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LaFont v. Decker-Angel

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 8336 (1999)


Gerald LaFont (plaintiff) sued Judith M. Decker-Angel (defendant) in federal court, asserting several claims under Utah law. LaFont and Decker-Angel were in a romantic relationship. LaFont gave Decker-Angel a check for $250,000 that he alleged in his complaint was for the joint purchase of property, and the complaint further claimed that Decker-Angel fraudulently converted the funds for her own use. Decker-Angel’s answer denied LaFont’s claims but did not assert any affirmative defenses. During opening statements of trial, Decker-Angel argued that LaFont gave her the check as a gift for being his companion, advisor, and lover. LaFont objected, arguing that Decker-Angel’s claim that the check was a gift was an affirmative defense that she had waived by not raising it in her answer. The judge overruled LaFont’s objection. A jury found in favor of Decker-Angel, and LaFont appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Henry, J.)

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