This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).







Donovan D. Donarski, petitioner,





Kellie A. Donarski,



Filed October 15, 2002


Lansing, Judge


Marshall County District Court

File No. F396238



Kevin T. Duffy, P.O. Box 715, Thief River Falls, MN  56701 (for respondent)


Thomas V. Omdahl, 424 Demers Avenue, Grand Forks, ND 58201 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Willis, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N




            The judgment dissolving Kellie and Donovan Donarski’s marriage ordered the sale of the marital homestead and an equal division of the proceeds.  The property was not sold.  On appeal following remand, Kellie Donarski contends that the district court abused its discretion by denying her motion for a judgment against Donovan Donarski in the amount of one-half of the equity in the property.  Because the dissolution judgment did not specify who must sell the property and because the record adequately supports the finding that the Donarskis had equal opportunity to effect the sale, we affirm.



            Throughout most of their marriage, Donovan and Kellie Donarski (Donarskis) resided on a farm originally owned by Donovan Donarski’s mother, Dona Donarski.  In 1991, the Donarskis entered into a contract for deed to purchase the property.  After they failed to make the required annual payment in 1995, Dona Donarski served them with notice of cancellation of the contract for deed.  The Donarskis failed to cure the default within 60 days, and the cancellation was recorded in July 1996.

            Donovan Donarski petitioned for dissolution of marriage in September 1996.  Although he listed the contract cancellation in a prehearing statement of the marital assets and liabilities, the Donarskis individually submitted evidence during the dissolution proceeding to the effect that the contract had been reinstated and that they maintained a property interest in the farm.  Dona Donarski was present at the dissolution trial and either acquiesced in or did not contest this characterization of the contract for deed.

            The Donarskis’ February 27, 1997, dissolution judgment provided that the farm “shall be listed with a Realtor agreed to by the parties at the appraised value and sold        * * *.  The net proceeds of said sale shall be divided equally between the parties.”  The judgment contained findings of the appraised value of the farm, the outstanding balance on the contract for deed, and the annual income generated by the farm.  The judgment did not specify who would collect the income and make the contract-for-deed payments pending the sale of the farm.

Unbeknownst to the district court, one month after the dissolution trial and three days before the final dissolution judgment was filed, Dona Donarski had served the parties with a second notice of cancellation of the contract for deed.  The notice stated that the annual payment for 1996 had not been made in full.  The parties failed to cure the default, and the cancellation was recorded in April 1997.

In February 2001, Kellie Donarski moved the district court to grant a money judgment against Donovan Donarski equal to her share of the equity in the farm.  In support of the motion, she alleged that Donovan Donarski had “allowed his mother to cancel the contract for deed . . . to make sure I did not get [half] of the equity.”  Kellie Donarski did not inform the district court of the second cancellation.  The district court denied her motion on procedural grounds, and she appealed.  We reversed and remanded.  Donarski v. Donarski, No. C8-01-1198 (Minn. App. Dec. 18, 2001).

On remand, her attorney, for the first time, informed the court of the contract’s second cancellation.  Counsel claimed, however, that Kellie Donarski had not received notice of the second cancellation.  The district court again denied the motion for a money judgment.  The court observed that the second notice of cancellation included a sheriff deputy’s affidavit of personal service on Kellie Donarski and found that the Donarskis had had equal opportunity to prevent the cancellation of the contract for deed.  This appeal followed.



The district court may issue orders to implement, enforce, or clarify the provisions of a dissolution decree, provided that it does not change the parties’ substantive rights.  Kornberg v. Kornberg, 542 N.W.2d 379, 388 (Minn. 1996); Redmond v. Redmond, 594 N.W.2d 272, 275 (Minn. App. 1999).  The power to enforce the terms of a dissolution decree includes the authority to convert an award of property into a money judgment if necessary to implement the decree.  Hanson v. Hanson, 379 N.W.2d 230, 233 (Minn. App. 1985).  We review a district court’s implementation of a dissolution decree under an abuse-of-discretion standard.  Potter v. Potter, 471 N.W.2d 113, 114 (Minn. App. 1991). 

Kellie Donarski contends that the district court abused its discretion in denying her motion because Donovan Donarski was under a court order to sell the property and because he received and controlled income from the farm that was adequate to make the contract-for-deed payments.  The record does not support this argument.

First, the dissolution decree did not order Donovan Donarski to sell the farm.  Rather, it specified simply that the farm “shall be listed with a Realtor agreed to by the parties at the appraised value and sold.”  Second, the decree did not establish which of the Donarskis was to collect the income from the farm prior to the sale, and Kellie Donarski presented no evidence that Donovan Donarski had actually received any of the income.  Finally, because the Donarskis did not disclose the second notice of cancellation to the dissolution court, the decree also did not assign to either party a duty to cure the default on the contract for deed and to continue making the payments until the farm could be sold.  At the time of the dissolution, the Donarskis’ rights and interests in the farm were contingent on their payment of the overdue balance on the contract for deed.  Either could have taken steps to prevent the cancellation.  Neither did.  The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for a money judgment. 

            Kellie Donarski also contends that Donovan Donarski committed fraud on the court in allowing the farm to revert to Dona Donarski and that this fraud warrants a modification of the judgment.  Although Kellie Donarski did not formally move the district court for modification of the judgment, the order denying her motion for a money judgment includes a finding that the allegation of fraud “is not supported by any evidence beyond [Kellie Donarski’s] opinion and the [fact of] the mother/son relationship.”  The record adequately supports that finding.

            Finally, Kellie Donarski asserts that the district court should have modified the judgment on equitable grounds under Minn. Stat. § 518.145, subd. 2 (2000) (permitting modification of a decree if “it is no longer equitable that the judgment and decree or order should have prospective application”).  Kellie Donarski did not raise this issue before the district court.  Because this court’s scope of review is limited to issues that were presented to and considered by the district court, we decline to address the newly raised argument on appeal.  Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582-83 (Minn. 1988).