Matthew v. Herman

In Matthew v. Herman, 56 V.I. 674 (V.I. 2012), the Court abolished the amatory torts because they: (1) had not previously been used by any Virgin Islands court; (2) had been abolished by a majority of other American jurisdictions; (3) abolition represented the sounder rule because "the torts were originally founded on the idea that wives were property of their husbands," "the torts have destructive results on existing marriages," and "the courts are unable to adequately [value] and address the harms caused by adulterous behavior." 56 V.I. at 682-83. In particular, the Court noted that "the most widely cited reason" in favor of abolition was "the potential for blackmail and extortion between spouses," with another significant reason being "that the court system is ill-equipped to fairly and objectively assess" such claims. Id. at 684.