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Can check registers be used as "proofs" of payment?

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Latest post Fri, Jun 10 2016 11:12 PM by Freedom2013. 5 replies.
  • Mon, Jun 6 2016 8:06 PM

    Can check registers be used as "proofs" of payment?

    What is the standard for proving payment when demanding reimbursement?

    I've just gone through some hearings on contribution to extracurricular expenses where both my ex and I produced about 12k worth of "receipts", but about 2k of hers in the form of dozens of entries (from way back in 2002) were simply check register copies. I was flabbergasted that the judge admitted these, as I had not even considered such would/could be counted for actual "receipt" in claiming reimbursement in real money. This is stunning to me (especially as the only two items of this sort I had were backed by a bank statement that showed the checks cleared, and were not admitted because there was no copy of the check specifying the payee). My mind is blown that I could possibly be asked to reimburse in real money for copies of a check register with no proof the check had ever been sent, nor cleared. How is this possible? Is not the standard extremely high for proof of reimbursement? The only explanation I have is that the judge at one point became upset for my speaking out of turn (Pro Se, I was a bit confused about the order of things) and went on to admit these when clearly angry as a sort of punishment. I must add that I provided all of my receipts in Excel, in order of date, such that there was not even one question of a duplicate. My ex, a financial advisor, provided multiple out of order (by date) exhibits which I proved in the first 15 items had over $2000 in duplicates which I thought would be evident to the judge as an attempt to defraud the court which might then result naturally in the exhibits being severely discounted.  I was shocked that the burden was put on me to "proof" their totals rather then they. How is this possible? Isn't the burden on each to provide clear proofs of payment?  Isn't the standard extremely high to prevent the court from ordering repayment of fraudulent claims???

  • Tue, Jun 7 2016 9:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Can check registers be used as "proofs" of payment?

    Freedom2013:
    How is this possible?

    I don't understand the point of this question or really what it means.

     

    Freedom2013:
    Is not the standard extremely high for proof of reimbursement?

    The standard of proof for just about anything in civil matters (which includes family law matters) is a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., more likely than not), but I don't think that's really what you intended to ask.

    As far as I can understand your post, you're simply quibbling that your ex's evidence wasn't as neatly organized as yours, which raises no legal issue.

  • Tue, Jun 7 2016 5:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Can check registers be used as "proofs" of payment?

    In 2011, a sales rep and not very up to date on "office' tools, I submitted my exhibits in Word.  By category, by year (medical, extracurricular, school) for a 12 year period, with totals per year.  Eventually I put it in Excel, and found onely ONE duplicate amongst 1000 entries.   My ex, a financial advisor of 15 years, who does financial spreadsheets for clients, produced identical exhibits in filings in 2011, 2012, 2013, and in pretrial exhibits in 2014.  There are over a dozen different exhibits, with these three categories overlapping and re-occurring,  and out of order by date.  Can you imagine what it takes to sort the duplicates (there is literally thousands of dollars in duplicates and triplicates in some cases, even listed under different names) ?   And should it be my responsibility to ferret it out??? There are 1500 entries.  You'd have to take number one and crossreference 1500 times.  Then do it again with number 2, and so on.   This is a financial advisor, who was terminated for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and forging medical documents.  ... obvious what this is, and should be to a judge; this wouldn't be accepable at a 7th grade level, literally.   I would have thought that, coming to ask for financial reimbursement of any sort, the clarity of proof of claim would need to be beyond a reasonable doubt and easily digestible so the court couldn't be easily bamboozled into awarding Real money for falsified claims.

  • Tue, Jun 7 2016 9:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Can check registers be used as "proofs" of payment?

    Freedom2013:
    I would have thought that, coming to ask for financial reimbursement of any sort, the clarity of proof of claim would need to be beyond a reasonable doubt and easily digestible so the court couldn't be easily bamboozled into awarding Real money for falsified claims.

    There are two steps to this: admission of evidence and then the evaluation of the admitted evidence by the judge in deciding the judgment in the matter. In a civil matter, any evidence offered that is relevant to the matter being contested, for which the proper foundation has been laid, and that is not barred by some rule of evidence is admissible. Admission of the evidence simply means that it gets submitted to the fact finder (judge or jury) for consideration in deciding the case. That fact finder then decides how much weight to give that evidence. It might be given a lot or it might be given very little. The standard for deciding what to award in most civil matters is preponderance of the evidence, which is a more likely than not standard. So the judge will look at the evidence for each payment and decide whether what has been submitted is enough for the judge to say it is more likely than not that the claimed payment was made.

    It's not the judge’s job to sort through a mess of information and organize it. If you want to prevent the possibility of being hit up for duplicate payments then it is indeed on you to find them and present that information to the court. If her information was presented poorly, that's going to work against her.

  • Fri, Jun 10 2016 11:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Can check registers be used as "proofs" of payment?

    fair enough.   if a general "preponderance of the evidence" is the standard, that makes sense.  i did not know and can see then that if not all credit would be given, much could logically be.  i thought to collect, one had to clearly prove each item.

  • Fri, Jun 10 2016 11:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Can check registers be used as "proofs" of payment?

    Taxagent:

    Ty this was a quality response thru and thru.

    I get it, and know I over-reacted.

    Thanks again.

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