Civil Procedure I

State-Planters Bank and Trust Company of Richmond, Virginia, Executor and Trustee of the Estate of Emilie Hanewinkle v. Commonwealth of Virginia

Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, January 8, 1940

Facts:

Hanewinkle previously lived in Virginia but moved to Rome between thirty to forty years before death, only visiting Virginia four times. Everything of value she owned was in Italy as were all of her friends. She had previously spoken out quite strongly against the United States and expressed a desire to never return to Virginia if she could avoid it.

Procedural History:

Lower court found in favor of Virginia.

Issue:

If a person leaves the country, but visits their local city a few times, does that preserve their local domicile?

Plaintiff's Argument:

Hanewinkle had basically her entire recent life in Rome and had no plans to return to Virginia, transferring her domicile to Italy.

Defendant's Argument:

Hanewinkle had previously lived in Virginia and had not established domicile in Rome.

Rule:

A person forms a new domicile if he has the intention to make his new residence his permanent home.

Reasoning:

Hanewinkle intended to live her life in Italy, and expressed the desire to not return to Virginia explicitly. Her domicile was thus in Rome.

Holding:

No, if one has the intention to permanently live at his new residence, that is his domicile. Decision overturned.

Takeaway:

One must be domiciled in a state to be considered a citizen thereof.


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