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Estate of Reaves

February 09, 1999

THE ESTATE OF LAWRENCE EUGENE REAVES APPELLANT
v.
WALTER OWEN APPELLEE



Before Bridges, C.j., Diaz, Payne, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Diaz, J.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/19/1997

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. PAT WISE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - CONTRACT

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CHANCELLOR UPHELD CONTRACT AND ORDERED ESTATE TO PAY BALANCE OWING UNDER THE CONTRACT.

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 02/09/99

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

CERTIORARI FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. This is an appeal from a judgment of the Hinds County Chancery Court establishing the validity of a claim against the estate of Lawrence E. Reaves in favor of Walter Owen. The executrix of the estate, Debra Thomas, has appealed the chancellor's decision to award to Owen the balance due on the $59,500 contract debt owed by Reaves's estate to Owen. Thomas raised the following issues in this appeal: (1) that the trial court erred in upholding a property settlement agreement entered into after the termination of a homosexual relationship, (2) that the trial court erred in upholding the property settlement agreement in light of the material breach of agreement by Owen, and (3) that the trial court erred in not allowing the estate to put on proof of the materiality of the breach of the property settlement agreement by Owen. Since the first and second issues are dispositive, we do not reach the merits of the final issue. Finding all of these assignments of error to be without merit, we affirm the chancellor's decision and also award statutory penalties and interest to the appellee.

FACTS

¶2. Walter Owen and Lawrence E. Reaves were involved in an admittedly homosexual relationship for nine years. During an argument in the fall of 1995, Reaves stabbed Owen in the back with a knife. At this time, Reaves was terminally ill and suffering from AIDS.

ΒΆ3. On October 12, 1995, Owen entered into settlement negotiations with Reaves to obtain compensation for the damages suffered by him because of the knife wound. As part of the written contract, Reaves agreed to pay Owen fifty-nine thousand five hundred dollars ($59,500) with ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to be paid by January 1, 1996, and the rest to be paid ...


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