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December 27, 2017 1:20 PM   Subscribe

What is the highest dollar-value video game collection the exact value of which was either ascertained or independently confirmed by a court of law in a divorce proceeding?
posted by griphus to Law & Government (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I could find only one reported divorce case involving a video game: Young v. Young, 449 So. 2d 980 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1984). However, that case didn't involve a collection but rather a single coin-op machine, "purchased for $3,500" but unlike other items such as a porcelain collection and a car, no valuation was given. It was noted that it produced $65 per month in revenue and $1600 was still owed on it, which I suppose an accountant could turn into a net present value. But just sticking to the list price, adjusting for inflation, the $3500 list price c.1984 would be ~$8200 in 2016 dollars.

Criminal restitution cases are a more fruitful source of information. The largest and most expensive collection I found mentioned was in People v. Duran, No. A147170, 2017 WL 372002 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2017):
The victim was seeking roughly $18,000 for stolen video games (362 games valued at $50/each), and nearly $4,000 for his DVD movie collection (200 of them, valued at $20 each) alone, in addition to other items. Ultimately, the value of electronics was adjusted down by the prosecutor to nearly half that amount [$12,498.98], and the court awarded the substantially reduced request with no objection by defense counsel.
The court of appeals affirmed the amount. Assuming the reduction was applied equally across the board, that would be ~$9,050 for the video games, slightly edging out the coin-op machine in Young v. Young.
posted by jedicus at 1:44 PM on December 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

I should explain that divorce cases are essentially always state court matters, state trial court records are not easily searchable, and divorce cases are rarely appealed. So there have probably been other instances of video game collections being involved in divorce proceedings, but it wouldn't be easy to find in the usual legal databases.
posted by jedicus at 8:08 PM on December 27, 2017

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