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The Annotated Code of the Public General Laws of Maryland, 1939
Volume 379, Page 1988   View pdf image (33K)
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1988 ARTICLE 45


Under this section and see. 20, a married woman in Maryland may sue for the
recovery or protection of her property either at law or in equity, and may be sued
separately upon her contracts; she may sue or be sued by her husband. Cochrane v.
Cochrane, 139 Md. 533; Furstenburg v. Furstenburg, 152 Md. 252.

This section referred to in deciding that alimony pendente lite would hot be allowed
where wife had ample means of her own, and though it is primarily the duty of the
father to support infant children. Hood v. Hood, 138 Md. 358.

This section referred to in construing art. 56, secs. 40 and 41—see notes to sec 41.
Crew Levick Co. v. Hull, 125 Md. 10.

For cases arising under art. 45, sec. 7 of the Codes of 1860 and 1888 (relative to
a married woman engaging in business), see Samarzevosky v. Baltimore City Pass.
Ry. Co., 88 Md. 480; Baker v. Hedrich, 85 Md. 661; Manning v. Carruthers, 83 Md. 9;
Hoffman v. Shupp, 80 Md. 615; Wolf v. Bauereis, 72 Md. 483; Poffenberger v.
Poffenberger, 72 Md. 324; Neale v. Hermanns, 65 Md. 475; Ahern v. Fink, 64 Md. 164
(dissenting opinion); Ahern v. Fink, 64 Md. 163; Fowler v. Jacob, 62 Md. 331;
Hoffman v. Reed, 57 Md. 373; Odend'hal v. Devlin, 48 Md. 444; Oswald v. Hoover,
43 Md. 370; Bradstreet v. Baer, 41 Md. 23; Six v. Shaner, 26 Md. 442; Davis v. Pattern,
19 Md. 128; Bridges v. McKenna, 14 Md. 265; Crane v. Seymour, 3 Md. Ch. 483.

See secs. 15 and 20 and notes to sec. 21.

Married women are entitled to letters testamentary or of administration as though
unmarried—art. 93, sec. 62.

The period of limitations is not extended because the plaintiff is a married woman—
art. 57, sec. 7.

As to married woman taking benefit of insolvent laws, see art. 47, sec. 37.

As to licenses to married women to sell spirituous liquors, and their criminal and
civil responsibility therefor, see art. 56, sec. 41.

An. Code, 1924, sec. 6. 1912, sec. 6. 1904, sec. 6. 1888, sec. 5. 1818, ch. 193, sec. 10.

1898, ch. 457, sec. 6.

6. A widow shall be entitled to dower in lands held by equitable as well
as legal title in the husband at any time during the coverture, whether held
by him at the time of his death or not, but such right of dower shall not
operate to the prejudice of any claim for the purchase money of such lands,
or other lien on same.

Dower as affected by mortgages.

Where a widow joins with her husband in executing a mortgage and subsequently
latter makes a deed for benefit of creditors and property is sold by his trustees,
the widow is only entitled to dower in the surplus after mortgage debt is paid. If
property is redeemed by purchaser of the equity, widow is only entitled to dower
if she contributes her proportion of mortgage debt. Bank of Commerce v. Owens,
31 Md. 324. See also Mantz v. Buchanan, 1 Md. Ch. 204.

Last clause of this section applied. The widow held dowable in surplus only.
Glenn v. Clark, 53 Md. 604; Ellicott v. Welch, 2 Bl. 244. See also Miller v. Stump,
3 Gill, 304.

A widow who has joined with her husband in a mortgage has a right to redeem
mortgage although there has been no assignment of dower. This right is not affected
by a second mortgage from husband alone to mortgagee; nor need she pay second
mortgage. Hays v. Cretin, 102 Md. 702. See also Mantz v. Buchanan, 1 Md. Ch. 204.

A widow may require the personal representative of her husband to apply the personal
estate to the extinguishment of a mortgage, so as to free her dower. Mantz v.
Buchanan, 1 Md. Ch. 204.

For cases (prior to act of 1898) involving question of whether a mortgage or other
lien upon lands held by legal title was sufficiently a part of same transaction as
purchase, to defeat wife's dower, see Glenn v. Clark, 53 Md. 605; Rawlings v. Lowndes,
34 Md. 643.

Only value of dower in real estate subject to federal estate tax. Tait v. Safe Deposit
& Trust Co., 70 Fed. (2nd), 79.

Cited but not construed in Scher v. Becker, 163 Md. 203.


A married woman's inchoate right of dower is a mere chose in action. Hence, she
is a stranger to the title (where her husband owns land), and her covenants in a deed
(prior to act of 1898) conveying land, do not run with the land. Her deed operates
only by way of estoppel or release. Pyle v. Gross, 92 Md. 134.

The right of dower is favored in the law. Act of 1818, ch. 193, sec. 10, construed.
A widow is entitled to dower in an equitable estate, however created, provided it
does not prejudice liens attached before the marriage or subsequently with her consent.


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The Annotated Code of the Public General Laws of Maryland, 1939
Volume 379, Page 1988   View pdf image (33K)
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