Index ← 1324 CFJ 1325 1326 → text
==============================  CFJ 1325  ==============================

    The listed Trading Accounts on the AgorEx web page are sufficient
    evidence of an Agreement between each listed Player and Lindrum in
    which the Player may demand that Lindrum pay em the specified
    amounts at any time.


Caller:                                 Taral

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by Taral:                        12 Nov 2001 02:01:12 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         12 Nov 2001 02:03:22 GMT
Judged TRUE by G.:                      13 Nov 2001 21:26:13 GMT


Judge G.'s Arguments:

The wording of this CFJ is not entirely clear to its purpose, so I offer
the following clarification:  It is trivially true, by Rule 101, that any
Player may demand of Lindrum (or anyone else) that a certain amount be
payed, with or without Agreement.  The real issue, of course, is whether
such a demand, accompanied by the cited evidence, can be construed to
create an obligation arising under the Rules for Lindrum (hereafter known
as "the Holder") to transfer the demanded amount to the alleged creditor
(hereafter known as "the Investor").

A Rules-mandated obligation to transfer is the definition of "debt"
contained in Rule 1596/6.  If a debt is created by the hypothetical demand
referred to in the CFJ, the mechanisms for debt collection contained
elsewhere in the Rules may be applied to enforcing payment, otherwise debt
Rules may not be applied.

To set a general standard in adjudicating such claims, I address this
argument to third parties (judges and Officers) who must decide, in
limited time allowed for some required Actions, the rightness of said
claims.  This audience is of crucial importance, as the Officials, under
certain circumstances, may be punished for either ignoring a correct claim
or satisfying an incorrect one.  This standard is meant to set up
"reasonable critera of proof" for protecting said Officers from claims of
willful fraud, and as such may not be sufficient for determining the final
truth of said claims.

I present the following tests to determine the "rightness" of a claim.  I
will restrict myself to a specific case: one in which an Investor demands
repayment, and the Holder is silent with regard to the propriety/
correctness of that claim.  If the Holder is present and contests the
claim, then of course the evidence on both sides must be examined,
preferrably in court.

These tests should be applied in the following sequence.  If the answer to
all 4 questions is "yes", sufficient evidence of debt exists for the Rules
of debt to be applicable.  The questions are:

(1) Does an "understanding" of some kind exist between the Investor and
    the Holder, that the Holder holds funds which in a greater sense
    than the current fact of possession "belong" to the investor?

(2) Is the "understanding" a Rules-mandated binding agreement?

(3) Is the "understanding" such that a demand from the Investor creates in
    an Obligation for the Holder to pay?

(4) Has the payment been demanded?

Answering the questions in the AgoraEx case:

(1) Does an "understanding" of some kind exist between the Investor and
    the Holder, that the Holder holds funds which in a greater sense
    than the current fact of possession "belong" to the investor?

    Sufficient evidence of such an understanding would be a transfer of
    property from the Investor to the Holder with accompanying message of
    explanation (public or private), a message from the Holder stating the
    contents of an account, or the existence of other text implying the
    existence of said holdings.  I find that the web page containing
    AgoraEx trading accounts satisfied this standard at the time of this
    CFJ.  I also find that private messages from Lindrum, if forwarded to
    the Public Forum by Investors, would satisfy this standard in the case
    of AgoraEx.  This may not be true in the general case, but in the
    specific case of AgoraEx an adequate body of text on AgoraEx
    exists in the public fora to make the determination of the intent of
    Trading Accounts.

(2) Is the "understanding" a Rules-mandated binding agreement?

    Rule 1742/2 states:  "Players may make agreements among themselves
    with the intention that such agreements will be binding under the
    Rules."  Agreements between Players, both Public and Private, are the
    life-blood of Agora, and it is important to ask under what conditions
    said agreement should be open to Court interpretation---is the e-mail
    equivalent of a handshake binding, even in the absense of the words
    "binding" or other legalese?

    In general, the ability to appeal to Court settlement should be
    treated as a right, not a privilege, and I believe it consistant with
    Agoran custom that this right be assumed to exist in the absense of
    specific waiving of said rights.  Thus, in the absense of evidence to
    the contrary, a statement that one party took an agreement to be
    Binding by the Rules should be sufficient to make the Agreement
    Binding, even if said statement comes after the fact.

    Evidence to the contrary would be, of course, an opposing statement
    from other involved parties.  However, in the case of Lindrum no such
    statement has been made, so it should be assumed that any
    "understandings" involving Trading Accounts are Rules-Binding

(3) Is the "understanding" such that a demand from the Investor creates in
    an Obligation for the Holder to pay?

    What mechanism exists in the given understanding for the Holder
    cease having the right to hold Investor funds?  I find the contents of
    Lindrum's website to be sufficient evidence that Trading Accounts
    could be "cashed out" at any time.  There is no evidence to support
    the possibility that Investors agreed to their funds being
    "unreachable" for any length of time, or that they should forfeit
    their claim on Trading Accounts under any circumstances except

(4) Has the payment been demanded?

    Without a specific demand from an alleged creditor, I find that no
    debt can possibly exist.  In this example, funds listed as held
    Lindrum's possession as "trading accounts" are clearly held by the
    mutual consent of investors and the Holder.  Without a specific
    demand, there is no evidence that an investor has withdrawn said
    consent.  Therefore, without question, no "debts" may be construed to
    exist without evidence of a demand.

In the absense of contesting evidence from the Holder or other parties,
this series of tests is clearly weighted in favor of the claimant, and as
such is an Opinion which some might argue is open to abuse as listed
evidence is open to manufacture.

However, seen from the point of view of Officials, this is a desirable
situation.  If the Official denies an Investor's claim, that Official is
open to punishment for nonsatisfaction of valid debts.  On the other hand,
if the Offical satisfies an investor's claim which is later found to be
incorrect, the Rules protect the Officer while punishing the incorrect
investor, provided the Officer had sufficient evidence to believe the
claim correct at the time.  Therefore, this decision errs on the side of
minimal standards for sufficient evidence.

Also, in the case of absent (dissolute) Holders, these standards place the
demands of previous investors ahead of the mechanations of Looters, and
since legitimate investors should have stronger prior claims on invested
property, they should have the stronger support of the Rules in recovering
said property.

I therefore judge this CFJ TRUE.


Judge G.'s Evidence:

Rule 1742/2 (Power=1)
Agreements between Players

      Players may make agreements among themselves with the intention
      that such agreements will be binding under the Rules. If such
      an agreement is subsequently broken, any Player party to that
      agreement may then call a CFJ alleging that the agreement has
      been broken. If the Judge of such a CFJ finds that the
      agreement was entered into with the intention that the
      agreement be binding under the Rules and that the agreement has
      in fact been broken, e may Order the breaching party to:
      (1) transfer Property to the other party or parties to remedy
          the damages from the breach,
      (2) perform according to the agreement, or
      (3) perform such other substitute acts as would fairly serve
          the interests of the agreement.
      E may further Order the other parties of the agreement to
      perform such acts as may be necessary to preserve fairness and

      Nothing in this Rule shall be construed so as to impair the
      enforcement of an agreement which requires a Player to violate
      another agreement.

      A CFJ alleging that an agreement has been broken called by
      anyone who is not party to that agreement lacks standing and
      shall be dismissed.

Rule 1596/6 (Power=1)

      (a) A "debt" is an obligation arising under the Rules for one
          entity (the "debtor") to make a transfer of one or more
          Properties to some other entity (the "creditor").

      (b) No debt shall be enforceable unless a notice sufficient to
          inform the debtor of the debt has been sent to the debtor.
          If a Rule requires that a public notice of a debt be posted,
          the debt is not enforceable until and unless that notice is

      (c) A debt is satisfied when the debtor has transferred (or is
          deemed to have transferred) all the Properties named to the
          creditor (either as a single transfer or as the aggregate of
          multiple transfers).

      (d) A debt is forgiven when the creditor of a debt sends a
          notice to the debtor that e is forgiving the debt.
          Forgiveness may be for the entire debt or for any part
          thereof.  The effect forgiving a debt is as if the debtor
          had made a payment on the debt for the portion forgiven,
          except that no transfer of property takes place thereby.

      (e) An entity which receives Property as the result of an
          unauthorized transfer incurs a debt for the transferred
          Property to the entity that made the transfer.

For the Public record, here are the accounts as I copied them from the
site on Friday prior to the CFJ, and they are unchanged as of this message
and thus at the time of the CFJ:


 Player       VEs      Papyri   Indulgences   Shares
 -------      ------   ------   -----------   --------
 Elysion      60 mVE     4 mP                   10 AGX
 Hooloovoo              50 mP     210 mIN
 Ian          70 mVE     5 mP      70 mIN
 Lindrum     675 mVE  6150 mP    1332 mIN       13 AGX
 Neil        255 mVE
 solublefish  58 mVE    80 mP       3 mIN        2 AGX
 Steve        11 mVE    87 mP      26 mIN        3 AGX
 Syllepsis   402 mVE
 Taral         6 mVE    25 mP      81 mIN

 There are 24 AgorEx trading accounts. Information about these accounts is
 confidential and will only be listed here at the account holder's