Maryland rules phone wedding valid

Nov. 28, 2012 at 3:46 PM
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ANNAPOLIS, Md., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A Maryland court ruled a man who teleconferenced into his own wedding in the Democratic Republic of Congo was legally married.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled the wedding was valid in upholding the divorce and the ensuing nearly $6,000 a month in alimony, child support and other financial payments Noel Tshiani was ordered to pay, The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.

Tshiani, a World Bank employee, had argued his 1993 wedding was never valid because he was in another country at the time. Tshiani called into the ceremony while his cousin stood in for him.

The ruling said Maryland's state marriage law doesn't bar the state of Maryland "from recognizing a ceremony where one party participates by proxy -- or in the manner that occurred here -- and the ceremony is valid in another jurisdiction."

"The opinion by the court makes it clear that the public policy of Maryland is very much to be in support of marriage, regardless of how it's done," said Judith Wolfer, an attorney representing Tshiani's ex-wife, Marie-Louise Tshiani.

Tshiani's attorney could not be reached for comment.

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