Thursday, January 29, 2015
Impossibility as a Defense to Contempt
On Tuesday, the Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Miles v. Miles located here. The issue in the case involved an ex-husband who failed to put his ex-wife as a joint beneficiary of an IRA as required by a property settlement. The trial court found him in contempt for failure to do so. The Court of Appeals reversed and rendered the judgment. Due to the type of account it was, it was in fact a legal impossibly to list her on the account. It should be noted that the former spouse additionally tried to enforce some agreement they had which was not in the property settlement. The Court of Appeals also summarily dismissed this as well since the property settlement stated that it contained the exclusive agreement of the parties. Those are two points to keep in mind in these type of cases and should also serve as a warning.