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Is It Bigamy If You Marry Someone Else When You Are Still Married?

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You’re thinking “of course.” Like most things in life, though, it’s not that simple. Or … is it? Dude got married in Pennsylvania, and years later married his girlfriend in Nevada. Pennsylvania charged him with bigamy, and got a conviction.

Not so fast, said Mr. Seiders. I got married in Nevada, not in Pennsylvania. So, even if I did commit bigamy, it was in Nevada, not here. Case dismissed!

What does the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania think of this argument? Not so much. Being married, it says, is conduct that occurred in Pennsylvania. Case closed!

So who won? Mr. Seiders. Said the Court:

The crime of bigamy, under section 4301, is committed at the time when and in the place where the second marriage is contracted or purported to be contracted.

Sentence reversed! Appellant (Mr. Seiders) discharged! The case is Commonwealth v. Seiders (2010 PA Super 194), which you can read here.