Q: I've been divorced for 4 years and i shared a joint account and forgot to close it and I forgot it was a joint account
, I never put any money in it until recently and my ex spouse withdrew all the money i deposited, can he do this and get away with it?
If you deposited money into a joint account that properly belongs to you and your ex-husband withdrew that money, you likely have a claim for assumpsit (also sometimes called "money had and received") to get a judgment against your ex-husband for the money he withdrew.
The legal elements of such a claim are among the simplest in law: 1) the defendant (i.e. your ex) holds money, 2) that belongs to the plaintiff (i.e. you) in equity and good conscience.
Because you deposited the money into a joint account from which he has legal authority to withdraw funds, it is not a criminal matter, but a civil matter. Moreover, the bank simply honored your account agreement which it is legally required to do, so you have no claim against the bank. Your own negligence created the circumstances which required the bank to honor your account agreement and allow your ex-husband to withdraw the funds. But your negligence does not impact your claim against your ex-husband as he knew that money wasn't rightfully his when he withdrew it.
I highly recommend that you close that account and only deposit money into an account which is in your sole name in the future.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.