Tuesday, April 17, 2018

No Spousal Privilege When Only Religious Marriage Was Entered

In Springfield, Massachusetts, a state trial court judge has ruled that the ex-wife of Ayyub Abdul-Alim may testify against him in his trial on firearms charges.  As reported by MassLive, the judge held inapplicable here the normal rule that bars a witness from testifying to private conversations with her spouse that occurred during their marriage. The parties were married in an Islamic religious ceremony, but never obtained a state-issued marriage certificate.  The court said:
While the court acknowledges that a marriage between the defendant and Ms. Stewart took place in the religious sense, there is no evidence that this marriage was sanctioned by the state through the fulfillment of the legal requirements.