Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Debt Proof

The Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Norris v. Norris yesterday located here.  The issue in the case was the chancellor awarded a $5000 judgment for debts allegedly incurred during the marriage to the wife.  The problem, there was no proof other than testimony regarding the debt.  The Court of Appeals stated: 

"Jacqueline did not introduce any documentary evidence to support her claim. Also, the  record  before  us  does  not  indicate  that  Jacqueline  filed  a  financial  statement,  as  required by Rule 8.05 of the Uniform Chancery Court Rules.  Had  she filed a Rule 8.05 statement, there may have been evidence sufficient to support the chancellor’s finding.  However, we simply  cannot  find  the  evidence  that  would support  the  chancellor’s  award  of  “$5,000  .  .  .  as equitable  distribution  of  the  parties’  debt”  in  the  record.    Indeed,  there  is  very  little  evidence of  the  marital  assets  and  debt.    Instead,  Jacqueline  estimated  that  Dwayne  should  have contributed  $3,000  for  expenses.    It  is  not  clear  why  the  chancellor  awarded  Jacqueline $5,000.

¶13. Because we conclude that the chancellor’s findings are not supported by substantial
evidence,  we  must  also  find  that  the  chancellor’s  award  of  $5,000  to  Jacqueline  was
manifestly  wrong."

 This looks to me like with no proof of the debt amount, testimony is insufficient.  I think a Rule 1006 summary of the debt with the records attached would have remedied this problem. 

No comments:

Post a Comment