First Division Holds That Invoices Standing Alone Could Not Be Thought to be 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 tackle how the events ought to divide their artwork assortment upon dissolution of the wedding. It offered that any property owned on the date of execution of the prenuptial settlement, April 21, 1992, or “hereafter…acquired” by one social gathering stays that social gathering’s separate property. It offered that “[n]o contribution of both social gathering to the care, upkeep, enchancment, custody or restore of… [the other’s party]…shall in any method alter or convert any of such property…to marital property. The prenuptial settlement additional offered 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. Beneath the heading, Non-Marital Property, the settlement offered: “No property hereafter acquired by the events or by both of them…shall represent marital property…except (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.” In the course of the marriage, the events agreed to amass sure artwork as a joint assortment, together with items acquired by 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 amass it or the alleged intent behind the acquisition.” He argued that title must be decided based mostly solely on the bill or invoice of sale. The movement court docket 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 thought to be proof of title or possession of the artwork. An bill is outlined as “[a] listing of products despatched or providers offered, with a press release of the sum due for these” (Oxford Dwelling 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 price 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 thought to be “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 establish the titled proprietor. The unreliability of an bill as sole proof of title was evidenced by varied invoices within the report. The Appellate Division concluded that title to personalty can’t be decided by relying solely upon an bill. In figuring out title to the paintings in query, all of the info 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.