of the case of Wawrzin v. Rosenberg, D.C., 12 F.Supp. 548. However, I am decided that a due consideration of all the factors here involved warrants enforcement of the Pennsylvania policy in this instance. Union Trust Company v. Grosman, 245 U.S. 412, 38 S. Ct. 147, 62 L. Ed. 368; Slater v. Mexican National R.R. Co., 194 U.S. 120, 24 S. Ct. 581, 48 L. Ed. 900; Texes & Pacific Railway Co. v. Cox, 145 U.S. 593, 12 S. Ct. 905, 36 L. Ed. 825; Lauria v. E. I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., D.C., 241 F. 687; Hollenbach v. Elmore & H. Contracting Company, C.C., 174 F. 845.
Therefore, without concluding as to its sincerity and factual quality, I am bound, for the reasons stated, to decide that the complaint must be dismissed since it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
I further conclude that the complaint should be stricken from the record, inasmuch as I deem it scandalous in nature though not evidence of bad faith. On April 24, 1940 Judge Kirkpatrick ordered the pleadings impounded, directed that the names of the parties shall not be mentioned and that the case shall be captioned "A.B. v. C.D."
Motion granted to dismiss complaint and to strike it from the record.
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