First Division Holds That Invoices Standing Alone Could Not Be Considered Proof of Title or Possession of Property.
In Nameless v. Nameless,— N.Y.S.3d —-, 2017 WL 1234201, 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 02613 (1st Dept., 2017) the events prenuptial settlement didn’t particularly handle how the events ought to divide their artwork assortment upon dissolution of the wedding. It supplied that any property owned on the date of execution of the prenuptial settlement, April 21, 1992, or “hereafter…acquired” by one occasion stays that occasion’s separate property. It supplied that “[n]o contribution of both occasion to the care, upkeep, enchancment, custody or restore of… [the other’s party]…shall in any approach alter or convert any of such property…to marital property. The prenuptial settlement additional supplied that “any property acquired after the date of the wedding that’s collectively held within the names of each events” shall, upon dissolution of the wedding — which occurred on March 25, 2014 — be divided equally between the events. Below the heading, Non-Marital Property, the settlement supplied: “No property hereafter acquired by the events or by both of them…shall represent marital property…until (a) pursuant to a subscribed and acknowledged written settlement, the events expressly designate stated property as marital property…or (b) title to stated property is collectively held within the names of each events.” Through the marriage, the events agreed to accumulate sure artwork as a joint assortment, together with items acquired by way of Artwork Advisory Providers, Luhring Augustine, and The Kitchen. The husband moved, inter alia, for a declaratory judgment that, “in keeping with the Prenuptial Settlement, the title to the artwork bought through the marriage determines whether or not it’s marital or separate property, whatever the supply of funds used to accumulate it or the alleged intent behind the acquisition.” He argued that title needs to be decided based mostly solely on the bill or invoice of sale. The movement courtroom relied on the invoices as proof of whether or not the artwork was collectively or individually held in granting his movement.
The Appellate Division held on the contrary, that invoices, standing alone, might not be considered proof of title or possession of the artwork. An bill is outlined as “[a] listing of products despatched or companies supplied, with an announcement of the sum due for these” (Oxford Residing Dictionaries [https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/invoice]). “An bill…just isn’t a invoice of sale, neither is it proof of a sale. It’s a mere detailed assertion of the character, amount, or value of the products, or worth of the issues invoiced, and it’s as applicable to a bailment as a sale. Therefore, standing alone, it’s by no means considered “proof of title” (Sturm v. Boker, 150 US 312, 328 . An bill can’t be stated to be dispositive of possession. The aim of the bill is to not determine the titled proprietor. The unreliability of an bill as sole proof of title was evidenced by varied invoices within the document. The Appellate Division concluded that title to personalty can’t be decided by relying solely upon an bill. In figuring out title to the art work in query, all of the details and circumstances of the acquisition and indicia of possession should even be thought of. Accordingly, the order was reversed, on the regulation, the declaration vacated, and the matter remanded for additional proceedings, together with discovery and an evidentiary listening to to find out the possession of the disputed artwork.