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John Daly Bogeys His Way Into Supreme Court

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on May 15, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The words "John Daly love triangle" may sound like a nightmare you had when you fell asleep watching The Masters. Or like an earnest yet terrible golfer-turned-musician cover band. But the love life of the man with the loudest golf pants in the land may just end up in the highest court in the land.

Daly's former wife is suing his current fiancee for alienation of affection, alleging the woman broke up her marriage to the (in)famous golfer. So how did this marital spat make it all the way to the Supreme Court? Let's take a look.

Mississippi Marriage Measures

Mississippi is one of only six states that still allow suits for alienation of affection, and state courts have been known to award monetary damages for the loss of love and affection due to another party breaking up a happy home. A successful claim for alienation of affection requires the jilted ex to prove:

  • The wrongful conduct of the defendant;
  • The loss of the spouse's affection; and
  • That this wrongful conduct is what caused the loss of the spouse's affection.

But there's also one other element that's essential to any lawsuit -- jurisdiction. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the court has either jurisdiction over the person (i.e., that the person resides in the state) or jurisdiction over the subject matter in the lawsuit (i.e., that the acts occurred within the state). And that's how this particular lawsuit is winding its way through state and now federal courts.

Ex v. Next

Sherrie Miller was Daly's fourth wife and was married to the golfer from 2001 to 2010, but the couple separated in 2007. It's unclear when Daly began his relationship with Anna Cladakis, his caddy, but the two got engaged last December. Miller is claiming Cladakis broke up her marriage.

In 2012, a Mississippi judge dismissed Miller's lawsuit because none of the parties involved lived in the state. Miller appealed the dismissal and the Mississippi Court of Appeals found that that Daly and Cladakis had sexual trysts in DeSoto County, Mississippi and the case could be heard there. The Mississippi Supreme Court agreed, so Cladakis appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in April to have the case dismissed again. Miller has until May 18 to file a response, and it's unclear whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case or let the state's supreme court decision stand.

Daly may only know one way, but he's probably hoping that one way keeps his new marriage on course and out of the courts.

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