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ex-mother-in-law sues??

Discussion in 'Divorce, Separation, Annulment' started by sritter, Mar 10, 2002.

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  1. sritter

    sritter Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi, a friend of mine received the below complaint today. The plaintiff is his ex-mother in law. The defendant is the ex-son in law. There is no mention of the ex-wife in the complaint.

    1. Beginning in January, 1998, the Plaintiff made a series of loans to the defendant to meet a variety of household expenses including cable bills, gas bills, electric bills, parking tickets, water bills, car insurance amongst other items. The money was usually loaned in a crisis situation such as when utilities or car insurance were about to be cancelled.

    2. The plaintiff advised the defendant that he could pay over time when he was able to get the money. Despite repeated demand, the defendant has failed, neglected and refused to repay any portion of these moneys loaned.

    3. The defendant owes the plaintiff $21,000.

    What do you make of this? There is no contract, my friend says that his ex-mother in law always gave him and his wife money and told them not to worry about it. That all changed when they got divorced. Not only that but the ex-wife agreed he could have his personal belonging from before they got married back but the parents in law said he couldn't because he owed them 21,000, so he ended up with 4 bags of clothes and that's all from his entire
    life before this marriage. At the divorce trial they showed up and asked for $8000 but the judge said it was ridiculous and a case of the parents helping out the kids, but they had the right to sue in the future added to the divorce settlement. Also, he lives in CT and the complaint was filed in MA.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    To begin, there may be jurisdicition over the Defendant if the transaction occurred in MA -- did the family ever live in MA? Was the money ever given in MA?

    Second, the husband may want to "implead" the ex wife, which is including the ex-wife in the lawsuit as a second defendant.

    He may want to speak to an attorney to decide whether to "answer" the complaint. If he does and does so improperly, he could be conceding jurisdiction to the court in MA.

    I wouldn't doubt that a court knows exactly what is going on if it is what you are implying. If so, this litigation will likely cost the plaintiff a lot of time and money for something that may not yield much return, if anything. Absent an agreement and given the fact that the money was for the benefit of her own daughter, it would seem difficult for the Plaintiff to show that these were "loans."
     

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