Trials & Litigation

Woman is sued for writing 'bum' and 'loser' on memo line of alimony checks to her ex-husband

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A lawsuit filed last Thursday claims a New Jersey man suffered emotional distress when his ex-wife wrote notations such as “bum” and “loser” on the memo line of her alimony checks.

Francis Wagner Jr. claims the name-calling worsened his health conditions, including cancer and a bad heart, the Daily Record reports.

The ex-wife, Diane Wagner, told the Daily Record that she agreed to pay her former husband $744 a month in spousal support for six years because she didn’t have the money to contest it in a divorce trial. She says she also has cancer and is terminally ill.

“As far as I’m concerned I can write anything I want on the memo line because it’s a note to myself,” Wagner told the Daily Record. “I was the victim in that marriage. What more blood does he want from me? I pay him religiously.”

Wagner told the Daily Record she also suffered emotional distress when the law firm that filed the suit, Trautmann & Trautmann, posted a photo of one of her checks on March 11, though her last name and street address are blacked out. The memo line read “alimony/adult child support.” The post claimed the law firm “put a stop to that harassment.”

Wagner said she didn’t get a letter from the law firm asking her to stop adding the memo-line comments until July, four months after the Facebook post. The letter said the comments caused her former husband to suffer “sustained heart attacks in recent weeks. If you send a single check in the future with any writing upon it other than what is required to process the alimony payment a complaint will be filed against you for intentionally inflicting emotional distress upon my client.”

After that, Wagner started writing “FOAD” in the memo line, the lawsuit alleges. The complaint defines the acronym to mean the f-word, followed by “off and die.”

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