Mormonism has provoked a great deal of legislation and legal commentary over the years: laws to abolish plural marriage, administrative policies to curtail Mormon immigration, test oaths to eliminate Mormon suffrage. While most of that occurred during the bad old pre-Manifesto days, echoes of those early days forced the courts to consider and accommodate Mormonism for years after those courts had seemingly forced us to adapt to their ways.
Here is one such echo, from 1910:
Mr. Heber J. Grant was a Mormon missionary and the husband of two wives; the first being Augusta and the second Emily. Determining to do missionary work in England, Mr. Grant took Emily and her six children along with him to the Old World, leaving Augusta behind. She thereafter built a house in Utah. Action was brought in one of the Utah courts against Mr. Grant, and process served by leaving it at the house occupied by his first wife. Judgment was rendered by default, and after Grant’s return he brought suit in equity to have it set aside on the theory that no process had ever been legally served on him. On the part of the plaintiff in the former action, it was claimed that Augusta, being his first wife, was the only legal wife, and a presumption arose that her home was the usual place of abode of her husband, justifying service by leaving a copy with some suitable person not less than 14 years of age. The Utah Supreme Court, passing on this question in Grant v. Lawrence, 108 Pacific Reporter, 931, decided that the evidence showed that, irrespective of any question of legality of marriage, Grant’s usual place of abode was not with his first wife, and process left at her home did not constitute a legal service upon him.
[“Where Is a Mormon’s Abode?” The Virginia Law Register 16:6 (Oct. 1910), 474]