In a case originally appealed by Carson J. Tucker and Lex Fori PLLC in 2014, the trial court on remand from the Supreme Court today issued an opinion and order of restitution awarding Ray J. Foster $72,000 for the money he was forced to pay over to his former spouse in violation of 38 USC 5301.
More on this later, but in essence, the trial court agrees that Ray Foster is entitled to restitution from his former spouse in the amount he paid her based on the illegal and void order that was prohibited by 38 U.S.C.A. § 5301. The judgment of divorce and settlement agreement forcing Ray to pay his veterans’ disability pay over to his former spouse as an award of property in lieu of the lack of any disposable retired pay was an illegal and impermissible assignment in violation of 38 U.S.C.A. § 5301.
Not suprisingly, they denied our motion for costs and attorney fees, which were not insubstantial ($6000 and $145,000). The trial court deemed them to be reasonable though, which will give us some leverage if we have to cross appeal on a challenge.
This was a 6 year ordeal (for Ray it was 13 years because the judgment was entered in 2008). We appealed in 2014. Our “boots on the ground” lawyer, former Marine Mike Gawecki wrested this out of the trial court where Ray had been held in contempt, and brought the case to me to file the appeal.
This went to the Supreme Court of Michigan twice, the Court of Appeals three times, numerous motions and litigation in the trial court, court of appeals, and supreme court. And a US Supreme Court amicus brief written by me FOR this case for Ray; the decision from SCOTUS in that case, Howell v. Howell, which was dispositive of the issue and gave us the ability to leverage it back into the state court!