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False Swearing In A Divorce Case

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The Detroit Eveiiing News contains he following flagrant ex ampie of false wearing to piocure a divorce, in a :ase before the Wasthe-jiaw circuit court. In documenta on file in the Washteïaw circuit court are aarrated the letails of a most flagrant insta-nce of ibuse nnder American divorce laws. The case is that of James S. Schoonïoven tigainst Minnie Schoonlioven. of Elgin, 111. Contemptible, underlanded methorts, fraud, and even leliberate perjury are alleged, the startling nature of the charges and the social position of the parties to the suit giving to the case the pr minence of an inter-state sensation. Mr. Schoonhoven was granted a divorce in this city on Oct. 5 last. His wife now petitions to have the divorce set aside, and proofs of thequestionablemethods resorted to by her husband to secure the decree will be presented at the henrincr on the üetition next Monday. Mr. Schoonhoven, it seems, is a very weaithy man and his wife a very beautif ul woman. They were married a little over four years ago, but lived together but a few months. Mrs. Schoonhoven, it is said, desired to have her husband inake over to her a portion of his property, $10,000 or $15,000 worth, for her individual use, and dissatisf'ation at his refusal to do so is (jiven as one if the causes of their separation. For something like three years Mrs. Schoonhoven has been planning to have their mafriage annulleü, and. persnmablybecause fue groundB which lie might present for judicial action in this direction,were insnfficient to secure the desirea end in Illinois, schemed to obtain a decree in Borne other commonweálth. Many months upo he carne to Aun Árbor, where, witn some of his oíd friends heconsnltedán attorney on the subject, who informed him that he would have to establish a residence in this state before he could apply for a divorce here. Thi, Mr. Schoonbovea, unknown to his wife, attempted to do, but not taking tlieful) advice of his attorney. Knowlng. as he thought, a KOOd deal . inore himself, he tried to basten illegally the longod lor date of his release. Ilis overanxiety was decid edly helped along by the discovery of two yonng ladies, ablonde and a brunette, of Ann Albor, eitherof whom, he thought, would make a most acceptable Mrs. S. No. 2. Keluctantly he waited for the slow procesa of becom ing a resident of Michigan, and unknown to his attorney in Aun Arbor, he went into Alexandria county, III-, and undertook to get a divorce there i n the niontli oí January, 1891, to which ! jroeeedings his wifeput in an j anee. Then the case was immediately ilropped, the presnmption beingthat it i would, of course, have been continued I liad lie been able to uiake anything Hke a respeetable showing. He then carne back-to Michigan and secretly started a divorce suit here. In his bilí liled in Illinois he stntes that lie had ! been a resident of Illinois for the I ceding year, while in the bilí liled in Michigan he sweaia that he was a dent of Michigan during that n:ime period. lie kept everything qaiet in Michigan about the Ülinois attempt, even í rom his own attorney in Aun Arbor, vího went on and secured a decree for his dient, Oct. ■". Ilighly elatPd over his success, Mr. Schoonhoven got a certiliod copy, vvent back to Elgin and showed all his frienda the evidence of his legal divorce. His wife learned fov the lirst time how shehad been euchered in the little game. and immediately called for a íiew deal. She applied to the conrt here and got an order against Mr. Schoonhoven to show cause why a rehearing of the case should not be had, md in her petition gives affidavits of lis living inElgin during the time of nis claiming a residence iu Michigan ; )i' his attempt to secure Üie divorce in Illinois, and of his voting in Elgln at the regular state election of 1890. The conclusión is that he luis shown by his offii acts that his resideuce in Michigan was not in good i'aith. Mr. Schoonhoven claims that he only tried to secure the divorce in Alexandria county, 111., for the purpose of testing Minnie'sdisposition and to see whether she would opposn the bill or not. Be that too attenuated or not, a legal proceeding is a thing a person cannot fooi with, and it looks as if Minnie would get the advantage in the new deal. She apparently has him on the hip, and may hold a warrant for perjury overhis head unless,perchance, he comes down with the cash. The proof in the divorce case sufficiently established, on its face, his residence in Michigan and of the desertion of his wife. His solicitor at Ann Arbor fully believed that he had a right to the decree, as is shown by the following scorching letter written to Mr. Schoonhoven immediately after the papers for the re-opening of the case vvere served on the solicitor. This letter will be used in court by the attorney at the hearing Monday: Ann Akbor. Nov. i, '91 . James S. Sehoonnoven, tigin, iu. Dear Sir: Your former wlfe has made an appUcation to b? heard o'i the i!3d of tliis month andset aslde your decree of divorcc. Her grounds are that you were never a resident of this state and she shows, by the affidnvit ol hersi'lf and F. J. Hagel, that you lived in Elgin and was a resident of Illinois all t.his time- shows where you üvod and liow you lived. 8Ue t'urthermore shows that in thc February term, 1891, you swore yoursalf, in'a bilí of complaint and an application for dlvorce, thai you were a resident of Alexauder eouiil.v. statí; of Illinois, and that you had been for a whola year, and glvea a copy ol the bilí you filed for divoree. Furthormore, she fiives the affidavit of George P. Harvey that you VOted in the seeDnd ward of the city of Klsjin on Nov. 4, 1890. Now, if you voted as Harvey states. and if you filed a bilí for divoree in Alcxander county and swore you were a1 resident of Illinois. of course there is no use of your appearing here the 23d to oppoae tliis motion. for it ia self-evident that you made a fool of yoursdf ly so doing. You eouM not have a residence in two places, and this court has no jurisdietion over you if you had a ris'lit to vote in Illinois and liad a rlght to file a bilí for divoree in the rítate of Illinois during the tim" you claimed n residence here. I am astonished tha1 you shoñ'd be fool'sli enough to ilalin tbe rijrht to vote in Illinois and the riffht to fi'e a bilí for divoree thre. while vou were pretendinfr to your tnniry and yonr friends here that you waa claiming a residence in Michijran. What do you mean by that? You should, at least, be honest with your attormey, and shonM have told him what yon -vere dotas and had done. This is.tho íirRt time I ever knew that you had filed a hill for divorce in Illinois, durinc the time you were rlaimins; a residenee here or had voted in Tllinois during the time, T told you ■w-hen you ftrst artvised with me that you must first eètabMsh a realdence hprp before you could eet a divovce and T toll yon so now. I nni Ki-ieved to tliink that yon fhould de?eive yonr oivn solldtOT, and I advige yoi tint tbepe is no nae o1 yonr ninkinir any oiiposition to this motion. Yon hav eommltted ppJitry in oiT' pïace or th' otliev. and tlie pircnmstances are pntlrely íijí'ií'1 you. AM r ran say ie tha1 you had better j !et the d"cf"" ïi" ri astiie. mud whnn you ind'rtnk" 1o ohtain another, bc honest therein. Hopintr that th n'ainneus and franknesa with which f 'r,-iv npokeq wil! be honeflciaJ to you. I T remain. Yours, etc.. Sinco the ;bnvn v:is in tvtip, .Tiitlor Kinnfl has reniïerad :1 rteciaiBn in thp cne. spttintj nsidethp rlivorce and iïismisaing 11) bill, Btating thai afraud had been praoticed npon the conrt. Mr. Solioonliovon was not nreaent a1 [ Hip hearinir, although he liad bppn I notifled of it.