South Dakota legislators have drafted an amendment
designed to close a loophole which has complicated debt
repayment obligations in the state. The change follows a
court case where a local man avoided repaying a $33 000
debt on the grounds that he once lost $1 500 to the
lender in a card game.
Associated Press reports
that the amendment is currently on its way to the state
governor's desk for final approval, and that it seeks to
close a loophole that if a debt stems from illegal
gambling, either in part or in whole, then the whole
debt is void.
The amendment proposes that only
the illegal portion of such debt should be invalid.
Senator Mike Vehle said that the amendment would not
affect the case which triggered the need for change.
Back in November, the state Supreme Court reinstated a
jury's 2007 finding that the loan included consideration
of a gambling debt that since deceased Donald L. Davis
made to businessman Gerald Neve.
indicate that the two Sioux Falls men met in the early
1990s as members of the Elks Club, where they gambled in
card games. Neve said he lost $1 500 to Davis one
evening in 1992 and that Davis said they would work
something out, according to the court documents.
Neve said Davis subsequently loaned him $33 000 in
September 1993 and that it included consideration of the
earlier gambling debt. Neve had financial troubles at
the time and owed money for business expenses, medical
expenses and taxes.
In 2005, Neve sought a court
order to have the promissory note declared invalid.
Davis died after the appeal was filed and Neve
settled with Davis' estate, but the high court still
ruled on the legal issues.