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Old 05-12-2011, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,204 posts, read 2,729,303 times
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Default reading/interpreting court documents

A question about reading, more so interpreting the writing, of a court document. What does the following imply?

"Jane Smith and John Doe Smith, her husband and each of them,"

What does this mean? Is Jane married but her husband not named? Is she unmarried and putting two names is customary? Was a husband, now deceased, involved?

I found this wording on a document and was confused.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:36 PM
Status: "Don't worry, be happy..." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
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Depends on the document and how the rest is worded. As I read it now it might refer to a threesome.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:28 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
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More or less, it's addressing you as a couple and as individuals.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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I'm sorry, I should have clarified more. "Jane Smith" is an alias. I did not want to put a real name. The husband was listed as "John Doe (insert real last name), her husband". I found this odd because the real name of the "husband" was not used. Referred to as John Doe as if an unknown.

"Jane Smith" and "John Doe Smith" were listed as defendents in a collections case and lost. In the damages portion of the document only "Jane Smith" was listed.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Valparaiso, IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondurant View Post
A question about reading, more so interpreting the writing, of a court document. What does the following imply?

"Jane Smith and John Doe Smith, her husband and each of them,"

What does this mean? Is Jane married but her husband not named? Is she unmarried and putting two names is customary? Was a husband, now deceased, involved?

I found this wording on a document and was confused.
I'm a paralegal and I'm also anal about grammar and punctuation in formal documents. The sentence you quoted would make a lot more sense if the writer had added a comma after "her husband." It SHOULD read: "Jane Smith and John Doe Smith, her husband, and each of them."

As an example, Jane Smith and John Doe Smith are married. Jane was involved in an auto accident and is suing the other driver, Mike Miller. Because he suffered a loss because of his wife's injury, John joins in the lawsuit. The complaint (the document initiating the lawsuit) would say, "Jane Smith and John Doe Smith, her husband, and each of them, for their Complaint against Mike Jones, state that . . .." This means that Jane and John are both suing Mike, and that each has her/his individual claim against Mike. Ultimately, separate judgments may be entered with respect to Jane and John's claims.

Edit: Oops. I didn't read post #4 before I posted this (above). I've seen a lot of captions in my 25 years as a paralegal, but never saw anyone's spouse listed as a John Doe. I have no idea why that was done in the case you wrote about, OP.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,204 posts, read 2,729,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ8 View Post
I'm a paralegal and I'm also anal about grammar and punctuation in formal documents. The sentence you quoted would make a lot more sense if the writer had added a comma after "her husband." It SHOULD read: "Jane Smith and John Doe Smith, her husband, and each of them."

As an example, Jane Smith and John Doe Smith are married. Jane was involved in an auto accident and is suing the other driver, Mike Miller. Because he suffered a loss because of his wife's injury, John joins in the lawsuit. The complaint (the document initiating the lawsuit) would say, "Jane Smith and John Doe Smith, her husband, and each of them, for their Complaint against Mike Jones, state that . . .." This means that Jane and John are both suing Mike, and that each has her/his individual claim against Mike. Ultimately, separate judgments may be entered with respect to Jane and John's claims.

Edit: Oops. I didn't read post #4 before I posted this (above). I've seen a lot of captions in my 25 years as a paralegal, but never saw anyone's spouse listed as a John Doe. I have no idea why that was done in the case you wrote about, OP.
Thanks for the reply. The wording is too bizarre. If you ever find out why it would be worded as such please let me know.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Valparaiso, IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondurant View Post
Thanks for the reply. The wording is too bizarre. If you ever find out why it would be worded as such please let me know.
The only thing I can think of is that it's a privacy issue ~ they did not want to disclose the name for some reason, in which case the husband's name would only be on sealed records.

Definitely bizarre.
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