US NASCAR boss loses legal fight to keep divorce documents sealed
France, who is also CEO of the stock car racing association, has fought to keep the documents private for several years. They relate to his second divorce from wife Megan, who is from Charlotte, the state’s largest city. The pair have married and divorced twice.
According to a report in USA Today, when the pair separated in 2008, France agreed to pay her $9 million, along with $32,000 per month in alimony (maintenance) for a period of ten years, and $10,000 a month in child support.
North Carolina law regards divorce proceedings as public records, unless they are specifically sealed by a judge. This is sometimes done in high profile divorce cases and child custody disputes.
France’s lawyers had appealed an earlier ruling that the public interest in open court proceedings outweighed his interest in keeping the proceedings private, overturning the decision of an earlier judge. Allowing one judge to reverse the ruling of another judge would lead to “judicial anarchy”, the lawyers claimed.
However, the Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the earlier decision to unseal the documents. France will now have to apply for permission to appeal to North Carolina Supreme Court.
According to USA Today, the chairman filed a lawsuit against his former wife last year claiming that she had illegally recorded phone calls between them.
Photo by Andrew Dawley via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
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