Civil Conspiracy in Divorce Actions

Family Civil Rights Movement - 2015Civil Conspiracy and Civil RICO in Divorce Actions – Family Law Reader

I. Introduction

There is little question that fraud in procuring a settlement agreement can justify setting aside the agreement and judgment. E.g., In re Marriage of Modnick, 33 Cal. 3d 897, 191 Cal. Rptr. 629 (1983); Compton v. Compton, 101 Idaho 328, 612 P.2d 1175 (1980); Anderson v. Anderson, 399 N.E.2d 391 (Ind. Ct. App. 1979); Daffin v. Daffin, 567 S.W.2d 672 (Mo. 1978).

Fraud in procuring a settlement can also be the basis for an independent tort action. Hall v. Hall, 455 So. 2d 813 (Ala. 1984); In re Benge, 151 Ariz. 219, 726 P.2d 1088 (Ct. App. 1986); Dale v. Dale, 66 Cal. App. 4th1172, 78 Cal. Rptr. 2d 513 (1998); Den v. Den, 222 A.2d 647 (D.C. 1966); Oehme v. Oehme, 10 Kan. App. 2d 73, 691 P.2d 1325 (1984); Burris v. Burris, 904 S.W.2d 564 (Mo. 1995); Carney v. Wohl, 785 S.W.2d 630 (Mo. Ct. App. 1990); Hess v. Hess, 397 Pa. Super. 395, 580 A.2d 357 (1990). See also Vickery v. Vickery, 1996 WL 255755 (Tex. Ct. App., December 5, 1996) (wife awarded $9 million against husband for fraudulently procuring divorce and marital settlement agreement, and $450,000 against husband’s attorney),affirmed over dissent in light of Schleuter v. Schleuter, 975 S.W.2d 584 (Tex. 1998),Vickery v. Vickery, 999 S.W.2d 342 (Tex. 1999). See generally, Robert G. Spector,Marital Torts: The Current Legal Landscape, 33 Fam. L. Q. 745, 757 (1999); Cary L. Cheifetz, The Future of Matrimonial Torts: The Unmapped Landscape, 15 Fair$hare 4 (August 1995). The courts are especially harsh with spouses that commit fraud who are attorneys. Anderson v. Anderson, 399 N.E.2d 391 (Ind. Ct. App. 1979); Scholler v. Scholler, 10 Ohio St. 2d 98, 462 N.E.2d 158 (1984); Webb v. Webb, 16 Va. App. 486, 431 S.E.2d 55 (1993).

The concealment of marital assets during the divorce proceeding has also given rise to tort actions. Swain v. Swain, 576 N.E.2d 1281 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991); Garrity v. Garrity, 399 Mass. 367, 504 N.E.2d 617 (1987). But seeBeers v. Beers, 724 So. 2d 109 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998); Nederlander v. Nederlander, 205 Mich. App. 123, 517 N.W.2d 768 (1994); Smith v. Smith, 113 N.C. app. 410, 438 S.E.2d 457 (1994); Schleuter v. Schleuter, 975 S.W.2d 584 (Tex. 1998); Gardner v. Gardner, 175 Wis. 2d 420, 499 N.W.2d 266 (Ct. App. 1993).

Spouses have even been successfuly in asserting violations of securities laws. Evans v. Dale, 896 F.2d 975 (5th Cir. 1990). But see Head v. Head, 759 F.2d 1172 (4th Cir. 1985); McHugh v. McHugh, 676 F. Supp. 856 (N.D. Ill. 1988); d’Elia v. d’Elia, 58 Cal. App. 4th 415, 68 Cal. Rptr. 2d 324 (1997).

But what can a spouse do when a third party or parties conspires with a spouse to hide marital assets? Is there a cause of action against the third parties? Increasingly, some spouses have been turning to civil conspiracy and Civil RICO.

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Alternatives that respect free speech and the open arena of ideas

As many of you know, we just had a magnificent conference on men’s issues in London, England. It was a brilliant event that went off without a hitch.socheader1 Thanks to the work of Mike Buchanan it was a full house, wall to wall with amazing people.

The only downer of the entire event was that I had to make the announcement during my speech that the A Voice for Men Facebook page was deleted by the management there. Also, at this point I can say that my appeal to have the page reinstated has gone ignored. 35,000 followers dismissed by Facebook for not towing the feminist, politically correct line.

This is part of a now quite familiar trend of social media platforms, which are essentially the modern equivalent of what we used to call telecommunications companies, controlling the expression and even the ideas of their customers.

Every time one of these events happens on Twitter, (and again) Facebook or other popular outlet, we see people in the comments lamenting the dogmatic discrimination and suggesting that “someone” needs to create an alternative platform.

Here’s your chance to reclaim free speech

They’re right. Someone needs to create alternatives that respect free speech and the open arena of ideas. So we did.

It’s now located at socfreespeech.com.

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Using Reddit open source software, we have created a platform where current events and self-published ideas can be discussed without the interference of political correctness.

As you will see in the terms of service, there is a very narrow range of postings not permitted. They are as follows:

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