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Don’t Be Cruel

Anuradha Das said her husband, Vincent Das, made her stay up all night in order to listen to him, isolated her from her friends and family, hitting, pinching and pulling her hair, and taunted her about what she would do when a protective order expired.   Anuradha filed for divorce in Maryland based on cruelty.  There was a trial and the divorce was granted.

Vincent appealed saying his wife had not proven cruelty as grounds for her divorce.  He claimed his conduct never endangered her life, person, or health, or would have otherwise caused her to feel apprehension of bodily suffering.

He cited older cases in Maryland which say that marital neglect, rudeness of manner, and the use of profane and abusive language do not constitute cruelty.  A divorce cannot be granted merely because the parties have lived together unhappily as a result of unruly tempers and marital wranglings, sallies of passion, harshness or rudeness.

However, there were several incidents of domestic violence over the history of the marriage including a one year protective order against Vincent.   Consequently, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals found that Vincent’s conduct far exceeded mere sallies of passion, harshness or rudeness.  It threatened Anuradha’s physical and emotional well-being.  The Court upheld the judgment of divorce on grounds of cruelty.  Das v. Das, 133 Md. App.1, 754 A.2d 441 (2000).

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