Sunday, October 9, 2016
From the ABA Journal:
An exonerated inmate who married his wife while he was in prison can’t exclude his $20 million wrongful conviction settlement from marital property, an Illinois appeals court has ruled.
The Illinois Court of Appeals ruled in the case of Juan Rivera and Melissa Sanders-Rivera, the Chicago Tribune reports. Rivera had been imprisoned since his arrest in the 1992 murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker; he was cleared by DNA evidence and released from prison in January 2012.
Rivera was married on Halloween in 2000; he filed for divorce in May 2014. His settlement payout, after taxes and attorney fees, was about $11.4 million, according to court records cited by the Tribune.
Rivera had argued that the settlement was not marital property because it stemmed from conduct that occurred in 1992. Sanders-Rivera said the settlement is marital property because it stemmed from a lawsuit filed as a result of Rivera’s overturned conviction in 2011.
The appeals court sided with Sanders-Rivera in a Sept. 30 decision.
Read more here.